The Cleveland Browns are synonymous with dysfunction.
This isn't a recent revelation, but further proof emerged today in a report by Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. According to the local beat reporter, current offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is considering a lateral move to escape "friction between coaches and the front office."
That didn't take long.
The story surfaced following news of Shanahan's interest in changing jobs over the offseason. The Bills have an interview scheduled for Thursday with the 35-year-old coach, while the 49ers, Raiders and Bills are all reportedly interested in hiring his father, Mike, as head coach and Kyle as offensive coordinator.
Cabot reported that multiple sources cited issues between the coaches and the personnel side as a reason for Shanahan's search for a new job. The most surprising part of Cabot's article lies in this phrase:
One source said some coaches became upset when a high-ranking personnel member texted from the press box to the sidelines about play calls.
First of all, shouldn't the personnel member waited until after the game to voice his critique? Second of all, why is the personnel department getting involved in this part of football operations?
However, the most critical question is this: who sent the text? If it was Ray Farmer, the Browns have serious problems. If it was another official, this isn't as big of a deal.
The text itself likely isn't the only thing causing friction between the front office and coaching staff. The situation at quarterback with Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel likely has a lot to do with that. Instead, the text symbolizes an apparent disconnect between the two departments. If this is the case, Farmer and Mike Pettine better be working to solve their differences.
Either way, any lateral move Kyle Shanahan makes must be approved by the Browns, since he is under contract through the 2015 season. Even if Shanahan were to receive the title of "assistant head coach" from his future employer, the Browns would still have to agree to the move.
Shanahan's ultimate goal, as he stated in October, is to become a head coach. However, according to Cabot, "[Kyle Shanahan is] excited about the idea of trying to win a Super Bowl with his father and finishing the job they started in Washington."
The Browns seem willing to release Kyle Shanahan of his contract should the veteran offensive coordinator choose to take his talents elsewhere. Losing Shanahan would be a significant blow to the staff, as he helped the unit accomplish more than anyone expected in the first half of the season.
The club has reportedly already reached out to several coaches in the case that Shanahan hits the road.
Wouldn't be shocked if it played out that way. Heard Browns have reached out to guys like Charlie Weis in the event Shanahan is gone— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) January 6, 2015
Nothing says "problem solver" like Charlie Weis.
More will likely emerge on this story in the coming days, but chalk this one up as just another (and likely not the last) in a long line of stories about dysfunction within the Cleveland Browns organization.