On Thursday, Mary Kay Cabot of the Plain Dealer wrote a column titled, “The Browns need to hire a football GM and give him final say over the roster.”
The response to Cabot’s piece has been mixed. That includes the Twitterverse, sports talk radio hosts, and the more than 3,000+ comments in response to Cabot’s piece. I have no problem with Cabot writing the column — to get that type of response during a bye week means one thing: mission accomplished.
I’m in the boat that disagrees with Cabot. First, this current regime is only one year in. This is supposed to be the group that Jimmy Haslam literally put his foot down and said, “no matter what, we’re going to see this regime through.” Bringing in a general manager from outside the organization to start year two would basically tell me that Haslam has hit the abort button on analytics. Even if Sashi Brown, Paul DePodesta, and Andrew Berry were still retained, it’d feel like they were being marginalized for a new regime change again.
To me, Cabot’s column would be more fitting only if it were written two to three years down the road and the Browns were still down in the dumps with no sign of real improvement. To say that “there's no evidence [the Browns’ innovative, analytical approach] is working in its current form” is the panic-stricken reaction that we need to avoid this year. The front office having that type of comfort — that they won’t be dismissed despite the record — allows them to continue the long-term vision that hopefully allows their innovative and analytical approach to translate to not just a couple, but a lot of wins.
Also, how tiring is it already to hear about people talking about the Browns passing up on QB Dak Prescott? Yes — what he is doing in Dallas is remarkable, but let’s not act like the Browns are an inept organization compared to the other teams in the NFL because of it. Remember that reports indicated Dallas really wanted Connor Cook at the start of the fourth round before the Raiders traded up with Cleveland to grab him. If the Cowboys had been able to get in over Dallas for that trade and selected Cook, Prescott would probably be sitting as a third-stringer on someone’s bench right now and hardly a household name. Heck, even Dallas didn’t know what they had in him until he turned heads with a big preseason performance.
Lastly, Cabot says this:
Hmmm...if only we had ever tried guys like Phil Savage, George Kokonis, or Michael Lombardi, right?
What do you think, Browns fans? Does Cabot have a point, or do you disagree with her?