Maybe Williams wasn’t the best choice to be a head coach again in the NFL for any number of reasons, and who knows what’ll happen after this season ends, but maybe he was the right choice for this team, for at least this moment in time.
Entering Week 10 as left-for-dead home underdogs and riding a four-game losing streak—with a head-coach firing along the way—this team finally displayed some guts, something it hasn’t shown in weeks.
And it’s clear their new no-nonsense head coach played a big part in keeping them together and focused on winning.
“No, every day is competition. My whole life every day. Wherever I have been at whatever level, it has been that as a position coach, as a coordinator as a head coach, and then that is what they have to understand, too,” Williams said in his post-game presser. “Every day, be on time. That is a winnable situation. Do not be the last in the meeting room. Do not be the last on the practice field.
“All of those little bit of things from a disciplinary and accountable things, that is how you take the next step, or how I believe and now how we believe we take the next step.”
A step was taken in the right direction in Week 10, that seems pretty clear. But as Williams or any player inside their 3-6-1 locker room will tell you, they aren’t and can’t be satisfied.
And in two games with Williams stressing their accountability and discipline, the Browns have finally minimized mental lapses and played more fundamentally-sound football.
After nearly leading the league in penalties through eight games, they had just four in two weeks since Hue Jackson and Todd Haley were fired. Maybe it’s not just the coaching departures and Williams’ well-known tenacity, but maybe the coaching shakeup sent a message.
Message received, Mr. Dorsey.
It’s refreshing to listen to a coach who’s candid, not worried about losing his job, and willing to offer genuine insight when asked specific questions about his players.
Williams is a lot things, good and bad, but he’s exactly what the Browns needed. They’re rallying around him and rookie Baker Mayfield, and the results on Sunday speak for themselves.
Unfortunately, they’ll have the week off and will lose some of their newfound momentum. But it’s hard to doubt Williams will have them back on task and focused for their Week 12 divisional matchup with the struggling Cincinnati Bengals.