Cleveland Browns general manager John Dorsey may have solved one longstanding problem when he selected quarterback Baker Mayfield with the No. 1 overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Dorsey has now turned his attention to another as the Browns are once again looking for a head coach after the recent firing of Hue Jackson, statistically the worst head coach in NFL history.
Whoever lands the position will be the ninth full-time head coach to lead the Browns since the franchise returned to the NFL in 1999. Each of the previous eight failed, for a variety of reasons, and getting the head coach position right is just as important as fixing the quarterback issue.
So what will Dorsey be looking for during the first head coaching search that he will lead? The general manager laid out three components, according to clevelandbrowns.com:
“I think it is a combination of things. I think that it is organizational tenants with regards to this person. I think it is football philosophy. I think it is what are the characteristics of that man? I know me personally, I would like to see a man of character. I would like to see a man who can lead young men. I would like to see a man who has high football acumen. Those are the three basic things there that I would look for.”
Dorsey also said the current interim head coach Gregg Williams will be provided an opportunity to interview for the full-time position. That seems more like a courtesy to Williams for righting the sinking ship following Jackson’s firing, especially considering that Williams did not exactly cover himself in glory during his tenure as head coach of the Buffalo Bills, going 17-31 in three seasons.
As with most coaching searches, save for the one where then-owner Randy Lerner hastily hired Eric Mangini, the Browns will not focus on just one particular discipline, according to Dorsey:
“What we are doing in the process right now is we are taking in as much information as we possibly can, regardless of if it is in professional football or if it is in college football. We are going to gather as much information as we possibly can and make the best decision for this franchise moving forward.”
While there will be plenty of names linked to the job, Dorsey said that none of those will come from within the walls of Berea:
“Let me put it this way, when we had the first pick in the draft last year, I did not say very much. I am not going to say very much because the importance of this selection of who that person will be. I am not going to say much.”
The Browns are in an enviable position with this coaching search. They have their quarterback in place in Mayfield, along with a nucleus of young talent throughout the defense and sprinkle along the offense. They have cap space to spend and another (mostly) high draft pick on the horizon.
There will be a handful of openings across the league once the regular season ends, but it would be hard for another team to argue that they offer a better situation than what is available in Cleveland. (Dorsey just may want to keep owner Jimmy Haslam distracted for a few months, however.)
Now it is just up to Dorsey and crew to put in the hard work and make the choice that has eluded their predecessors.
They did it with the quarterback position, hopefully they can repeat the winning process in finding the next head coach.