The Cleveland Browns are traveling in familiar waters once again as they have embarked on another head coaching search.
This will be the fourth search since owner Jimmy Haslam bought the team in 2012, with the previous hires resulting in Rob Chudzinski, one-and-done after 2013, Mike Pettine, done in by the Johnny Manziel circus and his misguided loyalty to defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil, and Hue Jackson, who was let go last week as the worst head coach in NFL history.
The one constant through all this has been Haslam, who has had a heavy hand in all the hirings, and who also claims to have learned his lesson every time he first a head coach.
This time could be different, however, because of the presence of general manager John Dorsey. While Dorsey has never been directly in charge of hiring a head coach in his front office career - he was hired as general manager in Kansas City after Andy Reid was hired as head coach - Dorsey has enough experience and connections throughout the game to help Browns fans sleep a little better at night.
But Haslam may have a different plan in mind, according to Robert Klemko at The Monday Morning Quarterback.
Klemko took a deeper dive into the reasons behind the firing of Jackson and what comes next for the Browns and, in the process, dropped a piece of information that may not bode well for the future:
Over the next several weeks, attention will turn to likely candidates for the Browns head job, though it is unclear to what degree Dorsey will influence the decision. According to two sources with knowledge of former general manager Sashi Brown’s tenure, the choice of Jackson was not unanimous. Haslam was Jackson’s man, while Sean McDermott and Matt Patricia had support from those running football operations. Several members of that staff, including an analytics department led by Paul DePodesta, remains in Berea, reporting directly to Haslam—notably, not Dorsey. Haslam, who directed both the Jackson hire and the drafting of Manziel, has given Dorsey no assurances he’ll go with the new GM’s recommendation, according to the two league sources.
Haslam is the owner and he certainly is within his rights to want to know what is going on with the team. But given his history, he should be more of an observer, rather than a decider, when it comes to selecting the team’s next head coach.
Dorsey is in place for a reason, and part of that is to get this coaching hire right. Unless Dorsey goes off the rails with some completely nonsensical suggestion - think Jim Tressel - then Haslam needs to sit back and trust that the people he has in place know what they are doing.
Because we all know what happens when he doesn’t, and it is not pretty.