It is tiring, it is old, it is speculation and, for some fans, it could be exciting. Before the 2023 NFL season even begins, we have rumors/conjecture/rumblings about what will happen if the Cleveland Browns struggle this season.
To be clear, GM Andrew Berry and HC Kevin Stefanski are on some version of a hot seat this year. The roster is too talented and too expensive to think otherwise. How warm that seat is might depend on owner Jimmy Haslam’s mood as the season goes on.
Stating that is one thing. The idea that Michigan Wolverines HC Jim Harbaugh may already be identified as Stefanski’s replacement is a giant leap beyond that in speculation.
The college football season has just begun, Harbaugh is suspended to start the year but has a national championship hopeful team. The Browns season hasn’t even started yet but the speculation tying the two together started with ESPN’s Harry Douglas connecting the dots.
Fuel to the fire was added when ESPN Cleveland’s Tony Rizzo said “if you connect the dots” and “I’m already hearing rumblings” and “there’s are already people putting together, connecting dots” related to Harbaugh taking over the Browns:
This isn’t the first time Harbaugh has been connected to the head coaching job in Cleveland. In 2014, there were numerous reports that the Browns nearly traded for their new head coach after firing Mike Pettine. Harbaugh agreed to stay with the San Francisco 49ers at the time before leaving for the college ranks.
If, as Rizzo notes, Cleveland struggles this season, Stefanski’s job security will be in doubt no matter what. Adding a big name like Harbaugh to that could create an even bigger storm.
The Browns can control the noise on the field starting in Week 1 versus the Cincinnati Bengals but a tough opening schedule could amplify the rumors/rumblings/conjecture.
For now, Harbaugh to Cleveland should be considered less than a rumor and less than rumblings. Conjecture and “connecting the dots” seem far more accurate.
What do you think about these statements coming out just before the season starts? If the Browns have a bad year and fire Stefanski, how would you feel about Harbaugh taking over? Join the comment section below to discuss with fellow fans: