It is no secret to Cleveland football fans that the Browns’ coaching search has taken on its own life.
What is crazy is that there are only 32 head coaching jobs in the NFL, yet several assistant coaches do not want to take one of them, if it happens to be in Cleveland, that is.
First, New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniel removed his name from consideration. Now Denver offensive coach, Adam Gase, just 35 years old, told the Browns he was not interested in taking the big step to head coaching in Cleveland.
You would think making a move from assistant to running your own show would be enough to entice an ambitious person to take the job. Obviously, there is something wrong in Berea.
At least Joe Banner and Mike Lombardi got the chance to talk to McDaniel. You could say that may the reason he turned down the gig. But Gase declined to be considered without talking to anyone currently in the organization.
It wouldn’t be hard to connect the dots and assume Gase did talk to former Browns’ GM Tom Heckert, who now works for the Broncos.
In a vacuum, coaching the Browns should be a great opportunity. After all, what is the downside?
If you don’t turn it around, you are just another coach in a long line of other guys who have failed to win in Cleveland since the franchise returned to the NFL in 1999. Many media people call the Browns’ organization dysfunctional anyway so there is no problem if you can’t win here.
On the other hand, if you do make the Browns a winner and return them to a position where playoff appearances are the norm, you will be heralded the same way coaches like Bill Parcells and Joe Gibbs are.
And if you perform the thought to be impossible and win a couple of Super Bowls with Cleveland, then you can get your acceptance speech ready for the day you are enshrined in Canton.
Instead, the Browns are having difficulty getting anyone who wants to interview for the job, let alone take it.
From afar, you would have to think someone should be checking on the interview technique used by Banner or whoever is involved in the process, to see why candidates seem to be turned off.
Besides that, owner Jimmy Haslam needs to examine why his franchise has such a negative vibe around the league. If it is because of the men he hired to run things here, then perhaps a change needs to be made sooner than later.
Or maybe Haslam should be more involved in the process and make it clear that the new coach reports to him directly. The counterpoint to that is perhaps it is Haslam’s impetuousness that cost Rob Chudzinski his job.
Whoever the Browns eventually hire, no one can judge him fairly until the team takes the field and plays a few games. After all, two coaches in the AFC North didn’t have overwhelming resumes when they were hired: Mike Tomlin with the Steelers and John Harbaugh with the Ravens.
Still, if Haslam needs to look at his organization after this process is completed because the Browns are considered toxic. And whether it is or not, perception is reality.
All three of the people running this team are to blame. No one should be escaping unscathed. The real problem is that the people who are suffering the most are the fans. They just keep watching losing football.