Adkins Tough Qs: Browns Brass

In another installment of Lane's Tough Questions from the Ask The Insider forum, he addresses numerous questions on the Browns front office bass.


Browns brass involved in daily operations?

DawgBacker26: With McCoy to start this week, something popped into my head. I have been working 14 hour days, so I haven't had the time to comb through to see if other posts have asked this question or not, if so, I apologize in advance.

McCoy has been said to be a WCO QB & that he can succeed given that type of offense to work with. With the selection, Holmgren stepped in front of all using the big dawg card. Holmgren wanted to sit McCoy this season to learn the ropes, but now has no choice but to see him on the field.

My question is this. Has anyone seen more of Holmgren & Haskell on the field this week or heard of Daboll spending more time with those two throughout the course of the week. Going against the #2 D in the league, my personal thought process was that HH may step in, throw in a little mix of WCO for McCoy with plenty of short throws, ie: slants, 10& in, & alot of quick out routes, keeping the defense from getting in his face often & keeping his options very mindfully quick so he can go through his progressions & keep from doing to much thinking.

Could Gil & Coach H be calling the plays this week from the pressbox down to Dabolls headset to help minimize the amount of wear & tear on McCoy & attempting to keep him sharp? I am thinking that for this week, Watson, Moore, Stuckey, & Hillis would be great fantasy options as the likely gameplan is gonna be power run & hitting short routes early & often as well as using a lot of Hillis & possibly Bell out of the backfield. If anyone could help McCoy to be successful early, its Haskell & Holmgren. Daboll being in charge & knowing the Mangini limits him scares me for Colt!

Adkins' Answer: Though I have not witnessed this, I have been told the team president has been watching the rookie and the offense in general this week.

I am of the belief he is gaining a perspective as to where the rookie is at the present, as well as something on a larger scale, how the staff is incorporating McCoy inexperience and skill-set into a more familiar type game-plan for Sunday.

We already know the Browns are going to run, run and run. We also know they'll max protect early and often, but the manner which the team and the rookie QB come out of the gate could change the plan.

The team has worked on plenty of short to intermediate stuff this week, along with getting the ball out of his hands quickly with quick reads with little option other than the specific read -- which could get very messy if the strategy isn't successful.

I question it will be.

Daboll is going to call the plays and nothing within the communication trail is expected to change, but I do have an inkling that there has been behind the scenes discussions regarding play-calling and putting not on McCoy, but the entire offense in a position to succeed.


Open in-game discussions?

Lumpy: Do Holmgren and Mangini talk about in game (or game time)  coaching Lane?

This team comes out and seems to play well the first 2 quarters. That smacks of having a solid game plan in prepping for the upcoming opponent. However as the game goes on, they end up on the short end of the stick. We've discussed adjustments before, but isn't it being addressed by the FO? This team of Holmgren-Heckert-Haskell was brought in to develop and make this better.

Are they failing or neglecting the task at hand?

Adkins' Answer: Mangini and Holmgren discuss philosophy, strategy and gametime moves more often than most head coaches and team presidents would, due to Holmgren's background.

What is most troubling is the Browns inability to maintain for 60 minutes. For a half, this team has shown time and time again they are prepared to execute the pre-game plan.

As this team gets deeper into the game the tables turn on them. This is when better overall talent rises to the occasion, as well as a coaching staff adjusting to what scheme is being played against them.

This is an ongoing issue that isn't going to be rectified immediately, but the inability to offset adjustments of the opposition is disheartening and is relatively inexecusable at the professional level.

Certainly injuries have played into the equation and the lack of overall quality within the depth of this roster becomes evident.


Front office frustration

mes92658: Is the "Big Show" gonna let this ride for this year ???

I ask, only because I am wondering (hoping) that sometime soon, very soon, we hear rumors, (which I hope come true), that MH will bring in his old pal, Jon Gruden.

That does nothing for this year, but.... we still have the "same old, same old" !!!

****'s fire, enough already !!!!!

Also, a side ??? -  Will MH, or whomever may me the Head Coach, keep Rob Ryan as DC ??? I hope to hell they do, he certainly knows his beans, and I love seeing an attack D, vs. the pussy stuff we have all seen in the past.

Adkins' Answer: Jon Gruden will remain a name of interest as long as this team struggles and the coaching staff remains in tact.

The history factor between he and Holmgren certainly has its benefit if the Browns indeed seek to make changes during or following the season. Anyone that states Gruden isn't or wouldn't have an interest does not know his background growing up.
Getting off the sideline for a couple seasons likely will reguevanate his batteries, if he looks to coach again.
Being said, the team despite its losing ways has shown improvement in being competitive, but I am.of the impression what we are seeing on game-day isn't sufficient for Holmgren.
Injury issues have clouded the situation somewhat, but seeing how Mangini and his staff rally the troops and proceed on could be an instrumental period regarding the future of this coaching staff or specific coaches.


Offensive coordinator change?

johntyler: Is it possible to make a switch mid season at the OC position and be effective?  would you be best served running a similar offense?  and can Gil runh our current  type of offense?  would our players even match a west coast offense?

or are we going to see more dabol the rest of the year?

is dabol and mangini aware of how bad the offense is in the fourth quarter and do u think they will get more creative?  just when the field should get bigger other teams shrink it because of the browns fourth quarter offense?

Adkins' Answer: It's unlikely a new OC could step in and immediately improve the talent base and productivity. Some of the same issues will remain, inexperience and questionable talent and depth at the WR position, injury issues at QB, same at RB.

Two years of an offense scheme and terminology set in place with this group will not be eliminated overnight. A change to Haskell would mean the WCO would be worked into the mix, while struggles with the present scheme remain.

As long as this team remains competitive, I expect Daboll be be the OC. Unless the offense fails miserably and no progress and develop are achieved, the time-table could be expedited.

The Browns offensive efficiency, which comes from a lack of execution and continued mistakes are a wide-spread issue, not just a fourth quarter problem. The Browns defense has played well enough to keep them in games, the inability of the offense as a whole has been disheartening.

Makes one wonder just what could have been if Delhomme didn't suffer the ankle injury in the season opener -- as this offense has not responded well since, Sure, there has been a few impressive drives, but the stability and ability to force the opposition to respect this unit in some regard has been eliminated.

This isn't an excuse for the issues, as I am not one that believes all all the sideline leading this team are adequate but facts are facts.


Does trade mean a vote of confidence for Daboll?

tochigi: Since Harrison is ideal RB for West Coast offense, and Bell is more the power back ala Hillis....does the trade mean Heckert and Holmgren have made a deeper decision to back Daboll and Mangini in their offensive (no pun intended) schemes?

I mean if Holmgren is getting ready to push out Daboll and bring in more WCO, then they would have kept Harrison, no? And, while Mangini may have wanted this trade, it really is/was totally a Heckert decision, right? therefore.....what do we read into this?

Adkins' Answer: The trade has nothing to do with Brian Daboll.

This move was made for the immediate in mind, to add a power back that fits into the current scheme model, as Hillis is battling injury. Bell is on a one-year deal, the Browns didn't want to sway from their scheme, thus a deal was in place.

There was no long-term commitment to Harrison, whether this offensive scheme was retained or not. The same can be said for Bell.

Jerome Harrison was basically done here. He would continue to play a depth role in Cleveland and nothing more, unless there was no alternative.

His disconnect with the staff due to the handling of him was the last straw.


Adam Schefter

brownsrthebest04: ?lane adam tweeted this.."Cleveland nearly dealt Jerome Harrison elsewhere two weeks ago, but deal fell through. Only a matter of time before trade materialized."....any idea who we were talking to and what the comp was?

Adkins' Answer: They had spoken with the Seahawks and Eagles.


Time to unplug?

mtsames: How long do you expect MH, and TH to put up with this crap. Especially on the O side of the ball. Also why haven't they talked to Roth about staying. Fujita, Barton, and Bowens are getting old same goes for the DL.

Adkins Answer: If the team remains competitive, Holmgren will not be quick to pull the plug. Very minor discussion on Roth, with neither side now appearing anxious to do anything other than play the season out.


Do Browns match up with Steelers?

ramllov: When the Browns played Baltimore and Cincinnati, it appeared the Browns matched up pretty good against these two teams.  They definitely have better talent.

I got the opinion that the Browns did not match-up as well against Atlanta.

I just wondered if the Browns matched up well against Pittsburgh?

The Chicago Bears are 4-1, but when they played the New York Giants, you would have thought they were an 0 - 5 team.  This was a bad match-up for the Bears.

Adkins' Answer: Pittsburgh pressure off the edge is an advantage in their favor, which will likely result in the Browns utilizing max protection often.

The Steelers defensive scheme and especially against a Cleveland offense void of a legitimate threat play in and play out at WR will press coverage and load the box. Expect as many zone blitzes as you can count in this game.

The Pittsburgh offensive line is improved, which could be a factor in this game with Roethlisberger back under center. The run game is solid and the receiving corps remain a solid unit, with improved speed and confidence with Wallace playing a bigger role.

Now, if the Browns offense was WCO versed, they could provide numerous issues for the Pittsburgh defense.

The Browns will attempt to slow this game down and make it a defensive battle.

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