Browns Sign Seven to Reserve Contracts: Practice squad players retained following the end of the season. http://bit.ly/f9sECK
An Offensive Blog Post
Dave Kolonich on January 5th, 2011 AT 5:41 PM
After reading the OBR's Lane Adkins' initial postings regarding the latest Browns coaching search, one word came to mind.
Of course, Lane's work is anything but. Premium OBR subscribers already know that Adkins is one of the most efficient and trustworthy Browns reporters around.
But rather, the first few candidates already identified qualify for such a term – in slightly different ways.
First, the Rooney Rule – which at its heart is intended to be an equalizer in terms of NFL human resource fairness – can sometimes prove laughably misguided. NFL teams have to adhere to this rule, which states that at least one minority candidate has to be interviewed before a coaching hire is made.
On the surface, this rule does cast a wider net of available coaching candidates and can create a situation where a below the radar interviewee can obtain an elusive head coaching job. Or, if anything, a minority candidate can use the rule to at least gain some experience for a potential future interview – one that may be slightly less of a "token" opportunity.
However, the irony of the Rooney Rule is that many NFL teams are simply "satisfying" the requirement – after having already drawn their list of candidates. In such a situation, a defensive coordinator such as Perry Fewell is hotly pursued by teams with a coaching vacancy – but not necessarily as a serious candidate.
Which is kind of a shame – particularly in the case of Fewell, who turned around the Giants' previously leaky defense in 2010, after guiding the Bills to three wins as the team's interim coach in 2009.
The point here is that Fewell's race is overshadowed by his actual potential as a full-time head coach. Of course, one would never know such a thing – despite Fewell's calendar suddenly being filled with coaching interviews.
Anyway, this entire issue is probably far too sensitive and complicated to truly explore, but it's odd that so far Fewell is the only Browns' candidate who doesn't have an offensive coaching background.
The other names on Adkins' list include Marty Morningwheg, Darren Bevell, Mike Mularkey and Mike McCoy – all offensive coordinators in the league. Conveniently enough, the person in charge of making the ultimate decision – Mike Holmgren – is renowned for his roots in Bill Walsh's West Coast Offense. And of course, the Browns' recent offensive production has been just that.
Which brings me to another point….what exactly is Holmgren looking for? A head coach or an offensive coordinator?
If Holmgren chooses from one of these four candidates – or even expands the search to the likes of Jon Gruden, Pat Shurmur or some other offensive wunderkind – what does this signal for the Browns' defense moving forward?
If an offensive-minded head coach is brought in, then obviously the focus is shifted to that phase of the team. Granted, the Browns' offense has struggled for over a decade now – meaning that such a move is warranted.
However, if we glimpse at other NFL teams around the league who employ an offensive-minded head coach – think Green Bay's Mike McCarthy and Houston's Gary Kubiak – then the realization becomes clear: Holmgren – or his newly hired head coach – is going to have to find a worthy candidate to run the team's defense.
Consider the case of Green Bay, where McCarthy – another Walsh/Holmgren disciple – has turned over the defense to veteran coordinator Dom Capers. Something similar just occurred in Houston, where Wade Phillips is set to take over the Texans' Achilles Heel.
In this sense, it becomes obvious that Holmgren has just made his life more difficult by choosing to go the offensive route – assuming that he does.
Although current defensive coordinator Rob Ryan could be a likely candidate to remain with the Browns, it's anyone's guess as to what will actually happen.
As for what could have been, it's interesting to think about the possibilities of Eric Mangini hanging around another year – only with a new offensive coordinator.
After all, it appears that plenty are available.
(Subscriber) Adkins: Examining the Candidates: Lane’s offers his thoughts on some of the early possibilities. Wh… http://bit.ly/ht5RHv
Latest Links from the OBR Newswire
OBR Newswire on January 4th, 2011 AT 6:00 PM
These are links from the OBR Newswire for January 4th from 16:55 to 17:09:
- NewsChannel5 – Reggie Rucker Has Advice for Next Coach – NewsChannel5 Browns analyst Reggie Rucker gave his take on head coach Eric Mangini's rein in Cleveland. He said the Browns are falling behind other teams because of idelogy and philosophy.
- Times-Union – Storm, Schefter A Little Too Gleeful Over Mangini’s Firing – “SportsCenter” anchor Hannah Storm and NFL insider Adam Schefter had to backpedal faster than Darrelle Revis this morning after an inpromptu high-five following the annoucement of Eric Mangini’s firing.
- WFNY – The Lone (Public) Voice of Dissention – Throughout this up and down (mostly down) season, Browns players never uttered a negative word about their Head Coach Eric Mangini.
- ESPN – Whose Lives Do Coaching Changes Really Affect? – There's a host of other people who are more affected by coaching changes, yet, for whatever reason, the impact these moves have on them is often minimized, if it's mentioned at all.
- Baltimore Sun – Harbaugh Offers Praise for Mangini – While team president Mike Holmgren and Cleveland fans may have been disappointed by the Browns’ performances under Mangini, Ravens coach John Harbaugh had high praise for his coaching peer.
- Plain Dealer – Today is the 30-year anniversary of Red Right 88 – Mike Davis paused seconds after he boarded his plane in Phoenix bound for Oakland three years ago.
- Morning Journal – Help wanted: Browns president Mike Holmgren seeking Browns’ fifth coach in 13 years – Eric Mangini’s firing was announced by the Browns in a statement released at 10 a.m. Monday and within the hour team president Mike Holmgren was seeking permission from other teams to interview potential replacements for the deposed head coach.
- The Associated Press – Eric the Fired – As Eric Mangini packed picture frames and two years of football into boxes, Browns president Mike Holmgren was already looking for his replacement.
- Canton Repository – Same old Mularkey? Given his offense, maybe that’s a good thing. – We’ll swipe a couple of sections from a developing newspaper story on Browns coaching candidates whose names aren’t Gruden, Fox or Marty.
- The Maui News – Maiava appreciates getting chance from Mangini – On the day the Cleveland Browns dismissed Eric Mangini, linebacker Kaluka Maiava expressed his appreciation for the only coach he has played for in the NFL.