Some will say team president Mike Holmgren is the puppet-master. He's hired an inexperienced man to the head coaching position. Holmgren has managed to throw his authority around in regards to the college player draft.
Yes, Holmgren has earned the right to makes such decisions. He has coached at the pinnacle and has been successful coaching talent.
Now, assembling talent, not so much.
Many would believe Holmgren uses his position to have an entire organization under this thumb.
But, he doesn't.
Holmgren has grown as the man heading up the Cleveland Browns organization. Sure, he makes suggestions to his first-time head coach Pat Shurmur, but that is the extent of the situation. Shurmur and Holmgren have a great relationship, not only professional, but personal.
Now in his comfort zone, Holmgren can be viewed talking with players. He can be seen adding words of wisdom in a calming influence of experience and respect. And, he is not a threat to the head coach, as Shurmur not only welcomes Holmgren's input, he often talks philosophy with the former head coach of the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks.
When Holmgren was named team president of the Browns approximately two years ago, the Browns were a team stuck in neutral and wavering to stay afloat. Holmgren's first order of business was to methodically seek a capable, qualified and experienced player personnel type to become the general manager for the organization.
Methodical, hardly. Holmgren's mind was squarely placed on speaking with one individual. Holmgren sought and received permission to discuss the vacant position with Tom Heckert, who was Andy Reid's long-time right-hand man in Philadelphia. Reid was a Holmgren disciple in Green Bay.
Quickly, the negotiation process consummated and Holmgren had his man.
Fast forward to Aug. 2011 and the foundation is being laid to return the Browns to a glory that has been long absent in Cleveland.
The plan, outlined by Holmgren and Heckert, has been to secure youth, develop this type talent and supplement the roster with veteran leadership. Bit-by-bit the development youth has been brought into the fray.
Believing in the plan, the Browns refrained from making a big splash in free agency. A small number of players, at positions of immediate need were signed to fill vital deficiencies within a roster base. A theory consisting of drafting and developing players to fill the roster and sign free agents to put them over the top is the direction.
In 2011, the Browns are not expected to be a true contender and the Browns strategy in securing personnel tells the telling tale.
Holmgren his putting his reputation on the line that this is the right way to build this team, basically from the bottom up.
Holmgren's respect and confidence in Heckert is telling, as it's in Heckert's hands to secure the talent.