If the Cleveland Browns land Denver offensive coordinator Adam Gase to be the next head coach, they can say they got their guy all along. And it would make many people in the media seem foolish in retrospect. But a few things are standing in the way:
According to Peter Pattakos of Cleveland Frowns:
“LaMonte is close personal friends with Mike Holmgren, with whom he came up in the football business just as these unimaginable piles of cash started flying around. In the 70s, Holmgren and LaMonte were members of the same coaching staff at San Jose’s Oak Grove high school, where LaMonte was a history teacher. From there, LaMonte was able to leverage two Oak Grove connections, Toronto Blue Jays pitching great Dave Stieb and former Packers quarterback Scott Campbell (the sixth overall pick in the 1981 NFL draft), along with his relationship with Holmgren (LaMonte’s first client), to build the career that he has today…”
It seems LaMonte is in everyone’s ear. All it could take is a phone call – and a little power of persuasion – from one of them to Gase. Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com also stated that it just might come down to the Oak Grove family:
“His hiring will depend, in part, on if super-agent Bob LaMonte thinks the Cleveland job is the right fit for the young, up-and-coming coordinator after Rob Chudzinski was fired after one season. The Browns also fired LaMonte’s client, Pat Shurmur, after two seasons, and axed another LaMonte client — general manager Tom Heckert — last year. Heckert is now in Denver with Gase as the Broncos director of pro personnel.”
And, because of course he did, Michael Lombardi wrote a piece on NYE 2010 that chastised “NFL front-office types” for being swindled by LaMonte’s pitches:
“When Browns owner Randy Lerner gave Holmgren a five-year contract for a reported $50 million, he essentially paid LaMonte to own his team. They might be called the Cleveland Browns on the field, but the Cleveland “LaMontes” might be their real name. No one will gain or maintain employment with the Browns unless they come with the blessing and representation of LaMonte…
“LaMonte’s ability to sell his clients is legendary, but what amazes me is that he can keep doing his sales pitch when everyone in the NFL knows it’s coming. He makes sure his clients have the perfect notebooks, the perfect practice schedules and give the perfect presentations, all of which dazzle NFL front-office types who essentially don’t know what to ask or what to look for in an interview.”
It’s only fitting now that Lombardi has the blessing of the Browns, but he’s the guy battling against the NFL’s “super-agent.” There’s most assuredly still a chance they lose.
Scott Sargent over at Waiting For Next Year had this to say about Gase’s position:
“Reports surfaced this past weekend stating that Gase, having long been a target of the Browns in the wake of firing first-year coach Rob Chudszinski, had not agreed to any interviews as his team gears up for the AFC Championship. What still remains, however, is the fact that Gase is very happy with his position in Denver and may not want any head coaching position until after next season as the opportunities are expected to increase exponentially.”
This is Gase’s first year as an offensive coordinator. He’s never been a head coach anywhere before, so he’s learning the job and working with a future Hall of Fame quarterback to boot. Perhaps it’s better for him to wait until he’s got his feet firmly under the table before making any big changes (as Josh McDaniels claims he is doing). And now that the Browns are the only team left looking for a coach, it might not give Gase as much leverage in terms of salary demand. LaMonte would know. And you better be sure he’ll tell Gase.
And then there is of course the possibility Gase has talked with Rob Chudzinksi. No one knows for sure. Mary Kay Cabot reported the rumors were false, but she also said:
“A source said several colleagues have warned him to be cautious with the Browns because of the quick hook Chudzinski got.”
Who are these colleagues? Who are these sources? Maybe they’re robots hell-bent on destroying the Browns! I mean, we like to think the technology of the times gives way to transparency, but the unknown is always lurking in the shadows. This shadow just happens to be cast over the entire Cleveland Browns head coaching search.