The Cleveland Browns continue to lose, and that has the MMQB’s Peter King thinking about what changes Jimmy Haslam will make after the season.
The Cleveland Browns lost again, and as the historically ugly statistics continue to mount, it becomes more and more likely that Jimmy and Dee Haslam will make major changes to their front office and coaching staff following the season.
The Haslams are in a tough place. It’s been speculated over the airwaves of Cleveland sports talk radio that Jimmy Haslam still feels the sting of the national press for axing previous regimes too early.
The Haslam ownership should want to be committed to the current analytical approach led by Sashi Brown and Paul DePodesta. Haslam gambled big time to get DePodesta to leave the baseball world. Patience was preached. The analytical seeds would need time to bloom. Despite the fact other teams get turned around in a year or two, the Browns were going on a five-year plan.
Ownership couldn’t have foreseen this, though. Cleveland is 1-28 under Hue Jackson/Sashi Brown. The Haslams have seen their franchise lose 45 of its last 49 games. The fan base is increasingly apathetic and a goose egg this season means the brand gets tarnished even further with that “Perfect Season” loser parade scheduled for season’s end.
The Haslams may not want to blow up their organization again, but they may have to make some kind of change, writes The MMQB’s Peter King.
"“Man, Jimmy and Dee Haslam want to keep the front office and coaching staff for another year. They don’t want to blow it up again. But this iteration of the Browns is 1-27 with Green Bay and Baltimore at home, then Chicago and Pittsburgh on the road. My gut feeling is the Haslams will do something of either partial or complete deconstruction, and be miserable doing it.”"
It would be bold for Haslam to keep everything in tact. The Browns have invested heavily in the defense over the past two seasons, and year three of the Sashi Brown regimen may be when the franchise finally starts reaping the rewards.
Myles Garrett has come every bit as advertised when healthy. Larry Ogunjobi appears to be a keeper on the defensive line. Jason McCourty is playing the best cornerback we’ve seen in Cleveland in years. Joe Schoebert is among the NFL’s tackling leaders. Emmanuel Ogbah looked as productive as ever with Garrett on the field, until an injury cut his season short.
Is the unit close to being the 2000 Baltimore Ravens? Hardly, but there is promise there.
But the offense, oh the offense. If you’re looking for cause to fire everyone, look no further than the Browns egregious error of passing on two franchise quarterbacks they could’ve had simply by handing in their draft card.
The two most important positions on an NFL team are the quarterback, and the receivers, and the decision makers have whiffed big time in filling those spots.
The 2016 receiving class headlined by Corey Coleman, Ricardo Louis and Ricardo Higgins has been so bad, the Browns are pinning all of their offensive hopes on a recovering addict who hadn’t played in 1,000 days prior to his return against the Chargers.
That tells you everything you need to know about the front office’s ability to identify playmakers. It is beyond bothersome.
Haslam must also take into account how poorly his organization functioned before the trade deadline. Cleveland was getting ripped off in the deal, but that’s not the point. It proved the Browns’ organizational setup is flawed.
And if something doesn’t work, you fix it. And if you can’t fix it, you buy new, and start over again. No, it’s not a preferable path for ownership, but they may not have a choice if they don’t want an empty stadium in downtown Cleveland next fall.