Cleveland Browns General Manager John Dorsey was the first GM in the NFL to get an early start on the head coach search following the week 8 release of former coach Hue Jackson. It wasn’t long before other teams started the process early as well. From numerous assistants to former Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy, there’s no shortage of candidates for teams looking to replace coaching staffs this year.
On paper, the Browns head coaching job will look the best to potential candidates. Other teams looking to fill vacancies will need to act quickly before the Browns have a chance to take a coach of interest away. This team has everything a coach could want—an all-star front office, a rookie franchise quarterback, and a young, star-studded defense. GM John Dorsey, however, will also be working with what many in the industry consider an albatross holding him back ownership and their unwillingness to give complete control to him.
What should have been ample time for Dorsey to interview many candidates and slow walk this process to decide the best fit now could be a rush job. While the number of open head coaching positions should be closer to six, it’s possibly up to ten. ESPN currently has the Browns job listed as 5th, saying “All that’s great. Any analysis of the Browns opportunity that leaves out ownership, though, is fatally flawed.”
Si.com has the Browns listed as 3rd. “If you’re not good, the Browns will find someone else to elevate Baker Mayfield.” That’s not an inspiring vote of confidence for a coach looking.
If John Dorsey was to drag his feet, other teams will not only hire a new coach, but that will also start tapping into the limited pool of assistants. A few teams have already released coordinators, and they’ll also be searching for replacements as well.
Other than former Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians, who said he would retain the current staff, most other candidates will want to replace everyone with coaches they hand pick. The Green Bay Packers and the New York Jets will be quick to start this. Teams like the Carolina Panthers and Cincinnati Bengals will also be ready to hire coordinators. If those four teams get a jump on the Browns, Dorsey could be looking at getting second and third best.
Deciding to go the college coach route will highlight this problem even more. They’d have little to no NFL connections, so building a staff from behind the eight ball will not yield the top choices.
Now to the reason I wrote this entire article. As I posted on Twitter:
#Browns The more I research the more I like the idea of Bruce Arians HC grooming Kitchens OC Blake DC and Gregg as assistant HC/ST
— ChadP71 (@chadp71) December 4, 2018
I’d like to explain how I came to this conclusion. This is not the best year to be looking for a head coach as the market will be flooded. After already changing the top coaching staff in the first year of Baker Mayfield’s career, how will doing this again help his progress? Dorsey will be asking the rookie quarterback in only his second year to work with three different offensive coordinators and three different head coaches.
How will this affect other current and former rookies like Myles Garrett, Jabrill Peppers, and Denzel Ward, ll critical pieces to the success of the Browns defense? Most of the top names also run a 3-4 defense and the Browns have already made that change once before.
Bruce Arians would give the Browns, and most of all quarterback Baker Mayfield, the most natural transition into a new head coach. With Arians’s willingness to work with both Kitchens and Williams, this team could keep all the same verbiage they use now. Arians would also allow Kitchens (age 44) and Blake Williams (age 33) to learn the roles, preparing them to take the next step.
It’s hard to find much downside for Dorsey to go this route. It would give Mayfield the extra year to get comfortable in a system before changing everything. Arians would also not do anything to damage the team or its players, as he’s one of the most well-respected coaches in the NFL. He’s even stated numerous times that this is his dream job.
It was most likely not the plan John Dorsey had in mind when he took the job as GM of the Cleveland Browns. But when owner Dee Haslam forced Dorsey to retain the 1-31 coach Hue Jackson and he accepted, it’s what he’ll deal with now.
What is best for the team is the most important decision Dorsey will make heading into 2019. No other head coaching candidate will cover every base more than Bruce Arians—leadership, cohesion, stability, and fine-tuning a process already in place. This would be the easiest and safest path to the playoffs in 2019.
Written By: @Chadp71
Edited By: @Robzie_