Cleveland Browns Coaching Decision and 2018 Season Review.

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Well it’s Super Bowl Week, and in a stunning a turn of events, the Browns have already been eliminated.  That leaves the Rams and Patriots standing in Atlanta.  Sadly the Browns were eliminated quite some time ago.  Week 16 to be exact.  In Week 17 there was still hope of finishing the 2018 season with a winning record (8-7-1).  In a Week 17 showdown with Baltimore, the Browns fell 2 points short of achieving that goal.  The Ravens outlasted the Browns 26-24, with CJ Mosley intercepting Baker Mayfield on the final possession to seal the deal.  It wasn’t all bad for Mayfield, who threw for 375 yards and 3 Touchdowns.  Bakers third TD toss gave him 27 on the year, which surpassed Russel Wilson’s record for the most of any Rookie Signal Caller.

7-8-1 sucks, but clearly is an improvement from 0-16.  If the Browns ducks were in a row last summer, well I think we would’ve been playing at least one Playoff game this year.  Once the coaching dust settled, they showed just how good they could be.  They were one of the most efficient Offense’s during the second half of year.  They could run it down your throat with Nick Chubb, and sling the fucker all over the joint.  In the end, the Defense is just not where it needs to be for this team to reach the Postseason.  In the final game, Lamar Jackson ran for 90 yards and 2 Touchdowns.  Kenneth Dixon rushed for 117 yards, and Gus Edwards added 76.   While they were able to generate a shit ton of turnovers in 2018, the Browns Defense just could not get a stop when they needed it the most.  Priority number 2 this Offseason should be improving the Defense, especially the interior of the Defensive Line.  What is the reason this is only second on the Offseason “To-Do List”?  That’s because priority number 1 this Offseason was to find a new Head Coach to pair with Baker Mayfield.

 

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They wouldn’t have to look to far to find the 17th Head Coach of the Cleveland Browns.  With Sean McVay having so much success out in Los Angeles, and Matt Nagy having similar success in Chicago, every NFL team is trying to replicate that type of hire. These young, offensive minds have captured the hearts of desperate, stupid Owners.

Kliff Kingsbury was hired out in Arizona, for reasons that confuse many. This guy choose Davis Webb over Baker Mayfield at Texas Tech, and was unable to win anything with Patrick Mahomes. He’s seen as this young genius, who has connections to McVay. The Cardinals went as far as to mention it in their Press Release:

You see where Arizona’s Head is at with this hire. They see those McVay connections, and history with Mayfield and Mahomes. It makes owners drool. They see high point totals and Kliff being the media’s darling like Sean himself. Problem is the dude finished under .500 at Texas Tech. Mediocre at best.

Kingsbury is just one example of this type of hire. The Jets hired Adam Gase, a mere few hours after he was fired by Miami. He too, is a young Offensive minded Head Coach.

Matt LaFleur was hired by the Green Bay Packers, who was Sean McVay’s Offensive Coordinator in 2017 out in LA. LaFleur then took over as Titans Offensive Coordinator. The Titans finished 27th in Points Per Game this past year, averaging 19.4 per game. This guy was hired to coach Aaron Fucking Rodgers.

The Browns interviewed a slew of mediocre Coordinators and former Head Coaches for the open position. Names like Jim Caldwell, Mike McCarthy, Gregg Williams, and Dan Campbell were interviewed. Josh McDaniels was linked to the job, mostly due to media speculation. Thanks to his Irish Goodbye from Indianapolis last year he never got an interview, while Patriots Defensive Coordinator, Brian Flores did. Despite having arguably the most attractive job open in the NFL, the Candidates were slim pickings.

All of these factors helped John Dorsey circle back around, and hire Interim Offensive Coordinator Freddie Kitchens as the teams 17th Head Coach. This comes as surprise, as Freddie was just a Runningbacks coach in August. He then was given the keys to the Offense when Todd Haley was told to screw. The results speak for themselves:

The Offense exponentially improved during the second half of the year with Kitchens calling the shots. The Browns Offense went from being one of the leagues most lackluster to most potent. Biggest tell for me is Red Zone Efficiency. From October on, the Browns were fucking money in the Red Zone. Mayfield was surgical inside the 20’s, so much so he was one of the better Red Zone passers in the NFL. You might think it’s easier to score in the Red Zone, but in the NFL it narrows your margin of error. You have to be even quicker, even more decisive in the Red Zone. Mayfield was just that and then some.

The Browns are betting on themselves with this hire. It is very rare a coach rises so rapidly within the ranks. Freddie has been in the league for quite some time, but he came from nowhere to be the most popular candidate. The one time Alabama Quarterback is loved by players and fans alike.

He is nearly impossible to dislike and or root against. Kitchens hails from Alabama, so naturally he’s got a deep Southern Drawl. He’s got a natural sense of humor at the podium.

That natural sense of humor is what helps Freddie connect so well with players. He clearly has a tight bond with Mayfield, and the whole team. He has this belief in the team, a belief that clearly translates on the field. Take a look at the second half of the year. The Browns were running trick plays to show off how good they were, they were breaking 90 yard Touchdown runs, and were slinging it 60+ yards to a first round bust (Perriman). Hell, if Alabama had not beaten Georgia in the SEC Championship, Freddie was going to let Nick Chubb call some plays in the Browns upcoming game. He was serious too. This sort of stuff was impossible for the Browns to ignore.

While I am definitely nervous about this hire, but there is definitely that slim chance this dude pops and the Browns explode to like 11-5 or something . I am certainly skeptical, but this is Dorsey’s guy which makes it all better. What do I mean by Dorsey’s guy?

Jimmy and Dee Haslam keeping their fucking asses out of Football decisions. That’s what i mean. They desperately need to keep watching from the sidelines, keep mouths shut, and sign fucking checks. Sounds harsh but these two do more damage than good. This is John’s team now. John, Alonzo, Eliot, and the rest of the old Packers boys should be making these calls. John Dorsey knows this. Seth Wickersham recently wrote just a fantastic Expose for ESPN on the Browns under Haslam. Regarding the Kitchens hire Dorsey states, “I flexed my muscles and got what I wanted”.

Dorsey paired a cabinet of solid Assistant Coaches with Freddie to help ease the transition.

Todd Monken is taking his talents from Tampa to Cleveland to be Freddie’s Offensive Coordinator. Monken comes of high regard, and was Interviewed for numerous Coordinator AND Head Coaching gigs this Offseason.

Monken is an aggressive coach, who’s philosophy revolves around the Air Raid system. His teams are aggressive, and it showed with Buccaneers this year. Monken is coming in to run the offense, but not call plays. That will still be Freddie’s bread and butter.

On the Defensive side of the ball, Steve Wilks was brought in to run the show. Wilks spent the 2018 Season as Head Coach of the Arizona Cardinals. His team was an absolute train wreck. They gutted the roster before he got there, basically hanging the dude out to dry. Wilks is most known for being the Carolina Panthers Defensive Coordinator. If anything, Wilks will be able to help guide Freddie through the Up’s and Down’s of being a Head Coach in the NFL. Gregg’s Defensive scheme had gone stale, and was masked by the unit generate a shit ton of turnovers. Wilks is a highly regarded Coordinator, and the Browns are hoping he can take the Defense to another level.

All that’s left now is to wait for the League New Year for any sort of news. March 13th will be the day Free Agency opens up. Big John has stated he doesn’t have any Jaw Dropping plans, like last years flurry of Trades and signings.

I tend to agree with that stance from Johnny. There aren’t really any Free Agents out there that tickle my fancy. A list of the top NFL Free Agents ranked by Pro Football Focus can be found here. Obviously there are a few names that stand out. Demarcus Lawrence certainly tickles the fancy, but the Cowboys are likely going to re-sign him. Trey Flowers is another one that moves the needle. If he hits Free Agency odds are he won’t want to leave a perennial winner in New England for Cleveland. Still, there are a few D line options the Browns could go after to bolster the Run Defense and Pass Rush.

Shaq Barrett is one to grab on the cheap, as Bradley Chubb outshines him out in Denver. The Browns have been interested in the past, but never got anything done. Maybe they take a flyer? Other than that nothing appeals to me. It’s an older Free Agency class than what we normally see.

2018 being over sucks. I have major Blue Balls for next season. I am not going to sit here and guarantee playoffs or anything though. The Browns are the Browns. Usually when they make strides the next year is hell. While I feel comfortable with Mayfield and Dorsey, it’s still going to be interesting to see how the teams builds of the late season success of this year. Fingers crossed.

I’ll leave you with an assortment of Browns Porn to get you through the Offseason.

Hope 2019 adds a second volume of Browns Porn. I sure enjoy it! Go Browns!

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2019 Head Coaching Shortlist

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The dust has settled after a wild 48 hours in Berea, Ohio.  We are Offensive Coordinator-less and Head Coach-less.  Sure Gregg Williams was named Interim Head Coach, but it doesn’t really matter. The interim could be Joe Blow for all I care.  The season is lost at this juncture anyway.  Especially with Mahomes coming our way this week.  With the Browns defense slipping with each passing week, we won’t be able to stop them.  The Chiefs defense is god awful, but the Browns aren’t good enough to score enough points required to beat Kansas City.  We’d have to score around 30 points (thats a conservative number), and that is not happening.  At this point, keep developing the talent on the Roster, get healthy, and find an offense in the Off-Season.

With all that being said, lets take a look at some of the candidates to be the next Head Coach of the Browns being thrown out there by the media.  In no particular order:

  1.  Lincoln Riley Image result for lincoln riley

Going to hear this name a lot in the coming months.  I’ve heard it nonstop since we drafted Baker in May.   Hell, a couple of hours after Hue and Haley were fired, Riley had to answer a question about the Browns job:

Pretty stupid if you ask me.  Reporters asking Lincoln this question, what the fuck do you expect him to stay?  You’re only putting him on the spot.  Either way, I am a hard pass on Lincoln Riley.  No college coach can turn around the Cleveland Browns.  No Nick Saban, no Bobby Bowden in his prime, nobody in college can turn around the Cleveland Browns.  Going after Riley would seem like slapping a band-aid on the issues.  “Oh boy! Let’s hire Lincoln!  He’s coached Baker in college, problem solved!!”. This guy seems to be a pretty good coach at Oklahoma, but I feel like once Baker left, the two should go their separate ways.  They may have worked great together in College, but just college.  All good things must come to an end.  Plus there are 52 other guys to deal with not named Baker Mayfield.  They aren’t college kids either, how would this dude handle it?

I do like the idea of an Offensive Minded coach,  a young one too, but to fix the Browns NFL experience is needed.

2. Matt Campbell

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Again, this name is going to be brought up quite a bit from now until January.

Dustin Fox, who hosts a Radio Show in Cleveland tweeted this after Albert Breer stated, “Keep a close eye on … Matt Campbell,” Breer reported on Monday. “Highly regarded in the circles that [Cleveland] GM John Dorsey runs in.”  Again.  No.  I feel like the last two names are Sean McVay knockoffs.  The young, progressive coach, who is regarded for being innovative, and getting the most out of his players.  Stop trying to copy the Rams, and mimic a McVay type hire.  Odds are a college coach would be a disaster.  Especially one that coached at the national powerhouse that is………………..Iowa Fucking State.  I am pretty sure Iowa State has been bad my entire  life.  So far, this short list BLOWS.  Be better at fishing out candidates media, come on.

3. Bruce Arians 

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Now this beautiful bastards name was not brought up specifically by anyone in the Breer, Rappaport, or Schefter mold, but Bruce has long been connected to Cleveland.

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Bruce was the Browns Offensive Coordinator from 2001-2003, and has stated numerous times that he wants to come back.  Not sure if he is willing to come out of the Broadcast Booth, as that is a pretty cushy gig.   Now is as good a time as ever to lure this man out of retirement.

As an NFL Head Coach, Arians is 49–30–1 in the regular season, and 1-3 in the Postseason.  He is most know for his years with the Arizona Cardinals, but he also had a 9-3 stint as Interim Head Coach of the Indianapolis Colts in 2012.  He is a two time Super Bowl Champion, as he was the Pittsburgh Steelers Wide Receivers Coach, and then Offensive coordinator.  He spent a whopping 7 years with the Steelers (2004-2011) winning two Super Bowls.  This man has done it all, and he has done it all in the National Football League.  Sign me up.

The Browns already have a connection to Arians on the staff, as new Offensive Coordinator, Freddie Kitchens was a member of Bruce’s staff in Arizona.

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First things first: Any coach who wears a QB wrist band, as Kitchens is above…they FUCK  plain and simple. Freddie was our Runningbacks coach, but was elevated when Haley was fired.  He was Quarterbacks Coach in Arizona, and is credited for being a big reason why Carson Palmer turned his career around.

This is neither here, nor there.  It is a nice connection to Arians, who is honestly my ideal candidate.  Who knows if he even wants to Coach anymore, I doubt he does.  Its a shame, because only a man with experience in MULTIPLE (coordinator, positional coach, head coach) NFL coaching roles, can save the Cleveland Browns.

4. John DeFilippo

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Flip!  Widely mentioned to fill numerous Head Coaching voids in the NFL, mainly due to his work as a Quarterbacks Coach in places like, Oakland, Philadelphia, Cleveland, and now Minnesota.  He has also spent time as the Browns Offensive Coordinator, and is currently in the same position in Minnesota.

I really, really like John DeFilippo.  He works wonders with Quarterbacks. The Browns offense was actually half decent under Flip.  No matter who played, they weren’t terrible.  We had Manziel, McCown, and Austin Davis playing at some point that season, and the offense always moved the ball.  Manziel’s only NFL success came with John DeFilippo calling plays.   Obviously, Flip played a major role in the development of Carson Wentz, as he spent the last two seasons in Philly as Quarterbacks Coach.

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The Browns haven’t been able to move the ball at all since Flip was the OC.  I swear that man works magic.   We just did not have the talent to score a lot of points, but we were always moving the ball.  All of the Quarterbacks looked good doing so, as well.  Now, Flip is doing his thing with Kirk Cousins, Adam Thielen, and Stefon Diggs in Minny.  He has that offense flying high (not hard to do, really).  Flip is high up on my wish-list.  He made me think weapons is all Johnny Football needed to be “The Guy”.  I salivate at the thought of Flip and Baker.

5. Gregg Williams

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I know it sounds stupid, but you gotta put Gregg on the short list, as of today.  I am not expecting this guy to be any good as a head coach.  I do think there is a very good reason why he has been nothing but a coordinator, since his one stint in Buffalo back in the early 2000’s. Curiously, Buffalo was his only head coaching gig.  Usually most guys who make the jump from Coordinator to Head Coach, get two kicks at the can with it.  Rex Ryan had two, Hue Jackson had two, Pete Carroll had two, Bill Belichick is still on his second stop as a HC (not counting the Jets), but Gregg only ever had one.

I went back and looked at the record, and he finished 17-31.  In his three seasons he went 3-13, 8-8, and 6-10.   Not great, but far from Hue Jackson, and probably deserved a second chance somewhere along the line.  He is getting that now, as the Interim Head Coach of the Cleveland Browns.

This is the sorta thing that Gregg Williams brings to the party.  A motivator type, who will probably get these guys to play hard, and competitive.  Now, why is he on the list?  Well if I am all horny over DeFilippo and Arians, due to their NFL coaching experience.  It is only fair to include Gregg in the same sense.  Gregg has been at it since the 80’s, in a multitude of Coaching Roles.  He has won a Super Bowl in New Orleans, as the teams Defensive Coordinator.  Yes he was a major part of the Bounty Scandal.  No comment on that.  Lets see what he can do, and by some miracle, the Browns win a bunch of games, he will be in consideration.

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Out of the 5 Candidates, who’s names have been thrown around as potential Head Coaches my order would be: Bruce Arians, John DeFilippo, Gregg Williams, Lincoln Riley, and that fucking stiff Matt Campbell.   This is all very early, it is likely we have a whole new list by December 1st, and different one again on January 1st.

This week the lowly Cleveland Browns welcome the Sack-less, Kansas City Chiefs into FirstEnergy Stadium.  You know my stance on the Chiefs as a true contender.  They are not one.  Mahomes is off to a wonderful start, and he is for sure the real deal.  Too bad they are still Coached by Andy Reid. This means that around this time they will start to struggle, or fade.  If they don’t fade in November, they’ll just wait for the playoffs.  With a Defense as bad as the Chiefs, they aren’t going anywhere that matters.  Jokes on me, neither are the Browns.  Just keep this one close.

Every Baker needs a Kitchen, bitches.

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Go Browns!

Titans Hire Mike Vrabel as Head Coach

It only took the Tenessee Titans a few days for them to name Mike Vrabel as their new head coach.

It was rumored that The Titans would possibly look at Patriots Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels, but it seems like he’s destined for Indianapolis. Hearing that news, the Titans jumped at the opportunity to hire Vrabel who had been with the Texans the past two seasons.

This is a good move — Vrabel played with the Patriots for the better part of a decade and was able to win multiple Super Bowls. He is a fiery guy who will take control of the organization almost immediately.

 

Are They Serious? The Bengals Extend Marvin Lewis For 2 More Years

News broke late Tuesday evening that the Bengals have decided to extend their coach Marvin Lewis amidst end of season rumblings that he would step down as coach after a dismal 2017 season by the Bengals.

Live look at Bengals’ fans:

Congratulations for spoiling the Ravens’ season, Bengals fans! Your reward? Another two years of absolutely no success!

It’s amazing how these types of organizations constantly drop the ball. Cleveland is doing everything in their power to make the worst possible decisions in the AFC North while the Bengals are doing their best to keep up. How you retain Marvin Lewis at this point makes zero sense. Sure — consistency is important in the NFL but you have made this man the second most tenured head coach (behind Belichick, mind you) and you have not gotten ONE single playoff win. 0-7 in the playoffs and they are stuck with Andy Dalton as their franchise QB.

Lewis has to be the nicest guy ever otherwise I have no idea how he got this extension because it is surely not due to coaching ability. Cincy had a trainwreck of a season and is wasting away AJ Green’s career at this point. I genuinely feel bad for the fans that thought it was a sure thing that he was leaving at the end of the season. Ohio has to be cursed for professional football.