CLEVELAND — So now the identity of the Cleveland Browns' future ex-GM is as unknown as the identity of the Browns' future ex-head coach.
Jimmy and Dee Haslam can’t tell you what their plan is from here. Not because they’d have to kill you.
Because they need somebody to tell them first.
Who will it be this time?
Paul DePodesta again? Somebody with six degrees of separation from Bill Belichick?
They haven’t had a plan since they followed the Rob Chudzinski firing by getting rid of Joe Banner and Mike Lombardi, then fired Mike Pettine and Ray Farmer, then Sashi Brown and Hue Jackson. (Honk, if I missed your name.)
They certainly don’t know the plan now that John Dorsey has followed Freddie Kitchens out of town.
In time, they will claim they do. They hinted at it in their statement. You might even hear them talk about finally “aligning” the organization with a GM that fits the head coach.
To which you could only say, “Better than a team sweatshirt fits the elf logo?”
There’s a report the new coach might even get a say about the next GM.
But if the Haslams think that’s a new approach, we’d like to direct their attention to the case of Mangini v. Kokinis.
When you change horses as much as this ownership has, there’s nothing new tied up in the stable.
You’ve taken that ride before.
The only thing I think we can rule out at this point is Sashi Brown walking through that door.
Not because the Haslams couldn’t be talked into the value of it, only because he’d be too smart to get caught up in this nonsense again.
No doubt hiring Kitchens was a big miss for Dorsey. What made it worse was that Kitchens was inside the organization last year and Dorsey still failed to see his shortcomings. At best he overestimated the Kitchens effect on Baker Mayfield. It was a huge miss.
Correcting one mistake (Kitchens) isn’t enough of a sea change for the Haslams (there’s a Titanic reference presenting itself here that I’ll spare you).
Two years ago, Dorsey’s institutional NFL knowledge was coveted by ownership but apparently not enough to get to hire a second coach?
That’s the recurring theme with this ownership. It’s not always one year and done. It’s often one big mistake and done.
Dorsey surely lost some traction in other areas, the draft being one. Talent evaluation is still what recommends him but he wasn’t as good at it as the fan base wanted to believe after so many past misses.
He took too many chances on suspect character, though we’re not sure that’s what the Haslams referred to when they cited things going astray on and off the field. They had veto power on character issues.
This is not a defense of the job Dorsey did. GMs make mistakes.
They blow some draft picks. They sometimes bet on the wrong coach. They trust in poor character.
It’s to say Browns fans spent two years arguing Dorsey vs. Sashi, parsing their differences and ignoring the bigger issue those two men had in common: the Haslams.
Parting ways with Dorsey was primarily about the Haslams, just as firing Brown and all the others were about the Haslams.
OK, not Hue. That was about Hue.
The reason for Browns fans to worry isn’t because Dorsey can’t be replaced. He can.
But just don’t get hooked when the Haslams trot out a shiny new car and brag about the alignment.
Ignore all talk of the next head coach “winning the press conference” as he most surely will.
Because the biggest reason to worry hasn’t changed.
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