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Cleveland Browns |
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10/30/18 7:14 PM
Roughly four years ago, the Browns became the first NFL team to aggressively use analytics. They've had the league's worst record in that time. Part of that is due to the strategy of tanking which is a byproduct of analytics for teams in need of a rebuild.
The other reason for the Browns' delayed returns on their tanking investments is their failure to hire a good head coach and failure to draft a good quarterback.
No matter how many draft assets are obtained through tanking, trading veteran players for draft picks, etc., NFL teams will never win Super Bowls unless they have the right head coach--who is usually the most important person in the football organization--or a good to great quarterback, the most important position on the team by far. Usually both of those are needed for consistent greatness.
The Browns finally think they have their quarterback of the future in Baker Mayfield. We'll see.
Hue Jackson will not be present for the potential blossoming of Mayfield. After compiling a 3-36-1 record as head coach of the Browns the past few seasons, Jackson was finally fired by new GM John Dorsey with the blessings of owner Jimmy Haslam. Haslam wanted Jackson as his coach and is likely responsible for Jackson surviving even beyond an 0-16 season.
Offensive coordinator Todd Haley was fired at the same time. Haley and Jackson--himself an offensive coordinator--openly fueded. Haslam stated upon the firings that this was not an acceptable way of operating.
Haley and Jackson are known for their strong personalities, so this was of no surprise.
Of some surprise was the elevation to interim head coach of a third strong personality--defensive coordinator Gregg "BountyGate" Williams.
Williams is a disciple of Buddy Ryan, who at times as defensive coordinator of the Bears in the 80s, undermined head coach Mike Ditka. Williams--for his part as defensive coordonator--undermined Joe Gibbs, Sean Payton, and even got into it with Jeff Fisher. But head coaches sometimes make Faustian bargains when hiring their defensive coordinators.
71 year old former head coach and former offensive coordinator Al Saunders--who was on the same Redskins staff with Williams under Gibbs 2.0, was rumored to be the interim head coach before Williams got the nod.
A strange and perhaps anachronistic coaching carousel going on in Cleveland. This organization is schizophrenic in its analytics.
They've acquired massive draft assets which are currently bearing fruit. That's consistent with the analytic approach. Draft and develop.
But their coaching decisions have been strange and entirely opposed to the principles of PsychoAnalytics, which says it's best to go with young, progressive, analytical types who stress harmony and communication.
35 year old quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor of the Rams fits the profile of a progressive hire as head coach for this team. He may be the right guy to help develop Mayfield.
Haslam--with help from Dorsey--may finally hit his stride and figure it out. We'll see.
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