Cleveland Head Coaching Search Mercifully Ends
Well, that was thorough.
The Cleveland Browns' giggle-inducing search for a new head coach has finally concluded, as former Bills and Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine will have the distinct pleasure of captaining this rudderless ship into the abyss.
If you recall, the firing of former head coach Rob Chudzinski after only one season necessitated this search. Granted, it was a 4-12 season, but the actions of the Browns front office could be interpreted as somewhat reactionary, and several players were stunned at this development.
The Browns clearly struggled, but were forced to use three different quarterbacks and did show some promise early in the season. However, the decision makers in Cleveland felt that stability and consistency are not terribly important factors to consider in the process of building a successful franchise. For those keeping score at home, this makes seven head coaches since 1999. That seems like a lot.
By all accounts, Mike Pettine is a well-respected defensive mind who has enjoyed success in several locations. However, he may be about to plumb previously unknown depths of futility and mediocrity by signing up for this gig.
This Cleveland front office does not exactly inspire confidence. Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner have intimated this head-coaching search was long and tedious by design and that they were just trying to find the right fit. This assessment does not seem to be based in reality at all.
The Browns could not have possibly wanted this fiasco to last almost a full month. They were publicly spurned by several candidates, including Denver offensive coordinator Adam Gase and New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who were both considered to be front-runners for the position.
Haslam is now, of course, saying all the right things regarding Pettine and is showering his new head coach with endless platitudes. That is super duper.
However, it's clear that Pettine was not even a blip on the radar at the beginning of this odyssey, and to suggest otherwise is just plain silly. Pettine is highly competent and deserving of the position, but there must be a reason that many around the league obviously find the Cleveland job to be so completely unappealing. It is a sobering indictment on the franchise.
I wish Pettine well. There is certainly young talent on this roster in the form of Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron, in addition to two first round picks in the upcoming draft. If they can solve the quarterback dilemma, there could be something here.
However, they are still the Browns, and you get the feeling this doom-stricken clown car of a franchise will figure out a way to muck it up.