So, at the half-way point of the season, does a team really need a coach? I mean, sure, ideally, you are supposed to have one right? But in predictable form, (check out my earlier article from the beginning of the season.) the Cleveland Browns have fired not only head coach Hue Jackson. Just hours later they fired new offensive coordinator Todd Haley. Why did this happen and what does this mean for the Browns future? Let’s talk about it.
How Many Coaching Changes Are Too Many?
Ok, realistically, not every coach fits every team. We know this and sometimes a change has to come. However, since 2012 this is the fourth coaching change Browns owner Jimmy Haslam has made. Sure the Browns aren’t putting up wins and the coach is going to be one of the first things blamed. But let’s look at the bigger picture. Even though the past few years the Browns are the hapless team in the NFL.
Many weeks their play is a lot better than their record. They just can’t seem to seal the deal, even in the very close games. Something will happen to snatch victory away from them. Remember last week’s 59-yard field goal? 59 yards? Really? Who thinks that they are going to lose that way, so that isn’t a coaching fail. But of course, a large lead would have prevented a last-minute miracle kick.
Did Personalities Come Into Play In Their Firings?
We don’t get to see much behind the scenes that the teams don’t want us to see. But there were talks about feuding or discord between Jackson and Haley. This story doesn’t surprise a lot of Pittsburgh Steelers fans, as Haley is known to not be a pleasant person behind the scene or even on the sidelines. Of course, some of the best coaches of all time have had a temper and knew how to yell. But they also had the respect of the team they coached showing that they could be tough when needed as well as a good leader. That is a combination that every team needs.
Is it a combination of poor performance and poor personality that led to both men being fired within hours of each other. Although, it could have also been hasty. Two major changes like this in the middle of the season is rarely something that can lead to wins. Former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has moved up to interim coach. Also, former running back coach Freddie Kitchens is now in the offensive coordinators position. How well this will work out for the Browns we will see.
An Owner’s Frustration
I have said it many times before and we have to remember it as fans. Bottom line, the NFL is a business, and the only way for it to be a successful business is to be able to bank wins. Of course, there is team loyalty and there are fans who have loved their team for years and will continue to do so to the bitter end. But this isn’t something that any team can count on. Fans get angry, fans get fed up and sometimes wander to other teams.
Haslam is simply trying to find the path that works. The best scenario would be Williams and Kitchens take the bull by the horns. Embracing the promotions they have and molding the Browns into a team that can push through the fourth quarter and pick-up wins. One of their biggest problems is not being able to finish the game.
The Browns are a team that has a horrible combination of talented but rough around the edges players. As well as some horrendous luck and problems focusing. Hopefully, for their fans, the coaching changes can bring about the spark needed to push the team higher in the division standings. They have occupied the basement of the division long enough and should get the view of the first floor soon. Play on.
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