Following the 2011 NFL regular season, Browns owner Randolph Lerner will meet with Browns executives for the owner’s evaluation of the team. This is not going to be an acrimonious finger-pointing session where desks are cleaned out.
You see, those changes—if any occur—will happen prior to this important strategic meeting.
The attendees will be Lerner, president Mike Holmgren, GM Tom Heckert, executive VP Bryan Wiedmeier, Sr. advisor Gil Haskell, player personnel director Jon Sandusky, director of college scouting John Spytek, Sr. national scout Pat Roberts and head coach Pat Shurmur.
The agenda should look something like this, with the presenters in parentheses:
1. Review of 2011 goals, performance and the long-range (strategic) plan (Holmgren).
2. Review of player personnel—a high-level overview (Heckert).
3. Assessing team personnel needs consistent with the strategic plan (Shurmer).
4. Free agency and salary cap—a high-level overview (Heckert, Roberts and Shurmer).
5. Draft strategy consistent with the strategic plan (Heckert, Spytek and Shurmur).
6. Establish goals for 2012 and discuss possible adaptations to the strategic plan (Holmgren).
There must be unanimous agreement on points three thru six. A consensus of opinion on any point will be viewed by Lerner as a failure unless points three, four and/or five present divergent scenarios that impact the Browns' strategic planning.
Analysis of the offensive and defensive schemes would be the most likely areas where divergent scenarios emerge, and it will be Lerner’s decision that determines which scenario will be adhered to in all future decision-making.
One such case where divergent scenarios will undoubtedly present itself is the West Coast Offense. Keep it, modify it or scrap it.
In my next column, we will examine the WCO and the hard choices that will have to be made. In other columns, I’ll offer some detailed analysis of the transition to the 4-3 defense, special teams, the offensive coordinator position, free agency and the NFL draft.