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Toughest Offseason Decision: How to develop a winning identity?
Easier said than done, right?
If the Browns fanbase was underwhelmed by a sneaky-good head coaching hire in former Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski, all was made up for by the coordinator appointments.
Norv Tuner has finally returned to the role in which he belongs at offensive coordinator, and he will aid hugely in the development of whatever quarterback Cleveland rides into the future.
Ray Horton was arguably the best defensive coordinator in football during his time in Arizona. He only became available due to new Cardinals general manager Steve Keim mishandling Arizona's coaching succession following the departure of Ken Whisenhunt.
The new Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens reside in the AFC North, as does a young, improving Bengals team. The Steelers are obviously on a bit of a down-tick, but even so, the Browns have a 4-22 record against Pittsburgh since 2000.
In order to win NFL championships, teams have to win divisions, or at least contend for them. This will simply not be happening in Cleveland unless the Browns continue with the trend that began in 2012 with the transition in ownership and general attitude.
Whether this includes making a change at QB, going back to Colt McCoy, sticking it out with Brandon Weeden or finding a new one via the draft or free agency, something has to change.
The quarterback needs weapons outside of Josh Gordon, and Josh Cribbs does not count as a weapon. Cribbs is scheduled to hit free agency, and the club would be wise not to pay him—stacking on the the near $50 million they will have in cap space to do something worthwhile with.
Out with the old, in with the new. Whether it is a premiere pass-rusher, a cornerback like Brent Grimes to replace Sheldon Brown opposite Joe Haden, a wide receiver like Greg Jennings to complement Josh Gordon or all of the above.
A commitment to winning must be made. The sets of decisions that lead to successfully changing a culture might the toughest of any.