While Randy Lerner continues to search for his football, “Czar”, he needs to score a touchdown with this guy. Whoever comes in needs to have the knowledge of how to put together a football team, the power needed to hold people accountable and the foresight to see what’s already in place. The Browns don’t need somebody with a huge ego, that’s going to come in and tear everything up.
The Browns organization needs proven guidance from the top. That has been the major need since Ernie Accorsi left Cleveland in 1992. Getting the right man in place is a must. Lerner cannot afford to fumble the ball this time.
At first glance, if you look at the entire season and the 2-11 record, most will think a major over haul is needed. If you break it down into separate parts, you have to be impressed with where the Browns are at this point in the season.
The Cleveland players have come together as a team. They haven’t quit. In fact they seem to be improving even with all the injuries they’ve had. Most teams would have packed it in and embarrassed themselves the rest of the season. For this team, the embarrassments have already come and gone. They now have become a team with plenty of heart, much like their best player, Josh Cribbs. Don’t get me wrong, the Browns have needs, they need to hit some homeruns in the draft, but this team has come a long way since the Minnesota game in week one.
As soon as Eric Mangini was hired at the end of last season, turmoil was created. Mangini seemed to upset both players and fans with every decision he made. He definately brought much needed accountability and work ethic to the team but there was no one to hold him accountable. Lerner allowed Mangini to virtually hire his own GM in George Kokinis, who was fired in mid season. Mangini can coach, he knows football, he does need a strong person above him to answer to.
When I look at this team, I see a team that needs an offensive coordinator. Brian Daboll is a rookie at the position and has really struggled in both play calling and teaching. I think Brady Quinn has the ability to become the QB the Browns hoped he would be but needs someone to elevate his development. Cleveland does not need to draft a QB, this will let them fill other needs, like a big time safety.
Rob Ryan has done a solid job with the defense. Forget the overall stats, injuries have depleted his resources but he has continued to plug players into his system and get results. Ryan is a keeper.
That brings us to Mangini. If he is willing to make a few changes and work within the organization instead of being the all and powerful Mangini, then I say keep him. Like I said, this team is playing hard and has come a long way from all the changes he’s made and the discipline he’s brought. Mangini may not be getting many Christmas cards from his players but his team is improving.
For the first time in many years, I’ve really enjoyed the effort this team has been giving the last few games. I can see a strong nucleus in place. There’s no need to blow it up, just hire the right “Czar.”