NFL writer Steve Doerschuk goes outside the blog to comment on what followers of the orange helmets are saying about the moves of January on Fresh Brownies. Owner Jimmy Haslam takes it on the chin and gets a little love from certain contributors.
For better or for worse, the new owner and the new right-hand man have the public buzzing.
As Jimmy Haslam and Joe Banner add the next elements to their first big hire, Rob Chudzinski, a world of Browns is watching. How the Haslam-Banner act is playing in public can be reviewed daily in the comments section of Fresh Brownies, our blog whose locker room is CantonRep.com.
Here’s some of what you are opining on the blog, and some of what we think.
• “Mock_draft24” says:
“I will always be a Browns fan, but they may have to lock me into an asylum if they switch to a 3-4 and the defense isn't immediately as good or better than it was in 2012.”
We say: Continuity is best if there is a good thing going, but change can work. After Eric Mangini’s 3-4 was flushed, Dick Jauron’s 4-3 flourished — his 2011 defense ranked 10th in the league in yards-based defense and fifth in scoring defense, both expansion-era bests. The dexterity of the next coordinator and the health of key players can offset upheaval.
• “Kettering’ says:
“Frankly. I haven't seen anything from this new regime to really give me hope. They talk a big game, but what has really been different than what we've been watching the past 14 years? A lot of promise. A lot of process. A lot of ‘things are changing.’ But is this team really on a much better path than it was three weeks ago? Are we really more stable? Have we really upgraded the coaching position? Will we really upgrade the GM position?”
We say: Good questions.
• “Posternutbag” said:
“With the hiring of Chudzinksi, I hope they don't rename the stadium The Original Sadness Factory.”
We say: Browns fans have endured many sleepless nights, whether using the products conceived by Ron Trzcinski’s Original Mattress Factory, or not.
• “Lawdog” suspects top head coaching and general manager candidates have been scared off by Banner:
“Nobody wants to come here because they have to answer to Banner on football decisions. He isn't qualified to make football decisions. Mike Holmgren wasn't qualified to be the team's president. He was qualified to coach the team. Banner should stick to the business side. Why oh why do we consistently try to fit a square peg into a round hole in Cleveland?”
We say: Banner hung around the Eagles long enough to absorb a library of football knowledge, enough, at least, to function in the kind of role Marty Hurney played in Carolina.
Hurney was as a sports writer who sort of fell into the NFL and worked his way up to general manager. He knew what he didn’t know and served as a common-sense moderator when the real football guys got in arguments. The Panthers reached a Super Bowl in his second year. If Banner mediates without meddling, it can work.
Page 2 of 2 - • Lawdog also said:
“Joey Bananas, as some fellow Browns fans like to call Banner, is leaving his mark on the team.”
• “Madmike” says:
“I'm not going to jump to conclusions on what the record will be this year other than to say it will be dismal. There won't be enough time with mini-camps and pre-season to get the team to evolve into a new offense. I don't see the team at .500 until '14 or '15.”
We say: The madness of three seasons above .500 since the start of the 1990 season has left a mark.
• “Bornin65” lives near Chudzinski’s native Toledo but says “Chud” could have been from Plano, Texas, and he’d have liked the hire.
“It took me a few minutes to get past the shock, but I like it. I will be anxious to see him angry, see him in charge, see some emotion. I hope he indeed has that strong personality and charisma needed to lead. All of the other requirements for being a successful head coach seem to be there.”
We say: Ah, the million-dollar question with “Chud.” He’s not a stick-in-the-mud, but his average-Joe personality raises questions about his ability to inspire. He can only be himself, though. Coaches who try to be thespians against their nature usually flop. Bill Belichick is no Lincoln, for what that’s worth.
• “Buzznukem” says:
“Chud is one of us. He WANTS to be in Cleveland. When was the last time that happened? (Bernie Kosar.)”
We say: Joe Jurevicius comes to mind. It’s not a cast of thousands.
• “OhHappyDay” says that’ll be the day if the Browns go after a certain quarterback from Banner’s former organization:
“Michael Vick as a Brown would end it for me.”
We say: We think Haslam, Banner and Chudzinski have agreed on Brandon Weeden, whose big arm fits the new coach’s love of downfield throws, as a viable long-term option. That doesn’t exclude other viable options. Vick isn’t one.
• “Slyster” says:
“Like the Chudzinksi hire. Good offensive mind with link to Norv Turner. Playoffs in 2013. You heard it here first!”
We say: The public might enjoy that.
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