According to reports by Mary Kay Cabot announcing the hiring of quarterbacks coach Mark Whipple, it was noted that the Browns might go without an offensive coordinator. I won’t say that this is my worst nightmares realized, but it gives me pause.
Pretty much everyone I know assumed this was a possibility as soon as Pat Shurmur told the world he would be calling his own plays. What offensive coordinator worth his salt would ever want to work as an offensive coordinator without the biggest responsibility that generally comes with the job? It would be like getting a chef’s job and then planning the menu but not being allowed to touch the stove or oven. Anyone who desires the responsibility of guiding the offense almost invariably wants to be in charge of executing it as well.
So naturally the Browns sit without an offensive coordinator in place and I just have to wonder why? Why do the Browns always have to do things just a little bit differently? The prototypical coaching staff is made up of a head coach, defensive coordinator and offensive coordinator. Sure, the head coach has a specialty, but only in certain cases does the coach call his own plays. Off the top of my head, Ken Whisenhunt is probably the newest coach on the block that has called his own plays. Andy Reid is probably the most experienced of the bunch to do it. So, it isn’t like it is totally unheard of.
Some of this is my own neurosis. I had this vision of the Browns hiring a young guy and getting the most experienced coordinators available to help guide him along. Now that it isn’t going to happen, I don’t want to sound like a whiny baby, but it is going to take a bit for me to warm up to the idea. I am sure by the time the season rolls around, I will find a way to talk myself into it.
Why shouldn’t I talk myself into it? This organization went out and found a supremely experienced defensive coordinator when they hired Dick Jauron. They hired an offensive minded head coach that shares Mike Holmgren’s offensive style. Mike Holmgren’s offensive style is additionally represented in the organization by Holmgren’s senior advisor Gil Haskell. Instead of trying to help Brian Daboll run a system that Holmgren and company aren’t familiar with, they will now all be pulling and pushing in the same direction, presumably.
And “presumably” is the most important word about everything you read from here until the Browns play their first game next season. All I can do is tell you what the best case scenarios are and how I think it could work out. In the end all you can do is look at things with a couple assumptions.
First you have to assume the Browns are true to their word and want a single vision as they move forward. Secondly, you have to assume the Browns are doing exactly what they think is best to create a winner on Sundays. They won’t get everything right, but assuming those two facts will help deliver clarity to the fan base as the Browns continue to make moves and decisions this off-season. We don’t always have to agree with what they do, but it is important to try and understand what Holmgren and company view as “the best laid plans.” I just hope allowing Pat Shurmur to call his own plays doesn’t “go astray.”