When the Cleveland Browns announced that Executive Vice President of Football Operations Sashi Brown was fired, the move was a surprise to many Browns fans. Not because of the fact that he was fired but because of the timing. Why with just a few weeks left in the regular season? Whatever the reasoning, the new hire, who would end up being general manager John Dorsey, now receives extra time to evaluate the current talent and prepare for the upcoming offseason and the 2018 NFL Draft.
In the same statement that owner Jimmy Haslam announced that Brown was let go, he also announced that head coach Hue Jackson — who was 1-27 as the head coach of the Browns when the statement was made and now 1-28 following Sunday’s overtime come-from-ahead loss to the Green Bay Packers — would remain the head coach of the Browns in 2018.
Yes, Cleveland is the first team in NFL history to start 0-13 in two-consecutive seasons and have won just one game the last two seasons. Somehow their coach is safe. How does that make sense? Even if he is the coach in 2018, what’s the point of making that statement securing his job with a month left in the season? With a new general manager, there were some who questioned why Dorsey would not be allowed to bring in his own coach. Only Jimmy Haslam and the Browns, right?
Then, Sunday happened. In his first game as general manager, Dorsey looked on, sitting next to Haslam in the owner’s suite. Following the Browns giving up a 14-point fourth-quarter lead, reports leaked that he may indeed want to remove Jackson as head coach. At least according to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio.
The persistent sense in league circles is that new G.M. John Dorsey, who sat right next to Haslam throughout Sunday’s loss to the Packers, will eventually make the case for making his own hire at head coach. And if the Browns go 0-16, Dorsey’s case may be much more persuasive.
Dorsey is passionate and energetic, and if he has enough chances to communicate his views directly to Haslam, it’s possible that Haslam will change his mind. Really, what would the consequence be if Haslam declares in three weeks that we should ignore what he said about keeping Hue?
It’s not known who Dorsey would hire, if he gets the chance to hire his own coach. But it’s believed that he knows who he’d hire, which is all that really matters at this point.
While it’s not known who Dorsey prefers as head coaching candidates, if Jackson is eventually fired this offseason, there are plenty of options. None of them have gone 1-28 in their last 29 games either.
In his only other time hiring a head coach, Dorsey brought in veteran head coach Andy Reid to the Chiefs prior to the 2014 season. Reid has gone 50-27 in Kansas City since.
One name to keep an eye on is Matt Nagy, who is currently the co-offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs. Given Dorsey’s ties to the Chiefs and Nagy’s name being floated around for head coach vacancies this offseason, it could be a perfect match.