Cleveland Browns Owner Jimmy Haslam addressed the media this afternoon after the firings of Head Coach Freddie Kitchens and General Manager John Dorsey. Owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam will now embark on their 5th head coaching search since buying the team in 2012. While Jimmy said many things, here are a some key takeaways from today’s presser:
The ‘Search Committee’
The team that will try and find the right coach will consist of Jimmy and Dee Haslam, Executive President J.W. Johnson, Chief Strategy Officer Paul DePodesta, and VP of Football Administration Chris Cooper.
The one name in that committee that isn’t familiar for most Browns’ fans is Chris Cooper. Cooper has 12 years of NFL experience, six working at NFL Headquarters, and the last six with the Cleveland Browns. He works mostly with player contracts, manages salary cap, and is the team liaison with the NFL and NFL Players Association. Clearly the men sticking around all have had Jimmy’s ear in the past. Good or bad…we will find out.
Qualities they’re looking for
Jimmy Haslam said they are looking for these qualities out of their next Head Coach:
- Strong leader
- Smart & has good football acumen
- Work well within the organization
- Continuous learner
We have heard most of these things before, but what stood out was that he said he talked to most players and they stated they wanted a strong leader. It seems that Freddie Kitchens might have been a little lenient this year, and these guys want someone who they respect and will play hard for.
Head Coach before GM
Jimmy Haslam stated the Browns will hire the coach first, and then he will be “heavily involved” in helping them choose their General Manager.
“If you look at the successful organizations that are consistently in the playoffs, there is alignment within the organization, and they have the right people in the right place, coach and GM,” Haslam said. “That’s what we’re focused on tremendously, and that alignment is something that is really, really important.”
It’s important that the relationship between these two individuals is strong. Let’s hope the team has learned over the past years of forcing opposite minded individuals to work together.
Coach and GM will report to ownership
We all know how important the structure of this will be. We have seen plenty of instances since the team came back in 99′ where the relationship between Head Coach, GM, and ownership hasn’t worked. This time around Jimmy Haslam stated that both will report directly to ownership and this will not be another “arranged marriage”.
Haslam comments on Baker Mayfield
One of the main factors going into this search will be finding the men that can maximize Baker Mayfield’s talent heading into year three. After the sophomore slump, finding the right minds to mold Mayfield will be of utmost importance.
“Baker caught a lot of grief this year. With everything that was asked, put on his plate, he did a remarkable job. We need to do everything we can to help Baker to realize his full potential.”
With the window closing faster on the potential franchise QB’s rookie contract, year 3 is going to be the most important season for both 6 and the Cleveland Browns future.