At a time when some believe the Browns don’t really have a plan for replacing one-and-done head coach Rob Chudzinski, owner Jimmy Haslam has written (or at least reviewed, approved, and signed) a letter to fans encouraging patience and optimism.
The letter, addressed only to “Fans” (which apparently means anyone who isn’t should avert his or her eyes, which many “Fans” do when the team is playing its games), reads as follows, via Tony Grossi of ESPN Cleveland:
“I thought it was important to take a little bit of time to update you on our head-coach search. We have had the opportunity to speak to a number of outstanding candidates. We have purposefully been very methodical in our approach. We believe it is very important to stay disciplined to this process and to interview all of the candidates on our list. We are strongly committed to finding the right person to coach the Cleveland Browns.
“We understood from the beginning that if we wanted to speak to all of the coaches on our list that we may need to wait until they have completed their participation in the playoffs. We are prepared to wait as long as necessary because this is a very important decision. Everyone in our organization is committed to finding the right leader for our team.
“We believe the head coach of the Cleveland Browns to be a very attractive position. We have one of the youngest teams in the League, a roster that includes five Pro Bowlers. In addition, we have more salary-cap room than all but one NFL team. We also have three of the top 35 picks in the upcoming draft and five of the top 83 selections.
“We are very much looking forward to adding a strong coach to our football team. On behalf of the Cleveland Browns, I cannot thank you enough for your valuable support and passion that you show for our team.
“We look forward to communicating with you again after the search process is complete. Thank you again for your phenomenal support and loyalty.”
This means that a decision may not be made until after the Super Bowl, if any of the candidates on the list work for teams who’ll be coaching in the NFL’s annual championship game. The team reportedly is interested in Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase, but Gase has said he won’t interview for any jobs until the team’s season is over.
While the job is attractive, given the various Pro Bowlers and draft picks and $40 million in cap space, some candidates may be concerned about whether the coach will have the freedom to pick his own quarterback. With some reports indicating that Chudzinski’s tenure ended quickly in part because he didn’t embrace perceived front-office favorite Brian Hoyer, the next coach may have to work with the guy the front office drafts, signs, and/or otherwise endorses — even if the next coach doesn’t really believe in that guy.