Haslam tells fans that Browns will wait “as long as necessary” to get the right coach


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.

66 responses to “Haslam tells fans that Browns will wait “as long as necessary” to get the right coach

  1. The players on the roster are attractive. Check.

    The fan base is passionate. Check

    The management is…oh, never mind.

    The owner is…yikes

    I would never get over losing Ozzie and BB et al. Never. Let alone the fiasco brewing today…

  2. One of the challenges to the “plan” Mr. Haslam details is the Head Coach needs strong assistants to succeed. By waiting until AFTER the Super Bowl the stronger assistants are already committed elsewhere. Frankly we have seen that in Cleveland before.

    When the Browns hired Romeo Crennel he had a difficult time putting his first staff together because the Browns had to wait to hire him until after the Super Bowl.

    Further its not just Head Coaching candidates that are concerned about taking a job in Cleveland. Everyone forgets the Assistants have to move their families too.

    As much as Jimmy doenst want to understand it–this isn’t the plum job he thinks it is.

  3. None of the positives outweigh having to work for the trio of Haslam, Banner and Lombardi. The Browns coach will end up being a guy who sees no other chances to become an NFL head coach this year, or probably ever, and therefore tries to succeed despite the odds against him. How often has that worked out well in the past? At least he will get paid well.

    Great job by the Cleveland brain trust. Browns fans (not one myself) deserve far better than this.

  4. “Haslam tells fans that Browns will wait “as long as necessary” to get the right coach”


    How long will it take to get the right owner? These guys aren’t going to get the ‘right’ coach. The “right” coach wouldn’t touch this job for all the tea in China. Who’d want to coach this gong show after seeing how this organization treated the last coach(s)? It’s going to be a coordinator looking for his first gig in the big chair who is green and idealistic enough to think he can make a difference with this mess.

  5. It is an attractive job if you discount the front office, division they play in, an impatient owner, no quarterback, no runningback, and no plan for how the team should be built.

  6. I don’t know it seems there was a lot of struggle over the roster with regards to the front office and coaching staff. In the end can you blame the front office for holding Weeden’s playing time over Chud’s head? It’s pretty obvious the front office was right about Hoyer.

    Really I think it has more to do with Chud and Turner’s unwillingness to adapt. Whoever ends up being the new head coach is, it will be someone who’s not married to a system.

    Coaches who can’t/won’t adapt, don’t experience long term success.

  7. front office wanted Hoyer to start. Chudzinski and his staff didn’t. hmm who played better? Hoyer, Weeden or the other journeyman. his judgement in qbs should have him banned from coaching in the nfl for life.

  8. If Chud was against or didn’t embrace starting Hoyer to begin with last year, even though he was the best QB on the Roster, than he deserved to get canned.

  9. Putting some pieces together: still looking for a head coach, 3 of the top 35 picks, stout defense, breakout receive and tight end…their guy is still coaching in the playoffs, and I think it’s an offensive coach. Considering the QBs at the top of the draft, I think they snag Wilson or Kaepernick’s offensive coordinator, Bevell or Roman.

  10. Why would they be interested in Denver’s OC? Manning makes any coach look great. Cleveland should identify a lower level coach (QB coach or another position coach) and hire them. Just because someone is a successful coordinator doesn’t automatically mean they will be a good head coach. They have spent 2 off seasons in a row looking for head coaches. They need to find the hidden gem.

  11. Patience is a virtue, if he does get the right person then this will be a dangerous team. That extra draft pick and the cap room are all this team needs to get a huge talent upgrade to go alongside a lot of other young players they have. Even if they hire a complete dolt they might be able to crack the playoffs. CIN could end up taking a hit next year for all we know and BAL and PIT have serious issues too so this division could be a good prediction of one that has an unexpected winner next year.

    CLE is a dark-brown horse right now, but a poor hunter might not be able to see the pulse past the mud.

  12. From what it sounds like Chud was the type of guy who would say Tom Brady played well by Drew Bledsoe is our starting quarterback or better yet Brett Favre was ok but we came in with Don Majkowski and he’s our leader.

    Yet the fans crying for this guy to keep his job are calling the front office stooges? HOYER DIDN’T LOOSE 1 GAME THIS SEASON….THEY WERE RIGHT!

  13. thestrategyexpert, we’ve been hearing that every offseason for years now. “Next year they’ll turn it around.” “Watch out for the Browns next season.” “The Browns have young talent and will be a force soon.”

    Please… They have the most pathetic franchise in the league. If you want to kill your career, go to Cleveland.

  14. usher716 says:
    Jan 15, 2014 11:00 AM
    So will the 2014 Browns be the first team to start the season without a coaching staff?
    Considering the last few coaches, they might be better off.

    I agree with firing Chud, seeing as they picked Weeden over Hoyer. That offense worked with Hoyer. It did not work with Weeden or Campbell. If that was the best QB evaluation these guys could do, they should never coach again.

  15. I’m tired of this guy spinning everything. Sorry, Jimmy, nobody believes you anymore. When the carpet bagger changes our uniforms I’m burning the stadium down!!!!!

  16. Haslam sounds like the 50 year old woman who is still waiting for Mr. Right to come along. She demands tall dark and handsome who enjoys listening to her as they walk along a beach. When you tell her that those guys have wives or boyfriends already and that you will probably have to settle for less you know, like Norv or Marty or Shanny they become delusional.

  17. Haslam also went on to say that he was going to institute a system of “rebates” for season ticket holders with each loss giving them “credits” that in reality they will never receive.

  18. If these Denver coaches are all the product of Peyton Manning who else will be there to interview? What about the assistant coaches? As Flo says “….these are troubling times in the….” Dawg Pound

  19. I will take the job.
    I can not guarantee we will win much. but I will take half as much salary as the next guy, I will do what ever ownership wants, and when everything falls apart you can just blame and fire me. Win, win for a team that probably will not “win” many games anyway.

  20. What he’s saying is they are trying to figure out a way to get Romeo Crennel out of his new contract with the Texans so they can hire him.

    Or trying to figure a way to sell Mangini to the fans again.

  21. 1rockyracoon says: Jan 15, 2014 11:14 AM

    Why would they be interested in Denver’s OC? Manning makes any coach look great.


    See: Jim Caldwell

  22. Chud made some decisions he had to be accountable for. QB and RB are two that were on him. If you have to ask what they were, you shouldn’t be involved in the conversation. I haven’t noticed any other teams knocking on his door. Oh and the made up story by Ian Rapphead or whatever his name is about other coaching candidates calling Chud is laughable. I can give you over ten million reasons why Chud has said nothing.

  23. Remember when the Raiders had to hire a former, retired, coach because they couldn’t find anyone to take the job?

    This sure does smell the same.

  24. gambletowinbig says:
    Jan 15, 2014 11:57 AM
    If these Denver coaches are all the product of Peyton Manning who else will be there to interview? What about the assistant coaches? As Flo says “….these are troubling times in the….” Dawg Pound

    Greg Roman OC Niners
    Darell Bevell OC Seahawks
    Dan Quinn DC Seahawks

  25. Instead of addressing the letter to “Fans”, he should have addressed it to “Dear Screwing you again”

  26. While it is fair to criticize Chud for some of his choices this year (i.e. Hoyer not embraced), but this is the front office that chose to hire him just one year ago. So having a head coach so out of synch with what the front office wants to do is still the fault of the Three Stooges when they hired him in the first place.

  27. Haslam is under the mistaken impression that the fans believe what he spins.
    The Browns will wait foe Gase from Denver and then overwhelm him with money. The front office will run the team through Gase and Haslam will be best buds with Peyton Manning through the hire. It’ll all work out.
    Except they’ll blow the draft, go 3-13 next year and chalk it all up to being part of the “process”.
    It’s really, really hard to care about this team the way it’s being run. The best thing that could happen to the Browns is an empty stadium eight times next year. Then Jimmy might get the message.

  28. As long as necessary? How long are we to wait? It’s been 50 years since our last championship. Just hire somebody and let him coach. The Browns used to to be an organization with at least some class. They have sucked ever since Marty Schottenheimer was fired. People were enraged when Modell moved the Browns to Baltimore, but the old Browns really died when Marty left. The new Browns have no class.

  29. Funny thing here is, the plan is to wait for a chance to interview someone, by then everyone else will have a job, then they are stuck with their 4th or 5th choice, just like last year……..

    So in essence there is no improvement from the front office from last year, and that’s why they fired Chud right??

    Bring back Chud and fire Banner….

  30. For all the Randy Lerner haters, how’s a new “involved” owner taste?

    As much as Lerner’s decisions didn’t pan out, let’s not forget he was willing to backup the Brinks truck for Bill Cowher. Cowher’s unwillingness to come out of retirement and the Weeden/not getting RGIII draft fiasco probably sealed his fate.

    Randy Lerner might have made bad decisions, but at least he attempted to put the right football people in place and didn’t make decisions that he KNEW he wasn’t qualified to make.

    What would you rather have? Your owner watching his soccer team or trying to stick his nose in places he clearly doesn’t belong? I’ll take the former.

  31. so let me get this straight the Front Office believes that Brian Hoyer is the franchise qb. Hoyer goes down early this past season and the team suffers. If this is how the front office thinks why did Chudzinski lose his job? How many teams in the NFL would would tank if they lost their franchise qb?! Chud should have gotten a chance to coach the team for a full season with a healthy Hoyer. With thinking like this I guess it what makes the Browns, well, the Browns!

  32. Whatever, Jimmy. This guy has burned through any credibility he had coming into town between the Pilot Flying J scandal, hiring Lombardi and firing Chud 11 months after preaching “stability” and “sustained success.”

    The bottom line is nobody wants to work with Banner/Lombardi. Last year, everyone who remembered Lombardi’s first tenure in Cleveland with access to a microphone told anyone who would listen what a snake Lombardi is. Jimmy (obviously) didn’t listen.

    We were so optimistic when Randy Lerner sold the team but the now the new regime is starting to re-run some of the same mistakes we’ve already seen. We’re going to get Unproven Coordinator Guy, he’s going to flame out in 2 years and then Halsam will fire Banner/Lombardi and hand the keys to the entire franchise and a truck full of cash to a Savior Dictator who has never run a personnel department. This will not work and we’ll be back to the “strong GM and coach tandem.” Rinse, repeat.

    These egomaniacs continue to insult our intelligence because they honestly think we’re stupid and will accept whatever they tell us. What they don’t realize is they’ve only been here a year while we’ve been at this our whole lives. We’ve seen this movie before.

    What irritates me the most about Banner/Lombardi is that they refuse to even INTERVIEW Jim Tressel (despite his expressed interest in the gig) because they don’t want any potential threat to their power remotely close. If you removed the names from the resumes, Tressel would be by far the most qualified candidate. The argument that he’s “just a college coach” is ridiculous when you see the success Jim Harbaugh, Pete Carroll and Chip Kelly have had in recent years (not to mention Jimmy Johnson or, you know, Paul Brown). The knock about his “conservative offense” is also a joke: he ran the ball a lot at OSU bc it worked. He’s smart. He’s in the business of doing what works. He’ll adapt. I guarantee you that if Tressel got alone in a room with Jimmy Haslam that he’d be the next coach of the Browns. Unfortunately Banner and Lombardi will never let that happen because they’d be out of a job within a year. Much safer for them to plod along with Skippy the Coordinator Guy.

    It is long past overdue that we hold the Browns to the same accountability standard as the Indians and Cavaliers. No more of this Cubs of the NFL BS where we continue to sell the place out bc we want to party. It’s time to vote with our wallets – starting with my season tickets.

  33. This Browns fan gave up his season tickets after the 2007 season. This Browns fan sold his PSLs for a PROFIT.

    This Browns fan is still waiting the day that the Browns make him regret selling.

  34. It’s cute how he’s pretending that this isn’t about the fact that everyone they really wanted has already turned them down.

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