If the Browns showed the same kind of reckless abandon on the field that their front office displays away from it, the team might actually become a contender.
At a time when the franchise is bracing for potentially significant penalties for violating the rules regarding in-game electronic communications, the Browns have jammed their way through a loophole that allows their technically-not-hired-yet quarterbacks coach to work with one of the top quarterback prospects in the draft — at a time when none of the other teams can even talk to him.
As noted earlier by Gantt, future Browns quarterbacks coach Kevin O’Connell currently is working with quarterback Marcus Mariota. Since the Browns haven’t officially hired O’Connell yet, the eventual employee can do things that he couldn’t do if he weren’t currently an employee.
“So let me get this straight,” a high-level executive with another team told PFT on Wednesday morning. “The Browns can have their quarterbacks coach in waiting work with a player, teach him the entire offense, etc., but we can’t even talk to any potential draft pick until the Combine per league rules? Something is wrong here.”
While the Browns have yet to publicly acknowledge that O’Connell will be getting the job, it has been widely reported that O’Connell will be getting the job. NFL Media, partially owned by the Browns, has reported that the Browns will hire O’Connell — and the Browns have never refuted it.
Even if the league looks the other way on this one, the know-it-when-you-see-it decision of the Browns to brazenly flaunt the rules won’t do much to encourage lenience when the time comes to drop the hammer over the brazen flaunting of the rules that resulted in G.M. Ray Farmer, either acting alone or at the behest of those above him (bet the over), to send text messages to the coaching staff during games.