Browns job could come down to an in-house tug of war

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The Browns reportedly are considering Freddie Kitchens and Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski are the two finalists for the head-coaching job. How that question gets resolved may come down to the manner in which an internal struggle is resolved.

Per a league source, the choice may come down to an internal battle of wills, with the football guys (led by John Dorsey) pulling one way and the analytics guys (led by Paul DePodesta) pulling the other.

The problem is that both Dorsey and DePodesta report independently to owner Jimmy Haslam. The reality is that quarterback Baker Mayfield could break the tie, and his input definitely matters.

For now, the thinking is that Dorsey (and Mayfield) prefer Kitchens, and that DePodesta prefers Stefanski to Kitchens. However it plays out, this may not end up being the kind of inspired hire that Mayfield’s presence could have sparked.

That inspired hire may have to wait until the next time the Browns are looking, which as history tells us could come sooner than later.

50 responses to “Browns job could come down to an in-house tug of war

  1. I think Kitchens is indispensable to Baker’s development but those kids played really hard for Williams so best case scenario they keep both and give kitchens a decent pay rise to keep him around.

  2. While this nonsense is going on between 2 guys that should not be a HC, the Steelers will fire Keith Butler in the next couple days as they wrap up their final series of exit interviews and hire Gregg Williams to be their D coordinator.
    C’mon Browns, you are Bunglin’ your chance away at continuing this momentum….

  3. Browns, even though the talent is there, cannot get out of the way of their dysfunctional ownership and front office. I feel sorry for the Cleveland Brown fans.

  4. Their analytics guys also passed on Wentz and Watson. They finally get a real GM, draft great talent, finally turn things around, and want to go back to what failed?

    The factory of sadness is alive and well!

  5. I don’t know if you can say it’s not an uninspired hire. I am not even sure where that comes from. You have two highly respected guys and that is a nice problem to have. Colts pick an “unspired” #2 choice last year – and look where it’s gotten them.

    My hope is they pick Kitchens. While I respect the *role* of analytics it should never be the decision maker. And if Mayfield likes and has thrived under Kitchens…don’t mess it up. We’ve been a laughingstock for 2 decades. No more homeless guy picks.

  6. jsm08 says:
    January 9, 2019 at 10:16 am
    Their analytics guys also passed on Wentz and Watson. They finally get a real GM, draft great talent, finally turn things around, and want to go back to what failed?

    The factory of sadness is alive and well!

    —-

    No. The article in no way says that. In business you take everyone’s opinion – then make a decision. As the article clearly states no decision has been made.

  7. Whatever it was, it worked this year. Keep things as they are for 2-3 years.
    Kitchens will be a great hire when Williams wears out his welcome.
    Keep some continuity

  8. How very Brown, they are on the cusp of moving forward to something promising and boom goes the Haslam (smdh). They have a guy in Williams that led the team to equal the best season it’s had in 10 years so naturally they head of in not one but two opposite directions. The fish rots from the head, Browns fans deserve better.

  9. I would think Dorsey should have the biggest voice. He brought the goose thats laying golden eggs to Cleveland and a former Oakland Athletics nerd is nerding things up.

  10. Why should the analytics guy have a say…..my goodness they have something going for once, don’t mess it up. Give the heave ho to DePodesta.

  11. To all the sub-moronic non-sports fans
    who yell about not taking Wentz or Watson:

    Baker Mayfield: 266 yards per game
    Deshaun Watson: 255 yards per game (w/ loaded receiving corps)
    Carson Wentz: 253 yards per game (w/ loaded receiving corps)

    If they are so great… how come they get fewer yards with such a loaded cast
    of receiving characters?!?

  12. It is called billionaire owner with dad’s money, causing dysfunction in Browns organization. Haslam has the GM, HC, and Head Analytics all reporting individually to him. Why wouldnt Ivy League Depodesta make moves that prove the need for his existence, like wanting an Ivy Stefanski, and pushing to keep the Harvard TE backup for no reason. The fact that the Browns have not interviewed peeps like Arians, Munchak, McCarthy etc speaks volumes about the Browns ownership ineptness.

  13. Are you serious thinking that Browns are in a position to roll dice on someone who is so incredibly green as Stefanski? Why do I think you are on Stefanski’s agent’s phone contact list?

  14. If Williams isn’t the head coach next season then the Browns will be back to square 1.
    Stupid is as stupid does.

  15. How can they make such a mess of things? That owner needs to just sell the team, so that
    he doesn’t interfere anymore. You only have to listen to him, to know that he shouldn’t own a team.

  16. Who had how will the Browns screw this up for $1000 Alex?

    The end of last year was a nice little story where they still went 5-3, which is apparently something to be proud of in Cleveland), but you should be hiring a proven coach and someone that will coach the whole team and then put a quality staff in place. Instead, they’re back to this peace mill stuff that got them in trouble the last umpteen times.

  17. Kitchens is gone if he doesn’t get the HC job. The new HC might not want him, he won’t want to stay because he feels disrespected or he’s smart enough to take any HC offer while his name is hot.

    I agree the best thing for the Browns is to keep the current staff as is and replace Williams with Kitchens if they don’t play as well next year. I just don’t see Kitchens sticking around if he’s not the HC.

  18. doctorrustbelt says:

    January 9, 2019 at 10:39 am

    To all the sub-moronic non-sports fans
    who yell about not taking Wentz or Watson:

    Baker Mayfield: 266 yards per game
    Deshaun Watson: 255 yards per game (w/ loaded receiving corps)
    Carson Wentz: 253 yards per game (w/ loaded receiving corps)

    If they are so great… how come they get fewer yards with such a loaded cast
    of receiving characters?!?

    ———————–

    Please tell me your not measuring the success of QBs based on the yards they throw…..

  19. I’d like to know what “analytics” lead DePodesta to think Stefanski is the man?

    Maybe he is, but I’d go with who Dorsey and Eliot Wolf want to hire. Those are the football minds in that franchise.

  20. I also love the people who rip Dipodesta. You dummies do realize that he’s the reason you had so many picks to take so many players don’t you? Sure you do. He never had anything to do with scouting or coaching. He is the one who recommended making Kitchens the OC, who Williams said himself he had nothing to do with. Being smart isn’t a bad thing, although i know it’s frowned upon in today’s America.

  21. So Hue Jackson gets fired mid-season. Good. We’ll have plenty of time to consider all options and make a stellar choice. January 9, this is where we are. I really hope this is a joke! Children bickering, really?

  22. I can’t shake the feeling that this would be the perfect job for Rex Ryan and he would somehow win 3 Super Bowls there.

  23. I am not a fan of Gregg Williams at all, but he sure seemed to pull that team together in the end. But then again when you have Hugh Jackson and Haley running the show, Rich Kotite could have done a better job.

  24. Why is Stefanski even getting a look? Did these people not watch the Vikings offense this year? Williams is the guy for this job and you give Kitchens an assistant HC title with a pay raise to keep him in the house. It’s not at all complicated but the Browns seem determined to screw it up.

  25. Kitchens got a lot out of Mayfield and continuity to a young player is extremely important.

    I can’t see that bringing in the Vikes OC with a new system that Mayfield has to start over with is a good move.

  26. The Williams/Kitchens combo was going pretty nice. Why would you blow it up for Stefanski? Wasn’t he a position coach just like literally last month?

    And why make Kitchens head coach when it will probably cost you Williams? And if Kitchens is the better HC, why wasn’t he interim HC?

    And how did they get to a spot where no matter what they do they are going to upset and/or lose important members of their organization? Wasn’t this the best coaching vacancy in the league?

    How are you Brownsing this?

  27. Even as a Viking fan I’m scratching my head trying to figure how DePodesta has come up with an analytical reason to make Stefanski a head coach over two proven coordinator commodities in Williams and Kitchens.

  28. Didn’t the Vikings offensive coordinator pass like 98% of the time this year? And didn’t that turn out to be their detriment?

  29. Stefanski?! They already have the HC and OC they need, right in house. If Kitchens isn’t HC-or-bust, pay him twice what any other OC is making and keep what you have.

    Stefanski?! Good grief.

  30. If they’re even vaguely looking in the direction of the Vikings, they have a great example right in front of them of how blowing up a good thing isn’t a good thing.

  31. All football operations should report to Dorsey, including analytics. Facilities, legal, marketing, ticket sales, etc. report to Haslam. Dorsey needs to have the say on all foootball matters. Haslam listen to Dorsey.

  32. I hope the keep William’s & Kitchens and dont screw up what was working. If they can get Mayfield to focus on football maybe they keep their momentum going. Good luck Browns.

  33. They would be crazy to mess with what’s working. If they can do something where they keep both Kitchens and Williams they need to do that.

    If they let Dorsey make the hire, he’ll get it right. If they owner makes it, he’ll screw it up.

  34. Smart move is to Keep Williams as HC and BUILD their team around a monster Defense.
    Throw enough money at Kitchens to keep him as OC/Asst. HC and let him develop Baker and turn their offense into a serious winner.
    D wins games and championships.
    The offense should not have to score 30+ points to win a game.
    They should not sign ANYONE at Mack or Donald prices.
    Spread the money around for GOOD guys and depth at middle of the road prices.

  35. My impression is that Dorsey is not losing many power struggles right now. The turnaround can be pretty tightly tied to his arrival whereas DePodesta was there throughout the entire Jackson debacle. I find it very hard to believe Haslam would vote against Dorsey right now.

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