The Browns will finish off the 2012 season against the Steelers this Sunday in Pittsburgh. After the game ends, we will not have to wait long to see Pat Shurmur fired. Tom Heckert should follow him out the door shortly after. And with that, the Haslam and Banner era of Cleveland Browns football will begin.
Rumors are already running wild about how the Browns will hire as their next coach. Rumors of Josh McDaniels, Nick Saban, and Chip Kelly are being discussed all over the web. At first glance, it may seem like whoever the Browns hire will have a ton of work to do, in order to make the Browns into a contender. But that may not be true.
Look at the talent on the Browns offense. Joe Thomas and Alex Mack are both Pro Bowl offensive linemen. Josh Gordon and Greg Little both proved to be solid receivers. Jordan Cameron has shown some promise as a young tight end. Trent Richardson and Montario Hardesty showed some good stuff as running backs. And though Brandon Weeden had a rocky rookie season, the former Oklahoma State product has the skills to be a good quarterback. So what's the problem? I believe it is the offensive coaches and the game planning.
Right or wrong, when a team performs poorly, the coaches are usually first to receive blame. In this case, the coaches do receive most of the blame. Brandon Weeden is throwing the ball way too many times a game. And the Browns are completely abandoning the run. It seems like the coaches are getting too scared to run the ball. In order to be successful, teams have to have a balanced offensive attack. Why would you abandon the run with a back like Trent Richardson?
Whoever is hired as the Browns next head coach, must be able to maximize the talent on the offensive side of the ball. No one fears the Browns offense. For too long, its been viewed as a predictable and unimaginative offense that is easy to defend against. And the Browns will never become a contender until the offense can produce. Let us hope that the offensive philosophy and game planes change with new coaches. The Browns have never needed an identity change more then they do now. New ownership must quickly make Browns fans buy into their program. If they fail, they risk losing Browns fans forever.