The Cleveland Browns soon will have their sixth coach since the club’s rebirth in 1999. That record suggests a coaching change may not be the answer, or at least that the option has been explored fully in the past.
This time, the move is wholly understandable. Jimmy Haslam has come to town, bringing ample resources and executive Joe Banner with him. Acquire an NFL franchise for $1 billion or so, and you get to make the changes you desire.
What pleases long-suffering Browns fans are the energy and focus Haslam has brought. He knows success in business. He even has a link to the enviably successful Pittsburgh Steelers as a part owner.
Of course, the Browns have been here, too. Mike Holmgren featured the right pedigree, having reached the NFL championship game as the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers. The Browns have improved, even, some argue, on the brink of a leap forward. Yet the record shows the Holmgren regime adding to the consecutive seasons with at least 11 losses.
What Haslam surely has discovered is that all of this hasn’t diminished the fervor of the Browns faithful. If anything, they are more passionate, hungry, desperate, whatever, seeing in the new ownership the beginning of a return to glory, starting, yes, with that choice of a head coach.