Chico: Has Jimmy Haslam seen the light?

GM John Dorsey being trusted to find next Browns head coach could signal change for the better

Mike 'Chico' Bormann
November 09, 2018 - 10:00 am
 Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns general manager John Dorsey, left, talks with team owner Jimmy Haslam during warmups before the game against the Green Bay Packers at FirstEnergy Stadium

Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

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In 31 other cities, a NFL owner announcing that his General Manager will conduct the search for a Head Coach would not qualify as breaking news, and likely not considered news at all. 

Jimmy Haslam is unlike most owners in sports, and the Cleveland Browns have been anything but your run-of-the-mill franchise in the NFL. So when reports came out Wednesday afternoon that Haslam would conduct his fourth search for a Head Coach by allowing GM John Dorsey to to be the point man, well, forgive us for cutting into regularly scheduled programming.

It's probably worth mentioning that Haslam has owned the Browns since 2012. The Pittsburgh Steelers have employed 3 Head Coaches in nearly 60 years. Haslam is on the prowl for his 4th in 7 years.

I'll let that marinate for a moment.

With Jimmy Haslam at the helm, the Browns have compiled a mind-boggling record of 22 wins, 82 losses, and 1 hard-fought tie against the aforementioned Steelers. You know what else is mind-boggling? The Browns might be perilously close to contending in the AFC North.

I'm serious.

And the reason the Browns might be so close is because Dorsey has injected this team with a healthy dose of talent and now has an opportunity to seek out a Head Coach without incessant meddling from ownership. The idea of having a GM find HIS coach is only considered revolutionary in Berea, where it's never been done with Haslam calling the shots.

Make no mistake, Dorsey still has plenty of work to do to get the Browns in contention. Much more talent on the offensive line and pass catchers who, you know, can catch the ball are desperately needed. He knows it takes time to build depth and that point has been rudely driven home with a rash of injuries, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. But in just one year, he has proven very worthy of what it takes to right this ship.

The carousel of Quarterbacks has been slowed, if not come to a screeching halt with the selection of Baker Mayfield last April. While he has had the predictable ups and downs of a rookie QB, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner has made it clear he has all the physical tools to succeed, and perhaps most important, the mental toughness to withstand any drama and "internal discord" that only the Cleveland Browns can dish out.

With high-level QB play becoming more important than ever to compete in today's NFL, a young talent like Mayfield is a must-have selling point for any potential candidate. Throw in young playmakers like Nick Chubb, Duke Johnson, Myles Garrett and Denzel Ward, and the Browns Head Coaching vacancy might be downright enticing. 

The Browns are expected to be one of just a handful of teams looking for new coaches at season's end. While talent is vital, there is no coach eager to join a culture of instability as it relates to the Front Office. The hiring of Dorsey is one decision Haslam got right. However, the toughest sell will be convincing a candidate that Dorsey is running the show, and ownership is finally willing to get out of the way.

Haslam's announcement that his GM will hire the next Head Coach is a giant step in the right direction. Unfortunately, it's also considered breaking news out of Berea.