It’s not easy to find a lot of positives being written about the Cleveland Browns these days. A team that has largely been dysfunctional over the years gives the impression that it remains dysfunctional, even with a new owner and new front office.
Jimmy Haslam might bristle at the term “same old Browns,” and it’s well that he does. But at this point that’s where the team -- and more importantly -- the fans are.
And based on the local and national reaction, those writing about the team are really in that “same old, same old” spot.
Heading through the Daily Brownies, we start with a serious condemnation of the first person the Browns will interview, Josh McDaniels of New England.
Mike Silver of the NFL Network and NFL.com says this about the Browns interviewing McDaniels: “ ... when I read reports that former Denver Broncos coach Josh McDaniels might be the leading candidate to fill the Cleveland Browns opening, I feel like someone has just taken a tire iron to my skull.” Silver has legitimate reasons for that strong feeling, and though his takes on Hue Jackson and Jim Caldwell might be questioned, he supports his position on McDaniels.
The Boston Globe’s Ben Volin, meanwhile, says McDaniels should think long and hard before even considering taking the job.
As for the possible hiring of Auburn’s Gus Malzahn -- a rumor that smells a lot like it will lead to a new contract and raise for Malzahn -- CBSSports.com’s College Insider Jeremy Fowler says this: “You could argue that Auburn is a better job than Cleveland, where a coach is fired for not making a triple pumpkin spice latte out of a plastic Mr. Coffee maker worth of quarterbacks.”
The Plain Dealer’s Bud Shaw was at the news conference where Haslam and Joe Banner explained their thinking. He wasn’t buying it. Shaw wrote: “Even as he continues to claim ignorance of the rebate scam allegedly operating on his watch at Pilot Flying J, he hopes you understand he's on the job and attending to the details required to turn the Browns into a winner. When he says he gets why we might be skeptical of yet another Browns’ regime making yet another coaching change, he doesn’t know the half of it.”
Tony Grossi of ESPN-Cleveland.com also was at the news conference, and after watching the tape he came up with several more good questions that could have been asked.
In his weekly Monday Morning Quarterback on SI.com Peter King had little good to say about firing Rob Chudzinski after one year: “If you give a man a four-year contract to coach your team and fire him after 11-and-a-half months, clearly you have either misjudged the man severely, had a shoddy coaching search in the first place or panicked. Or all three."
Finally, SI.com’s Don Banks said the move “fed into the perception of the Browns organization as Chaos Central in the NFL.” Banks had one of the more tempered thoughts on the move, though, as he added: “But if Cleveland could have gotten more production (or health) out of the three-headed quarterback combination of Brandon Weeden, Brian Hoyer and Jason Campbell, Chudzinski probably would have received the Browns' more standard two-year coaching commitment (see Chris Palmer, Eric Mangini and Pat Shurmur).”