Should he stay or should he go?

Now that the playoffs are underway (playoffs that include(d) the Browns? – that’s crazy talk, dude!), it’s time to speculate on what will happen to several key members of the Browns organization when the Browns playoff run (I’m optimistically calling it a “run” since a “run” consists of multiple victories) comes to an end. 

Note that without the magic of hindsight (this column was written before the playoff game with the Texans) the Brownies may still be alive with their Super Bowl ambitions, or they could be in their all-too-familiar “wait until next year” mode. (While again raising the cost of season tickets.) 

So, with the above in mind, who is the “he” to which the column refers?

As you might imagine that question can refer to several people in the Browns hierarchy. Let’s address the biggest and most visible one, shall we? 

First and foremost, the annual argument of Head Coach Kevin Stefanski’s ability to coach a football team: 

I don’t think Stefanski is as bad as many other fans do, although there have been times when I’ve asked, “What was he thinking?” in terms of play calling (especially his stubborn insistence to sticking with a game plan when it clearly is not working) and/or clock management. 

If the Browns lost their playoff game to Houston, that question may have already been answered, as he may have been shown the door before this issue even went to press. 

If they beat Houston, Stefanski bought another week of job security, and a second playoff win might even secure his job for next year. However, the Browns are very much aware of the likelihood of defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz moving on to greener pastures (i.e. accepting a head coaching job elsewhere) which may impact the Browns' feelings about Kevin Stefanski. 

My own take is that great success as a coordinator does not mean success as HC (as his 29-51 record with the Lions suggests). I like Schwartz as a coordinator, but replacing Stefanski with Schwartz – in my opinion – would amount to nothing more than a lateral move at best. 

Besides, I can already envision the return of Bill Belichick as the new HC of the Browns should Stefanski go. Owner Jimmy Haslam would likely embrace the idea of a proven winner coaching the team to the next level, and I could see Uncle Bill and his ego (estimated by some to be the size of Mount Rushmore), coming back to Cleveland to take care of some “unfinished business.”

Browns fans who endured the Belichick era with the man dubbed “Mr. Happy” during his first tenure in Cleveland, will not like the idea. However, Wild Bill will want to erase the memories of his last few years with New England while showing the NFL he still “has it,” and what better way to show the world you’re still the super-genius you think you are by guiding Cleveland (finally) to the first Super Bowl they played in? 

However, in spite of his horrible record as owner of the Browns, Jimmy Haslan also has a gargantuan ego. 

Could the two work together in harmony?

Jeff Bing

Lifelong Westlake resident who dabbles in writing whenever the real world permits. My forte is humor and horror...What a combo!

Read More on Sporting Views
Volume 16, Issue 1, Posted 9:46 AM, 01.16.2024