CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Jimmy Haslam looked like a man on a mission last Monday, hours after he fired general manager Tom Heckert and coach Pat Shurmur.
Haslam promised to leave no stone unturned in the team’s search for it’s 6th head coach since 1999.
“Our goal is to get the best person and if we happen to find that person within a week, that’s great and if it takes a month, that’s great also,” Haslam said on Dec. 31. “Sooner is preferable, but whatever timetable it takes to get the right person, we’re going to take.”
He may now have to turn over every rock and look under every rug and seat cushion.
While Oregon coach Chip Kelly spent a reported 9 hours with the Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday, cancelling his planned dinner with the Browns, Haslam and Banner met with Syracuse coach Doug Marrone a second time.
As the search moved into it’s 7th day, Marrone is off to the Buffalo Bills to be their new coach and it appears that Chip Kelly is also off the list according to Chris Mortenson of ESPN.
Kelly’s agent David Dunn has his client in the cat birds seat – basically able to pick his destination and where the comma and decimal points go on his annual salary but he can’t make a decision.
And so it appears that the Browns made it for him. He’s not coming to Cleveland.
The bottom line is that Haslam and Banner left Arizona in the same manner in which they arrived – with no coach.
So far we know that:
– Bill Cowher and John Gruden are thrilled with their cushy gigs and are content with being talking heads on network TV.
– Nick Saban continues to say he is not interested in leaving Alabama for the NFL.
– Bill O’Brien pried an extra $1.3 million per year out of Penn State to stay in Happy Vally.
– Marrone, who appeared to be the backup plan to Kelly, is gone off to Buffalo.
The Browns questioned whether Kelly “was committed to coming to the NFL,” a person familiar with the search told the Associated Press.
This search could be Chris Palmer Part II all over again.
Former Arizona Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt and defensive coordinator Ray Horton, who interviewed with the Browns last week, could get 2nd interviews. Whisenthunt has Steelers roots and led the Cardinals to a Superbowl as a head coach.
49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman or Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy could also jump on the radar screen – however the Browns will have to wait for Denver and San Francisco to be eliminated before being able to talk to either one.
Also Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians or Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden could get consideration as well.
Where the Browns go from here is unclear at best as the team remains mum on their searches to replace Shurmur and Heckert.
Regardless, if the Browns don’t get the main coach they desire – Kelly – they might end up having to settle for anyone who will want to take the job.
That’s not a good omen for this new regime, which was supposed to bring a fresh start to the franchise.
Right now, in the eyes of fans – the circus continues and it’s groundhog day all over again for them.