Browns Notes: Pep Hamilton’s Departure Leaves Hole In QB Evaluation Process

CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Browns head coach Hue Jackson is contemplating how he will replace departed associate head coach-offense Pep Hamilton, who left the team this week to take a job at the University of Michigan.

Jackson and the Browns lost more than just a quarterbacks and passing game assistant coach.

Hamilton was the first name mentioned by executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown during the end of season press conference on Jan. 2 not named Hue Jackson as to who he planned to lean on to aid him in evaluating who could be the long sought after franchise quarterback this offseason.

“We will work collaboratively on it,” Brown said on Jan. 2. “Pep [Hamilton], myself, Hue, AB [Andrew Berry], we will all sit down and make sure that we watch plenty of tape on all the eligible quarterbacks this year and make a decision that we feel is the best for the organization. It will be an organizational decision.”

Now Hamilton is gone and the Browns not only need to replace him on staff but also with someone who can help fill his shoes in the critical evaluation process that will take place over the next 3 1/2 months, which will make or break the franchise for at least the next 5 years.

Hamilton’s water bottle caught the attention of everyone during workouts for Carson Wentz, Jared Goff and other QB prospects last March. Jackson will need someone else to spray the footballs this year.

Debating the results of the Browns’ evaluations from a year ago serves no purpose now, but what is important that there are lessons learned as they move forward and look at this year’s draft class as well as free agency and trade options.

Who replaces Hamilton likely will be expected to help Brown and Jackson significantly in that.

The Browns have the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming draft as well as the Eagles pick – No. 12 overall – in April. In the first 3 rounds they possess 5 of the top 65 selections arming them with plenty of ammunition to pursue a quarterback.

Deshaun Watson made his case Monday night by rallying Clemson in the fourth quarter to stun Alabama and their top-ranked defense for the national championship. Watson has been invited to the Senior Bowl where Jackson and his staff will coach the south team, which Watson would be on should he participate.

Notre Dame’s Deshone Kizer and North Carolina’s Mitch Trubisky are also in consideration. Trubisky, a Mentor, Ohio native, declared Monday for the draft.

Patriots backup Jimmy Garoppolo is for sale and the Browns have been tied to potential trade talks this offseason with New England.

Then there’s the internal evaluations of Robert Griffin III, who missed 11 games due to injury, Cody Kessler and veteran Josh McCown. Griffin and McCown enter the final year of their contracts so moving on from 1 or both would not be difficult.

“We are going to find a quarterback that is going to come here and play winning, championship football,” Jackson pledged on Jan. 2.

During the season Hamilton assisted with the passing portion of the weekly game plans and worked with the quarterbacks extensively. Hamilton will now serve as Jim Harbaugh’s quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator, pretty much the same role he had with the Browns.

RG3’s Fixer Upper – Quarterback Robert Griffin III will appear on an episode of HGTV’s ‘Fixer Upper’ Tuesday night.

Griffin, with the help of Chip and Joanna Gaines, helps to renovate the home of Bill Graham, a decorated veteran of the Vietnam war and Waco, Texas resident through Griffin’s Family of 3 foundation.

Browns quarterback Robert Griffin III works on the home of a veteran with co-host of HGTV's 'Fixer Upper' Chip Gaines. The episode airs on Jan. 10 at 9 p.m. ET. / (Photo courtesy of: HGTV-Fixer Upper-FamilyOf3)

Browns quarterback Robert Griffin III works on the home of a veteran with co-host of HGTV’s ‘Fixer Upper’ Chip Gaines. The episode airs on Jan. 10 at 9 p.m. ET. / (Photo courtesy of: HGTV-Fixer Upper-FamilyOf3)

Griffin didn’t just stop by for a brief cameo, he gets his hands dirty as he helped to demo and then rebuild Graham’s home on the show.

The episode, which airs at 9 p.m. ET, was shot last summer.

Successful Surgery – Cornerback Joe Haden announced via his Twitter account Tuesday afternoon that his surgery to repair a pair of groin injuries was successful.

Haden injured his left groin during practice on Sept. 23 prior their 30-24 overtime loss at Miami. He returned the next week but on Oct. 9 he injured his right groin during practice and missed the next 2 games. He finished the season by playing with both injuries over the last 9 weeks.

More from Daryl Ruiter | 92.3 The Fan
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