Chip Kelly to Browns? Wish List for New Cleveland Browns Coach
After Pat Shurmur's firing, I let my mind wander about who could be the next head coach. Here's what I came up with.
I called for Pat Shurmer's firing last season, and while it took an extra year, it finally happened.
On Monday the Cleveland Browns let go of Head Coach Pat Shurmer, along with General Manager Tom Heckert.
To be honest, I do feel bad for Shurmer. He was put in a tough spot. He came in with no time to work with his team due to the lockout and because, well, it is the Cleveland Browns we're talking about; no coach comes in without something going terribly wrong.
Still, it didn't seem like Shurmer was a good fit for the team and the city. And his putrid play-calling didn't help him much.
Let's be real here: If you have eight yards for a first down, don't throw a two-yard crossing route!
Alas, Browns fans are looking to the future, yet again, to see who will last another three seasons before the search starts all over.
There are plenty of names on the list, but here's who I want to see:
I would love to see either Bill Cowher or Tony Dungy get back into coaching with the Browns. While I severely dislike the Steelers, Cowher was a great guy, a terrific coach and he got his start in Cleveland. He has the passion and fire this team desperately needs. However, I think his cushy TV job will keep him out of the running.
While Dungy isn't a fiery guy like Cowher, he has tremendous character and demands the most out of his players. He built the Indianapolis Colts up from nothing and made two Super Bowl appearances, winning one. OK, he had Peyton Manning, but I'm sure he could find someone similar, right?
While I think it would be great, I don't see Dungy leaving his spot on NBC either.
5. Andy Reid
This was a terrible season for Reid and the Philadelphia Eagles and they haven't been good for a few seasons. His tenure their had run its course and that's why he was fired. I'm split on hiring him. I think he's a good coach and a change of scenery could do him a world of good, but the fact that he wasn't able to control his team and didn't win with the type of talent he had scares me.
And I don't know if I want "The Walrus" stalking the sidelines in Cleveland.
4. Jon Gruden
Can't you picture Chucky (they call him that because he looks just like the psychopath, murderous doll) glaring at his players after a dumb play or stupid penalty? They would be terrified to screw up.
Another guy drawn away to the TV booth, but Gruden's name has been mentioned several times in the coaching prospects conversation and shouldn't be counted out just yet.
People argue he won a Super Bowl in Tampa Bay with Dungy's players, but I think he has the chutzpah Cleveland needs to whip a young group of guys into a contender each year.
Gruden is smart and has a tremendous grasp of the game. Hiring him could be a big move for Cleveland.
3. Chip Kelly
Just picturing a Chip Kelly offense in Cleveland makes me drool, but I'm weary of bringing in a college coach to compete in the NFL. Butch Davis, anyone?
I like what he's done in Oregon and his high-powered offense is a blast to watch. While I'm not convinced he would be a great personality to fill the hole, I am a huge fan of his play-calling and in a pass-heavy league, Kelly would give the Browns a much-needed boost in offensive production.
According to The Plain Dealer, Kelly is one of the top prospects for the Browns right now.
If they do hire Kelly, I'm wondering what they'll do at quarterback. Typically Oregon has a mobile QB to compliment the run-and-gun offense, and Brandon Weeden doesn't fit that mold. Colt McCoy is more mobile but his arm isn't that great. Perhaps Thaddeus Lewis gave himself a shot with a decent performance against the Steelers Sunday.
2. Bill O'Brien
At first I was very surprised to hear O'Brien's name come up in the conversation. But after giving it some thought, I can see why.
O'Brien, a former offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots (bonus), took a football program at Penn State that was at the rock-bottom of college football and turned them into a winner in his first season.
He was named Big Ten Coach of the Year (even though Ohio State's Urban Meyer went undefeated, I'm just saying) and led the Nittany Lions to an 8-4 record after losing their first two games.
Penn State was in the proverbial toilet after the Jerry Sandusky scandal and had no hope for this season. But O'Brien came in and did something no one thought would happen for years: He brought some respect back to the university.
I think he proved in just one season why he deserves to get a shot as a head coach in the NFL.
1. Kyle Shanahan
While I hoped his father, Mike Shanahan, would have come to Cleveland a few years ago, I think Kyle would be an smart hire for head coach.
He was the offensive coordinator for the Houston Texans and now calls the plays for the Washington Redskins.
After watching the Redskins beat the Dallas Cowboys to win the NFC East Sunday night, I think Shanahan would be a solid choice.
Sure, he had RGIII at quarterback and running back Alfred Morris turned out to be a superstar, but Shanahan creates intricate offensive schemes to fit his players perfectly and can confuse opposing defenses.
Working under his dad, you know he has the pedigree and background, and I think he's young enough to rejuvinate this team.
Cleveland fans already got a taste of Shanahan's style after Washington beat the Browns in Week 15 with their backup quarterback, Kirk Cousins.
I like going with a guy who has NFL experience, a solid resume and who might be willing to take some chances when others would play it safe.