You gotta hand it to the Browns. They sure know how to turn everything into a flippin’ soap opera. On Friday evening/Saturday morning it looked like Chip Kelly was headed to Cleveland to be the next coach of the Browns along with his state of the art offense. Good times were being had by all, at least those of us who weren’t 100% opposed to the hiring of Chip Kelly.
By Sunday it was all a distant memory. Kelly was headed back to Oregon. Bill O’Brien was cozy in his bed in Happy Valley. Third place candidate Doug Marrone accepted the head coaching job for the Buffalo Bills.
Well for Brandon Weeden it probably meant popping bottle of champagne and dancing naked in the streets. As for the rest of us… just more ugh with a side of ugh.
Well, it looks like the contenders for the title of the next coach of the Cleveland Browns are Ken Whisenhunt and mystery men X, Y, and Z. Yup, that’s right. The Browns have already interviewed Whisenhunt but other than him they have no other options on the board as of now.
Spectacular. It’s not like this whole head coaching thing is important anyway. Hell, at this point why not just hire Ashton Kutcher to call up Pat Shurmur to tell him he was punked and that this whole firing nonesense was just one big practical joke. Judging from the plethora of coaching opportunities he has on his plate I’d be willing to be he’d let bygones be bygones.
But seriously, now what?
Well, to be honest with you I wouldn’t mind if the Browns hired Ken Whisenhunt. His track record is fairly solid for someone who just got the axe. In fact, you could actually make the case that he never should have been axed in the first place.
For starters, Whisenhunt took the Arizona Cardinals, yes… THOSE Arizona Cardinals… to the Super Bowl and if not for one completely spectacular pass and catch by Ben Roethlisberger/Santonio Holmes they might very well have won that super bowl. That in and of itself is amazing seeing as the Cardinals have basically been the Los Angeles Clippers of professional football since the dawn of time. Anyone that can pull that off must be a good coach.
Second, Whisenhunt had the privilege of coaching Kurt Warner and one of the most prolific offenses we’ve seen in a while. With Warner the Cardinals were an offense power house. I for one would love to see what he could do with Brandon Weeden and this crop of young up and coming wide receivers. When you think about it from that perspective, the idea of bringing in Whisenhunt becomes a very intriguing possibility.
Third, Whisenhunt was given the worst crop of starting QB’s in league history. This past season he started four different quarterbacks and each one got progressively worse. Sure, you can make a case that he could have handled the situation better, but after 2011’s disaster it should have been clear that neither Skelton or Kolb were the long-term answer, but instead the Cardinals brought them both back and expected Whisenhunt to perform a miracle. Yeah… good luck with that. The Cardinals got exactly what they deserved out of that decision.
Lastly, Whisenhunt is a former Steelers assistant under Bill Cowher and many believed he was going to be the successor when Cowher retired. It didn’t happen. Some how, some way, the Steelers opted for Mike Tomlin over both Whisenhunt and Russ Grimm. Don’t you think part of him would love the opportunity to be able to stick it in the faces of his former team twice a year for the next 10 years? Wouldn’t he do whatever it takes to exact some revenge, humiliate the Steelers, and expose Tomlin as a fraud? What’s not to like about that scenario?
Nothing that’s what.
But, will the Browns pull the trigger and hire Whisenhunt? It doesn’t look like it right now. They are reportedly going to interview a few hire level assistants and perhaps explore other college level coaches, but as of right now it looks like Whisenhunt has the inside track. Whatever they decide to do though, it’s bound to be interesting.
So buckle up Browns fans, the coaching carousel is running at full speed.
Go Browns… ugh.