BEREA, OH – It looks like the Browns have finally found their franchise quarterback in rookie Baker Mayfield. One week removed from firing Hue Jackson, the Browns just need a head coach to pair with him.
That task of finding the right head man for the franchise will apparently belong to general manager John Dorsey according to multiple outlets, including Cleveland.com. In the past that role has belong to the team’s owners, Dee and Jimmy Haslam, in fact the Haslams used the Korn Ferry search firm to hire Jackson in 2016.
In the week since Jackson was dismissed there has been plenty of speculation over whether or not Jimmy Haslam would oversee his fourth head coaching search for the franchise. That seemed even more likely given the organizations unusual structure in which the head coach and GM report directly to Haslam and not each other.
Earlier this week, Robert Klemko of Sports Illustrated wrote about how that uncharacteristic organizational structure could prohibit Dorsey from having much of a say in who Browns next head coach will be. However, this newest report suggests the opposite, that Haslam will actually give Dorsey full autonomy over choosing the franchise’s next head man – a refreshing shift for Browns fans.
One thing that won’t be clear until Dorsey concludes his search though is whether the to be determined head coach will still report directly to Haslam.
Ultimately though, it’s a promising sign that Haslam is trusting Dorsey to make key decisions for the organization. Since Haslam purchased the team in 2012, Cleveland has never had a winning season and has gone through three head coaching searches. First was Rod Chudzinski, who spent a single season on the job, then Mike Pettine who coached the team for two seasons from 2014-2015 before being fired, and most recently Jackson whose two and a half seasons in charge tops the three.
In league circles, Dorsey is seen as the guiding light to lead the dilapidated organization out of dark times. The former Chiefs general manager has already left his mark on the team in just his first year with the Browns, hitting on notable draft picks like Mayfield, cornerback Denzel Ward and running back Nick Chubb, among others. He’ll hope to do the same with his selection of a head coach.
A number of names have already surfaced as potential candidates to fill the Browns head coaching vacancy. They range from coveted college minds like Matt Campbell at Iowa State and Mayfield’s former coach Lincoln Riley at Oklahoma, to notable NFL coordinators like New England’s Josh McDaniels and Minnesota’s John Defilippo. It’s unclear which candidates Dorsey currently prefers, but finding a coach that can maximize Mayfield’s talent could certainly play into his decision.