Report: More front office changes coming to Browns?
The Cleveland Browns will reportedly make more changes in the front office in the off-season. Is this a sign that the bad times are not coming to an end?
It wouldn’t be the final week of the NFL regular season if the Cleveland Browns were not involved in rumors of more changes coming to the team.
While roster changes – most notably at the quarterback position – should be priority one for the team heading into the off-season, the reported changes involve yet another move in the front office.
Just how extensive the rumored changes may be depends on your perspective.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Browns will be looking to add to the scouting side of the equation:
The Browns still believe in coach Hue Jackson, even if it turns out to be a one-win season. Owner Jimmy Haslam still believes in the analytical-based approach of their higher-ups. But the Browns are said to be searching for a little more scouting muscle. The expectation is for Cleveland to hire a top scout, likely right below GM Sashi Brown, to serve as the main football voice and be charged with finding the kind of players Jackson covets.
Seems somewhat reasonable as teams that are successful usually have a scouting department that looks for the kind of players that fit the vision of the team’s head coach. The problem, at least in the case of the Browns, is that the vision has changed every two years (or sooner) under Haslam, repeatedly stalling the process.
Of course, things could be more nefarious if noted fearmonger and anti-Browns activist Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports is to be believed:
The Browns’ coaches have deep concerns with the direction of the personnel department, according to numerous team and league sources, and will discuss the matter with Haslam soon. While coach Hue Jackson is not planning to request the removal of top football man Sashi Brown, or the influential analytics department he has built, the sources said there will be a strong push to ownership to reconsider the flow chart. The coaches would like a proven, old-school talent evaluator involved in player selection to provide checks and balances with the current setup.
Frankly, the issue should be no surprise after a one-win season when their bevy of draft picks have provided little production. Plus, several former players who were cut or not re-signed are thriving on more successful clubs. There are deep concerns, with the team still lacking a quarterback and this 2017 draft pivotal for the future, that merely letting the same process unfold this spring could bring dire consequences. Hiring a former general manager to oversee player evaluation is seen as imperative.
So what to make of all this?
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Teams make changes every year across the league, it just so happens that the Browns are the poster child for change meaning it is easy (lazy?) to paint any move they make as another sign of dysfunction and defeat. Adding another scouting voice to the mix is probably not the worst thing in the world, especially with the club holding numerous picks in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Of course, it would seem as if that role would be filled by Andrew Berry, the team’s vice president of player personnel, who has experience as a scouting coordinator.
Even making minor tweaks to the front office system will be seen by many as a sign that the Browns “analytics approach” is failing even if the new hire is fully on board with the process.
On the surface the rumored changes may not be a good look, but if they ultimately help the Browns turn things around then it really doesn’t matter how it looks to those outside the team.
Because, in the end, winning solves a lot problems.