The Browns made the news that everyone expected, firing their Head Coach and General Manager. We’ll discuss the moves and what’s likely coming next in Berea. It’s also the start of the NFL playoffs and we’ll preview all four Wildcard matchups this weekend. We agree on three of the four games this weekend.
Running Time: 44:43
1Q: Out with the old…
- Shurmur (9-23 in 2 yrs) and Heckert (no Pro Bowlers drafted) both fired on Monday.
- Listen to Haslam and Banner’s comments to understand reason for change.
- On coaching qualities needed, Haslam wants someone: “who is a strong leader, who’s tough because this is a tough business, but also is smart, very organized, has great attention to detail and is aggressive. That’s the kind of football team we want to have, and candidly, I think it’s the kind of individuals we are.”
- Shurmur did not have the attention to detail, was not aggressive. Those lame 5 yard crossing routes on 3rd and 10 are gone.
- He had never proven he deserved the HC job in the first place. The only guy that believed in him was Holmgren (same agent, friends with Pat’s Uncle).
- Haslam won’t make this mistake in hiring his first coach.
- On current roster, Banner says it’s better than it was before Heckert got here “but there’s a ways to go”.
- When Haslam took over, he made comments that your 1st round picks have to be Pro Bowlers.
- So while Heckert improved the overall quality of the roster, he never found those studs at the top of the draft (trading down for quantity is not what Haslam thinks is aggressive).
- Maybe that’s what we needed at the time, but not anymore.
2Q: So what’s in store for the Browns now?
- Banner said they will focus on the HC first, then the GM. He admitted this means they could miss out on some GM candidates. But that’s how important they think the coach is.
- Chip Kelly:
- Weeden said he cannot run Chip Kelly’s spread offense. No kidding.
- If Kelly is our #1 target, as many are reporting, that spells the end of Weeden in Cleveland.
- If not Kelly, who else fits the description? Saban, Gruden and Cowher, for sure. But are any of those guys interested in the job?
- Nick Saban:
- Would Saban leave Alabama? If so, how long would he be committed to staying in CLE to get the job done (he bolted from the Dolphins).
- Many critics say that Saban is too old at 61. But he’s the same age as Pete Carroll, Belichick and Mike Shanahan.
- Bruce Ariens:
- Bruce Ariens (Indy OC) did a nice job while Chuck Pagano was ill. He was ousted from his job in PITT on bad terms and would probably love to come back and coach against the Steelers. He could probably do it with our existing roster.
- Jon Gruden:
- Mike says: Please, NO!!!!!
- He won SB in Tampa with Dungy’s team. Did nothing since then and could never figure out his QB situation.
- Wears out his welcome quickly. That style may be better suited for College, where the players rotate in and out of the program every few years.
3Q: AFC Playoffs – Wildcard Round
- #6 Cincy @ #3 Houston
- Houston struggle to close out the season and let the 1st round bye slip through their hands. Can they get it going now?
- Can Cincy score enough to win this game?
- rematch of last year’s Wildcard game (HOU won).
- Tom and Mike pick: Houston
- #5 Indy @ #4 Baltimore
- Baltimore fired their OC a few weeks ago. They’ve had injuries on defense all year long. Can they make a run in the playoffs? Do you trust Joe Flacco?
- Indy has been riding Luck’s arm and emotion of ChuckStrong. Can they win on the road or are they one-and-done.
- Tom and Mike pick: Indy
4Q: NFC Playoffs – Wildcard Round
- #6 Minnesota @ #3 Green Bay
- AP fell NINE yards short of Dickerson’s rushing record.
- There’s no way they can win in the playoffs with Ponder at QB, right?
- Can GB’s offensive line play well enough to let Rodgers do his thing?
- Tom and Mike pick: Green Bay
- #5 Seattle @ #4 Washington
- Matchup of two of the best rookie QBs (Wilson and RG3).
- Seattle is unbeatable at home. But can they win on the road?
- How healthy is RG3’s leg? Good enough to evade a SEA pass rush?
- Tom picks: Washington
- Mike picks: Seattle
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