Just Win Baby!

Former HC Rob Chudzinski and Owner Jimmy Haslam III AP Photo

The Great Browns Head Coach Search of 2014: Just Win Baby!

Kate Arhar, Official Cleveland Browns Fan Reporter
Kate Arhar, Official Cleveland Browns Fan Reporter

Rumors abound regarding who is – and ISN’T – on the list of candidates to be the new Cleveland Browns Head Coach. Fans and media members alike are speculating, and there doesn’t seem to be a consensus on one guy. The front runner was Josh McDaniels, but ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reported that he’s not interested.  His loss.  We didn’t want him anyway. (Mature, I know, but that’s me).  Whether you like Denver OC Adam Gase, Seattle DC Dan Quinn, or Green Bay QB Coach Ben McAdoo, there are folks who will argue for or against your guy.

As for me, I’m more interested in the criteria the Browns are using to find their next Head Coach. Let’s face it – how many of us outside Seattle are familiar with the defensive scheme and talents of the Seahawks?  Anyone outside of Green Bay or the Packers’ organization know how much influence Ben McAdoo had on Aaron Rodger’s play, or the decision to not keep Matt Flynn?  I have no clue.  Instead, it’s not the name or the experience that a guy brings, but the attitude, the philosophy that matters. Does he THINK about football the way the three guys running the Browns THINK about football, because they must be on the same page if he will have any chance of surviving past year one.

I reached out to a few of my contacts with the Browns and asked them that very question: What qualities does the perfect candidate possess? What is most important for the team going forward?  And the answer I got was surprisingly simple… Just Win Baby.

We’re looking for a coach who gives us confidence that we can win. We’re in search of a coach who can see our team as a group that has a strong nucleus, and work together with our personnel staff to determine how to best utilize the assets we have going into the offseason, and take us to the next level. The best individual that can help us achieve those goals is the person we’re after.”  Zak Gilbert, Director of Communications, Cleveland Browns

Seems simple, and yet, when you look at it, that’s the beautiful part. It opens the door to a wide variety of coaches, and focuses on the one thing that matters:  Winning. They are not locked into a defensive style, offensive plan, or anything else… Just Win Baby.  And after years of listening to fans complain about terrible losses, listening to media tell me the team needs to “learn how to win,” listening to MYSELF justify personnel moves and front office decisions to other fans, all we really need is a guy to come in here and show us how to win.

And it doesn’t have to be more complicated than that. The tricky part is picking the right guy and that’s where the skepticism of fans will rear its head; because as much as we complain, we ALL want them to get this one RIGHT so we can Just Win Baby.

Owner Jimmy Haslam III Photo by John Reid Cleveland Browns
Owner Jimmy Haslam III
Photo by John Reid Cleveland Browns

For my five takes this week, I went back through the archives (translation: searched the internet) and found my five favorite quotes from Jimmy Haslam III regarding winning. This concept is nothing new and is a focal point in each major press conference or announcement the team has made since JH3 became the owner.  To me, that makes it believable, even if you think it’s too simplistic…

Kate’s Five Takes: “Winning” quotes from JH3

August 2012 – “Everybody is fired up and excited about football and when people say, ‘Why the Cleveland Browns?’ That’s why we say it, because the excitement and the importance of football, the Browns to this community is immense and we’re all about that and I can assure you we have one mission and one mission only and that’s to bring winning back to Cleveland.” From Cleveland.com

October 2012 – “This is truly one of the great, iconic NFL brands and if you think back to Paul Brown and of course arguably the greatest NFL player of all time, Jim Brown, it’s a very special place. As we have said on numerous occasions we’re going to do everything we possibly can and work as hard as we possibly can to bring a winning team to the fans of Cleveland whether they’re in Cleveland, Northeast Ohio or one of the many Browns Backers around the country.” From A good Sports Hang

December 2012 – “We think the person that can come in here and make the Cleveland Browns a winner will be recognized as one of the great coaches of all time, will be beloved in this area so I think we’re confident this is a good situation.” From Cleveland.com

February 2013 – “I’m not saying everybody will agree with every decision we made, but hopefully they could see we were very involved, very hands on and cared deeply about the Cleveland Browns, Northeastern Ohio and restoring a winning tradition to the area.” From Ohio.com

December 2013 – “I think you have to be careful. Coaches come in all shapes, forms and fashions. But I think real simply – and we spent a lot of time talking about this – we want an individual who’s a strong winner who knows how to win football games.” From Cleveland.com


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