The Cleveland Browns and owner Jimmy Haslam are basically a fish out of water flopping on the deck of a square topsail schooner. They clearly have no idea what they're doing.
Thursday morning news leaked that the Browns had interest in hiring former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer. Then Haslam took the mic at a mid-afternoon press conference and insisted that his team was focused on coaches with NFL experience. Meyer has no experience in the league.
OK, false leaks happen all the time, maybe that was just a rumor that grew too big in proportion to its level of truth.
Then, during that same press conference, Haslam revealed the team plans to hire a coach before finding a general manager. He also said chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta will stay in place and lead the coaching search. So they're going to hire a coach, then hire the guy who will build the roster? Shouldn't it be the reverse?
Haslam claimed the new coach will have a say in a "collaborative" process to find a replacement general manager. The plan is for the new GM to handle the 53-man roster and the head coach to control the gameday roster with both reporting to him. Boy, it sure is hard to see anything going wrong with that setup.
They're essentially constructing a situation where the first time something goes wrong, people will take sides with either the coach or the new GM. Which is why most teams hire a general manager, then have the general manager lead the coaching search. It ensures one vision top to bottom. What Haslam is proposing here is a mess waiting to happen.
Haslam took over as the Browns owner midway through the 2012 season. Since the start of the 2013 campaign, the team is 28-83-1-- and that includes seasons that featured one, three and zero wins. Oh, and he's about to hire the fifth head coach since he bought the team.
NFL franchises win because of good ownership and good management. The Browns have had neither in the Haslam Era and there's no reason to think that will improve with new hires.