Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

07 Dec 2017

Cleveland Fires Sashi Brown; Giving Up on Analytics? (UPDATE: Dorsey Hired)

Sam Hinkie, meet Sashi Brown. Sashi Brown, meet Mr. Hinkie. Get to know each other well.

The Browns this morning fired Sashi Brown. The scuttlebutt is that they will be getting rid of the entire analytics-based front office staff. It was obvious there was a long battle between head coach Hue Jackson and the front office, and Jackson has won. Owner Jimmy Haslam has committed to Jackson and said Jackson will be the head coach in 2018 even if the Browns finish 0-16. The new GM will be forced to keep Jackson as head coach. You know, unless Haslam is lying about that too.

Haslam is a liar. The whole point of the Brown/DePodesta front office was to take the time to commit to analytics and get this right, to build a contender slowly that could finally win for a long time and bring Cleveland a Super Bowl. They were told they had the time, and they knew it was a long journey. Read this quote here from Paul DePodesta:

The Cleveland front office has made mistakes, no question. The Kenny Britt deal. Ignoring medicals on Corey Coleman. We can argue about whether they should have drafted a quarterback. I think that they made a risk/reward evaluation on Carson Wentz, and it happened to work out for the Eagles. I would have drafted Deshaun Watson, I believed in him, and they disagreed. That's fine.

But they were told they had 3-4 years. So they always felt like they could wait until 2018 to get the quarterback if the right one wasn't there in 2016 or 2017. If Haslam had honestly told the front office, "You need to go 6-10 by 2017 or you are all fired," do you think they would have traded with Houston? Or would they have drafted Watson? Would they have maybe skipped Myles Garrett and drafted Mitchell Trubisky or Patrick Mahomes with the No. 1 pick? And would Cleveland be a better team in 2019 and 2020 without Myles Garrett to wreak havoc?

Well, gee, Jimmy, if you wanted someone with a lot of experience and a track record of success, why on earth did you hand your front office to Sashi Brown in the first place? Do you even understand that previous decisions by Jimmy Haslam were made by Jimmy Haslam? My god, THAT'S YOU.

Rumors say the Browns have their eyes on John Dorsey, former GM in Kansas City, to replace Brown. And look, Dorsey's got a good track record, he built a good team in Kansas City. He didn't go out and tear Eric Berry's Achilles this year. But you don't have success in the NFL by changing your front office every two years. Dorsey is going to use all those picks Sashi Brown traded for, and he's going to go 7-9 or 8-8, and everyone will get excited, and they will never actually make it to the Super Bowl. And three years from now, Haslam will get rid of him too.

UPDATE 7 p.m. EST: Well, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer is reporting that the Browns are not, in fact, cleaning house. She says Paul DePodesta and assistant GM Andrew Berry are keeping their jobs. Other reports say DePodesta will leave, but not Berry. This all remains to be seen. But this move makes a lot more sense if it is about Sashi Brown's personal mistakes in personnel choice and not the entire analytics concept. Andy Reid does analytics, and if John Dorsey can learn from Reid, he can get some use out of Berry, Ken Kovash, and the Browns analytics guys.

UPDATE 9:15 p.m. EST: The job was open for about half a day.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 07 Dec 2017

87 comments, Last at 11 Dec 2017, 9:59am by RobotBoy

Comments

1
by Guido Merkens :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 12:06pm

He certainly failed in his mission to make the 2017 Cleveland Browns a winning football team.

What's that you say? The goal wasn't to make the Browns competitive in 2017? Oh well, never mind, off to Hinkie Island with him.

21
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 1:47pm

For all Hinkie got fired, he's still popular locally. The 76ers are recognized as his team, and Trust the Process is still a popular slogan.

30
by mrt1212 :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 2:53pm

That's damning, not exonerating.

33
by theslothook :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 3:11pm

Why is it damning? They've landed one huge stud already in Ben Simmons. If Embiid stays healthy, that's two dynamite players - both who are potentially top 10 players. If Fultz pops, they are an instant title contender. That's worth the pain of a multi year teardown/

85
by davepyne :: Sun, 12/10/2017 - 10:16am

That's 2 too many 'ifs' in that statement.

86
by herewegobrownie... :: Sun, 12/10/2017 - 11:17am

True, but they also have a realistic chance of LeBron in FA - one of the few halfway decent teams that can afford him.

87
by RobotBoy :: Mon, 12/11/2017 - 9:59am

I think Fultz has already popped and is now a deflated scrap of plastic. 'If Embiid stays healthy' is no longer a hypothetical - he's not healthy, again. I don't think Process Truthers will ever jump ship, not even when the waves wash over their heads.

50
by Football Michae... :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 5:22pm

Would you rather be them or Orlando (who is crashing down to earth and will almost certainly NOT make the playoffs for like the 8th time in 10 years)

It also appears the players who Hinkie bailed on (MCW) were sold high.

I'd rather be the Raptors or Heat, but that's just my own biases/their situations were way different

82
by herewegobrownie... :: Sat, 12/09/2017 - 2:53pm

Orlando is certainly continuing to struggle.

However, the Raps and Heat have to at least be put behind the Sixers and Bucks in terms of East teams, in terms of "who has the best chance to take the reins when LeBron declines."

2
by jgibson_hmc95 :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 12:22pm

I agree with your general sentiment above. But I think your former writer Mike Tanier was really railing on Brown earlier this year.

3
by Aaron Schatz :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 12:27pm

Mike and I do not agree on Sashi Brown but I think we both agree that dicking around with a new front office every two years is bad.

9
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 12:49pm

I'm more of the Mike school of thought on Sashi Brown (mostly for not taking Watson...the Browns roster does have some talented pieces elsewhere), but I think the biggest mistake here is keeping Hue Jackson in 2018. I think he's not a good head coach, and a new GM should be able to decide whether to keep him or not.

24
by Richie :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 2:06pm

Yeah, I wonder if they actually see something from Jackson they like, or are they sticking with him just to maintain some consistency?

One win in nearly 2 years is not good. Most teams can accidentally win more games than that. But the Browns seem to make lots of bad in-game decisions, so they are rarely in position to steal a win.

Do the Jets have significantly more talent than Cleveland? I don't think so. But the Jets have 5 wins this year, and had a chance to win a few other games. Part of that is probably having a veteran QB who can make things happen.

42
by Raiderjoe :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 3:45pm

when younger and dumber did engage in tlalent arguments online. like,. "this guy is more talwented the guy at same potisiton on other team" and do that right down the lien and total it up and decide team 1 more talent than team 2. But looking back what a waste of time. Means nothing. What igf the two people arguing have the same wrong opinions about players? And are you arguing talent like a scout would ro at you looking at stats too ro some combination. think phrase ofr this activity is mental masturbation

6
by Bright Blue Shorts :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 12:47pm

Wow just wow.

Who would take this job now?

I really wouldn't be surprised to see Hue Jackson talk his way into a dual GM/HC job and then waste all those draft picks on someone like Carson Palmer ...

Also does this mean we get Andrew Healy back at FO?

Oh yeah and who would buy a season ticket to watch this team?

7
by mehllageman56 :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 12:47pm

With the first pick in the 2018 draft, the Cleveland Browns select Josh Allen, because he's tall and has a great arm.

8
by jtr :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 12:48pm

We already know who Hue would waste his draft picks on. He almost traded for AJ McCarron earlier this year. He should ask Bill O'Brian how well it works to snap up your old backup QB(s) when you go to a new team....

13
by mehllageman56 :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 12:54pm

If you're AJ McCarron, wouldn't you sign somewhere else? Also, if Sam Darnold was thinking about staying in school, he really is now. Hell, Rosen might stay now. Apparently there was a competition this week to see who was the most dysfunctional NFL franchise, and only the Giants and Browns were told.

16
by Theo :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 1:05pm

Wouldnt you think that trade came from Hue??

17
by mehllageman56 :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 1:31pm

Yes, I do, but again, would McCarron agree to go to the Browns if he's offered a contract somewhere else? He's a free agent this offseason.

57
by RickD :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 10:03pm

We asked that question last year about Jamie Collins. But he stayed.

38
by serutan :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 3:31pm

I'd bet Arizona would listen if Hue offered the #1 to get Palmer back...

It will be interesting to see how this finishes playing out. If one of the
current FO team is promoted to GM then maybe there was Sashi specific issue in play, and there is a real attempt at continuity. And Hue should get one more year for the same reason. But if there are further firings then we'll know it's Haslam being Haslam and no one is ever safe.

______
Was wr

78
by MC2 :: Fri, 12/08/2017 - 10:31pm

If Jackson (or anyone else) is willing to give up a first round pick for the decaying corpse of Palmer, he should not only be fired, he should be institutionalized!

51
by Football Michae... :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 5:23pm

It's going to be AJ MacCarron because he has poise and talent and class and we'll all get to hear more excellent commentary from his mom

4
by Dave Bernreuther :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 12:44pm

I don't know why they're looking outside the organization when the obvious move is to promote from within.

Who's excited for the Ryan Grigson era in Cleveland?

(But for real, until I see that DePodesta is gone too, I'll hold out hope that maybe Sashi did something behind the scenes that maybe earned this, and that they'll commit to staying smart, that they're letting Hue have the same leash they deserve, and that Andrew Berry will get more responsibility.

Then again, it's Haslam. Sigh...)

5
by mehllageman56 :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 12:46pm

The real issue here is, why does Hue Jackson keep his job? He has the same record as Sashi Brown the last two years. Will Dorsey get to fire him in the next year or two, or will they both be canned like what happened to Idzik and Rex Ryan?

10
by jtr :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 12:52pm

Saddling a new GM with an old coach is great recipe for spinning your wheels for a while. Since the two are independently hired, they're not necessarily on the same page. And it's a great recipe for the kind of power struggle the Browns have had over and over under Haslam, since the head coach is senior to the guy who he technically reports to. Plus, changing GMs every two years or so is a big part of why the Browns never get any traction on rebuilding. Browns gonna Browns I guess.

19
by Dan_L :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 1:34pm

This is the part that I worry about most as a Browns fan. I'm actually less specifically worried about the firing in the middle of a rebuild issue, as the 76ers are pretty good after the firing of Sam Hinkie. He made good choices as GM that wouldn't really show up until 2 years later, and there's some hope the same happens for the Browns and Sashi's choices. I think you can say the same for the development of players for the Jaguars under Gus Bradley as coach.

I guess the issue is that I don't think firings always mean dropping everything the person did for the organization, though it's hard to weed out those that do versus those that do not.

11
by mehllageman56 :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 12:52pm

The Hinkie situation was a little different, in that the NBA played a massive part in getting Hinkie canned. The NFL hasn't meddled in this sorry situation, but it may have to depending on how bad Haslam's fraud case gets.

36
by serutan :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 3:19pm

If my memory is working correctly, wasn't Hinkie reputed to be dumping players that showed any promise so he could keep tanking and accumulating draft picks until the mythical "can't miss" franchise cornerstone was obtained?
______
Was wr

43
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 3:47pm

Supposedly. Except 8 of Philly's 10 rotation guys are Hinkie signings.

He sifted through a lot of chaff to get the current roster, and admittedly, he missed on a few guys.

52
by Football Michae... :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 5:30pm

See my post above. The most high profile guy he bailed on, Michael Carter Williams, is *absolutely unplayable* (see last night). Okafor is unplayable in the modern game. Nerlens Noel is all defense but an absolute liability on offense.

He did trade a pick away, but that really doesn't fall under player evaluation.

General issue is that the players he drafted were part of the old NBA where big men were king and the two he abandoned never developed anything to adapt.

This is too NBA-y already but it fits with the argument - Hinkie got screwed over because of something out of his control, just like the Browns have NOT been the worst team in the league

14
by BJR :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 12:57pm

I'm fairly indifferent about this firing. Obviously it's only in hindsight that Wentz and Watson have made them look silly, but I still believe they have underestimated the importance and difficulty of filling the QB position (and said so after the draft this year). For better or worse (but really, how could it get any worse?) this must mean they are now drafting a QB with #1 pick in the spring. And the they've still got the draft capital that this regime accumulated.

I'm still astonished Hue Jackson will keep his job. Even with a lousy roster, I see very little evidence of progress in the last two years, and the coach has to bear most of the responsibility for that.

15
by mehllageman56 :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 1:00pm

I feel you cannot blame Sashi for passing on Wentz and Watson. Wentz had decent stats, but he was playing at a lower level, on a team that won 5 championships in a row. Claiming they are the Alabama of the FCS level is an insult to North Dakota State. Taking a bunch of picks to pass on him makes sense to me. In hindsight, it didn't work out. DeShaun Watson looks great now, but he only played five games in a very good situation. I"m sure he would have had trouble without two large fast receivers to claim jump balls from him.

20
by BJR :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 1:45pm

I agree in a vacuum, and they did indeed receive good hauls for those picks. But unless you get extraordinarily lucky with a lower round pick, or a veteran free agent somehow becomes available, eventually you have to take the plunge near the top of the draft. Are any of this year's prospects less risky than Watson? Should Cleveland trade down again, even if it entails fielding a putrid offense for another season?

22
by mehllageman56 :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 1:54pm

Less risky picks than Watson this year; well, if they come out, Darnold and Rosen. Cleveland would get their first pick at either of them if they come out. If they don't come out, perhaps they should trade down and let someone like John Elway have the Josh Allen experience. I don't see him working out for whoever drafts him.

56
by PSLfunkdoc :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 8:19pm

The main argument against Watson as a prospect was his throwing velocity at the combine. It was under 50 MPH, and the most successful NFL QB who did that poorly was...Mike Glennon. That made him look like a tremendously risky prospect, to say the least.

In retrospect, the main flaw with that analysis was that the combine didn't measure throwing velocity until the last few years or so. People were drawing these conclusions from a sample size of *less than 100*! That's most likely what the Browns did...a classic pitfall of football statistics.

This is a conversation a lot of the FO community didn't seem to be aware of, but it was alllll over both Fantasy Football Twitter & Scouting Twitter.

65
by Will Allen :: Fri, 12/08/2017 - 9:00am

Ok, now I understand; they were using a metric in a definitive way, despite the metric only being collected in a tiny sample. Man, that's stupid. Really, really (really!) stupid.

67
by Lebo :: Fri, 12/08/2017 - 9:44am

Interestingly, Matt Waldman's pre-draft assessment of Watson was basically: could be good, but needs to land in the right situation.

The Texans seem like a pretty good situation: decent o-line, decent RBs, one great WR and some okay ones, and a great defense. Oh, and they play in a crappy division.

The Browns are basically the opposite of that.

68
by BJR :: Fri, 12/08/2017 - 10:48am

Houston has been a wasteland for QBs the past few season; they hadn't had competent QB play since Matt Schaub fell off a cliff in 2012/13. Ok, so Watson is their first serious attempt at drafting a QB in that time, but the situation there wasn't enough to help the guys who preceded him look competent.

70
by Lebo :: Fri, 12/08/2017 - 12:02pm

The fact that the previous QBs in Houston had little success may be because Houston didn't provide wasn't a good situation for young QBs, or it may be because the young QBs it had weren't very good. As you say, this is Houston's first serious attempt at drafting a QB, so I tend to think it's the latter.

83
by herewegobrownie... :: Sat, 12/09/2017 - 3:09pm

"The Texans seem like a pretty good situation: decent o-line, decent RBs, one great WR and some okay ones, and a great defense. Oh, and they play in a crappy division.

The Browns are basically the opposite of that."

Not exactly. The Browns' O problems are not really on their line or their RBs - their run DVOA is 7th, and even with JT out their line doesn't have any glaring weak links, like they did last year with Cam Erving.

WRs haven't been good, but if Josh Gordon can stay un-suspended - I know, I know - and Coleman can be healthy, they're not the problem; Njoku has a lot of potential at TE and DeValve can be adequate.

Their secondary isn't very good but their front 7 are among the better in the league.

The AFC North is arguably as bad as the South this year, and will continue to be as Roethlisberger declines/retires and Flacco continues to be the biggest albatross contract in the league. Indeed, I think one of the goals of the Browns' "moneyballing" was for their young talent to hit their stride just as the AFC as a whole opens up with Roethlisberger and Brady retiring.

27
by Richie :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 2:17pm

The great unanswerable question: how much does environment matter to the development of a young QB?

If Wentz or Watson were on the Browns would they have looked as good as they do, or would they look like Colt McCoy?

34
by serutan :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 3:11pm

IMO one can argue that the 2016 vs. 2017 Rams showed that the question is
in fact answerable.
______
Was wr

71
by Noah Arkadia :: Fri, 12/08/2017 - 1:10pm

Good point. I buy it. Frankly, the idea that any player would have been exactly the same in any situation seems about as a big a fallacy as saying a draft pick who got injured would've also got injured if he'd been picked by any other team. Change anything and you might (or might not!) change everything.

72
by Richie :: Fri, 12/08/2017 - 1:59pm

Interesting thought.

I like Goff and the Rams, but I'm still not 100% sure if he's good, or if he's been getting lucky. But clearly he's better than he was last year.

If we assume the Goff is proof that the environment can be the difference between success and failure for a QB, what should a team do if their young/rookie QB doesn't play well?

DeShone Kizer has been brutal this year. Is he just bad, or is the environment bringing him down? Should the Browns stick with him and change the coaching staff? So far it looks like the Browns haven't been wrong on giving up on any of their post-1999 QB's, since none of them have done well on other teams, except Josh McCown this year, but he's too old to be their long-term starter anyway.

26
by Richie :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 2:15pm

Now Josh Rosen is saying he hasn't decided about leaving UCLA. (Maybe he's just saying that because they still have a bowl game to play.)

But if neither Darnold nor Rosen come out, are there any QB's worthy of the #1 overall pick?

That could be even worse for Cleveland. The new GM reaches to take a QB because he thinks he has to take a QB or get fired, and then it's Johnny Manziel all over again.

31
by James-London :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 2:55pm

"The new GM reaches to take a QB because he thinks he has to take a QB or get fired, and then it's Johnny Manziel all over again."

This. All of this.

Phil Simms is a Cretin.

54
by Mash Wilson :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 7:15pm

This is one of the dangers more real in the NFL than the NBA to being THIS bad: the superprospect you dream of landing might decide to stay in school one more year to avoid getting drafted by you.

58
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 10:34pm

Or pull a Mayfield and act up a little, hoping to fall to the back of the 1st round.

73
by Richie :: Fri, 12/08/2017 - 2:00pm

Has that ever actually happened?

Why is it a bigger risk in the NFL than the NBA?

77
by Mash Wilson :: Fri, 12/08/2017 - 3:42pm

Because the best NBA draft prospects never return to college, ever. It's called "one and done" for a reason.

Also because the NBA has a draft lottery and you can't know who's in line to pick you until after you have to commit.

12
by Theo :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 12:53pm

Between Brown and Hue he chose Hue... not that I agree with Sashi but at least they got a lot of draft picks and a lot of players.

18
by James-London :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 1:32pm

I can see a case for cleaning house and starting again (again). I can see a case for staying the course. I can even see a case for replacing the HC, and allowing an analytics-driven GM to pick a new coach. What I can't see is a case for firing the GM, and committing his replacement to Hue Jackson. When did that last end well?

Phil Simms is a Cretin.

23
by Bryan Knowles :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 1:56pm

Has Jimmy Haslam...ever made the right decision about anything? Or, at least, anything football related? Because I'm having trouble coming up with anything.

25
by Travis :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 2:11pm

Haslam's decision to buy the Browns was a good one - the Browns have doubled in franchise value (if you believe Forbes) in the 5 years since. He probably also hired the right lawyer to settle that fraudulent rebate scheme.

28
by theslothook :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 2:27pm

Aaron summed it up quite nicely. I believe the Browns are doomed to failure as long as Haslam is the owner. He is the worst owner in the NFL by a long distance and that is quite a statement given the league still has Snyder and Jerry Jones.

29
by NJBammer :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 2:30pm

I spoke once to a man who works in the analytics department of the Eagles, who said that Wentz was 100% a scouts pick, not an analytics pick. From what I remember I think the Browns agreed with the Eagles according to scouts who were fired after the draft, but tilted to the analytics team over the scouts team input. I suppose you can argue process but given the seemingly universal agreement by NFL pundits that Wentz would be an excellent NFL QB I don't think it's too much to say this was a pretty phenomenal failure on the part of the Browns.

Was it Sashi who made the call? DePodesta? Haslam? I'd love to see the 30 for 30 special on this someday.

41
by Raiderjoe :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 3:42pm

what anaklysitcs are there in football?

45
by serutan :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 3:49pm

It's there, but the teams are very closed mouthed about the extent to which
it is used. If poster was drunk, please disregard. :)
______
Was wr

46
by theslothook :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 3:58pm

Analytics seems to be misunderstood.

Statistics tells you right away that if the world is uncertain, your analytics might just as likely misinform as inform.

32
by Shylo :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 3:05pm

You know, I would be surprised that Jimmy Haslam took Hue Jackson over Sashi Brown/analytics-based player procurement, but this is the same guy who originally wanted Greg Schiano at UT, so it's obvious he has poor judgment.

Also, I don't get committing to a tank and freaking out when your team, you know, tanks.

37
by billprudden :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 3:26pm

"Also, I don't get committing to a tank and freaking out when your team, you know, tanks."

Amen. If we had put the owner on truth serum in August, what did he think their record would be this year?

40
by Richie :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 3:34pm

"Also, I don't get committing to a tank and freaking out when your team, you know, tanks."

Which makes me wonder if Brown was released due to personal issues - not performance/results issues.

44
by ChrisS :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 3:47pm

I think in the abstract before the season began Haslem said he did not care about the record. But looking at a real possibility of 0-16 and getting bombarded by criticism he has now changed his weak-minded mind.

55
by Alternator :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 7:48pm

I could understand the freakout if Hue Jackson was the one being fired - the Browns have enough scattered talent that they should not be threatening 0-16, and that's down to the coach.

I cannot understand freaking out and firing the guy who has seemingly done a decent job adding talent to a bare roster, and who even took a chance on a project QB in Kizer.

35
by Cythammer :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 3:17pm

Browns are like a ship lost in the middle of the ocean, trying to get back to land. What they should do is choose one direction to go in and stick with it. Instead they steam off one way for a little while, then fire their captain and go off in a completely direction.

53
by jtr :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 5:42pm

This is the perfect metaphor

39
by MilkmanDanimal :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 3:32pm

Hue Jackson is going to be 1-31 over a two-year span, and his coaching this year has been mostly known for randomly flopping between a series of bad QBs rather than just sticking with one long enough to see if they grow into the role. If I was firing anybody in that organization, it'd, well, be Haslam, but, since I can't do that, it'd be Hue Jackson. Maybe he's Modern Day Norv, a guy who needs to be offensive coordinator and never be allowed near a head coaching gig.

47
by dmstorm22 :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 4:15pm

What is Paul DePodesta's role with the Browns. I always believed him to be above Sashi Brown. Is that true? If it is then unless they fire Paul I think they are still committed to that direction.

It might have been just a mano-y-mano thing with Jackson and Brown.

On the whole, I agree that this is classic Browns hastiness.

48
by billprudden :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 4:19pm

Theory:

1) Hue sat down with Jimmy and said "If you don't get rid of these non-football geeks I'm gonna quit, and NOBODY will take the HC job. Ever."

2) Jimmy, while believeing in the long-term analytics-driven plan, believed Hue, rightly or wrongly.

3) And so he cleaned out the front office...

49
by drobviousso :: Thu, 12/07/2017 - 4:41pm

Mother of god. Factory of Sadness continues to churn with heartless industrial precision.

59
by GwillyGecko :: Fri, 12/08/2017 - 12:53am

this is absolutely the right move by haslem. the browns front office absolutely WHIFFED by passing on Wentz and Watson the last two years, the latter of which they couldve gotten 12th overall. NONE of the QBs in 2018 are surefire prospects and they should be embarrassed for passing on starting QBs so they could draft a shitty WR and what a safety or something? lmao.

62
by Theo :: Fri, 12/08/2017 - 5:28am

Anytime it's said "aren't any surefire prospects" it might as well turn out to be multiple guys with long careers and whenever we read "can't miss prospect" it might turn out to be a bust.
Like the Browns said before, no one has a golden sure-fire formula so you might as well get yourself more dice to throw with.
Passing on Wentz turned into many players:
WR Corey Coleman
OT Shon Coleman
QB Cody Kessler
WR Ricardo Louis
S Derrick Kindred
WR Jordan Payton
OG/OT Spencer Drango
S Jabrill Peppers
QB DeShone Kizer
Houston's first-round pick in 2018
Philadelphia's second-round pick in 2018

sure they missed on Wentz, but the Browns needed many players. One of the picks actually turned into the #12 pick. They should've gone Watson there, I agree.
But to say that the Wentz trade and following trades was bad on itself is crazy. They did an excellent job of turning one pick into half a roster of young players. Weather you agree with the picks is another thing (I would've went Hooker instead of Peppers) but my opinion remains they handled that pick really well.

81
by herewegobrownie... :: Sat, 12/09/2017 - 2:42pm

Most people would say that's not a very good list, though.

Drango is an adequate long-term replacement for Joe Thomas and Shon Coleman is also adequate in place of Mitchell Schwartz - whom Sashi & co flubbed a viable re-sign, even if it's not their fault Alex Mack wanted to leave - but Kizer and Kessler are looking very over-drafted, and they'll likely only be able to flip them for a 5th rounder. I still think Peppers can be productive and Kindred can be an adequate rotational DB, but Payton/Louis are JAGs.

60
by ChrisLong :: Fri, 12/08/2017 - 1:41am

I guess I don't get the Hue Jackson hate. He was really good in Cincinnati at making the most out of Andy Dalton but has had a very bare cupboard for two years now at the skill positions, especially QB.

61
by dmstorm22 :: Fri, 12/08/2017 - 2:32am

Here's my $.02:

1.) Many coaches have had bare cupboards, none have gone 1-27.

2.) He's someone who got a bit too power-hungry the last time he was a head coach

That all said, I don't know the specifics of what went on internally in Cleveland.

Also, as you said, he did do great work in Cincinnati with Dalton, and may have learned a lot from his Oakland experience.

74
by Richie :: Fri, 12/08/2017 - 2:07pm

"1.) Many coaches have had bare cupboards, none have gone 1-27."

Most are fired before they have a chance at 1-27.

It's like when Eli Manning threw 27 interceptions a few years ago. A QB who coaches have no faith in would never be given the opportunity to throw 27 interceptions in a season.

So, warranted or not, Hue Jackson has the faith of his bosses that he can turn this ship around.

69
by Football Michae... :: Fri, 12/08/2017 - 10:58am

Coordinator != Coach != GM.

He did a palace coup at Oakland and wants one here too.

79
by MC2 :: Fri, 12/08/2017 - 10:36pm

Exactly. I've never understood why people think a talent for X's and O's (which, by all accounts, is where Jackson excels) necessarily correlates with all the other things a head coach is tasked with doing.

63
by craigj1971 :: Fri, 12/08/2017 - 6:04am

I am just hoping, probably against hope, that DePodesta and Berry are being retained to continue the analytics approach. The comment I read here that Andy Reid does analytics is encouraging as hopefully Dorsey is a convert and will be able to work with DePodesta and Barry. Brown must be extremely galled that he is the one that has taken so much flack despite heading up a front office that has secured so many high draft picks. In my opinion I don't have a problem that he missed on Wentz (guns for gifts for his O-line is a good enough reason to stear clear, IMHO). As for Watson, let's see what he does next year - RG3 was good once. Dorsey is gonna reap the rewards of the ground work overseen by Brown. Not Dorsey's fault, but pretty unfair to Brown. The worst thing though - this sacking has given those dimwits at Factory of Sadness exactly what they wanted, the total (knee)jerks.

64
by Jerry :: Fri, 12/08/2017 - 7:13am

If you're a Cleveland sports fan right now, you can spend your ticket dollar on:

An excellent basketball team with one of the all-time greats,

One of the best teams in major league baseball, or

The Browns.

Even if you're willing to trust the process, you have better alternatives until it shows results. And if Jimmy Haslam (who I agree is a crappy owner) is seeing a lot of empty seats, that may be what pushed him to make a move, regardless of what he promised to whom.

84
by herewegobrownie... :: Sat, 12/09/2017 - 3:14pm

The irony is that if the Browns show anywhere close to Cavs/Indians level success, it's going to excite the region a *lot* more than them, even by usual NFL vs. NBA/MLB popularity standards, and even considering the NFL is losing ground to the NBA daily nationwide.

They may not have to compete with the Cavs for attention much longer, depending on what happens with LeBron's coming free agency.

Apparently the money has been coming in for Haslam all along; "on paper" they have had many sellouts until recently.

66
by jtr :: Fri, 12/08/2017 - 9:15am

Dorsey is described everywhere as a "scout's scout", so I think it's safe to assume this is a knee jerk swing to the exact opposite of what they had been doing. Haslam couldn't even give the analytics guys a third offseason to work on a roster that's showing some promise.

And the fact that this team is showing some promise in terms of young talent but has zero wins to show for it this year suggests that the problems come from the guy on the sideline rather than the suits in the office.

80
by greybeard :: Sat, 12/09/2017 - 2:26am

He is described as good talent evaluator. But looking at KC roster it is hard to say why. The only players I can think of as good finds are Peters, Kelce and Hill. Kelce was injured and did not play the first year. It was more of that he was willing to gamble then good scouting. Similar for Hill. Even Peters was dinged for character concerns. . The rest of his picks are pretty mediocre if I am being generous. He picked Ford and Fisher as first rounders. Last year his third round pick did not make the team. This year besides Hunt almost no contributions from the rookies. KC roster has a lot of holes and the best two players (Houston and Berry) were there when he arrived.

75
by OldFox :: Fri, 12/08/2017 - 2:32pm

Getting rid of Sashi Brown is fine by me; he never should have been given that job in the first place. But keeping Hue Jackson is a HUGE mistake, and if the Browns do indeed go away from an analytical approach, that will also be a huge mistake.

I hate to say it, because I liked him way back when, but the common thread in all of the Browns' problems is Jimmy Haslam. He doesn't learn from his mistakes. He keeps hiring a new GM and then telling the GM that he's got to keep the existing head coach, even if (a) the two men have nothing in common, and (b) the head coach hasn't done anything to warrant such a favor. This is, what, the third time Haslam has made that same mistake? I just don't know what to make of a billionaire who keeps doing the same stupid thing over and over and over. And this is the worst mistake yet, since Hue is clearly the biggest loser of all the coaches Haslam has hired. (People make fun of Pat Shurmur, but did he ever go 1-27?) It's just mind-boggling to see how poorly this organization is run. It's like the Keystone Kops took over a football team.

76
by Bright Blue Shorts :: Fri, 12/08/2017 - 3:27pm

Reading Dorsey's comments today he's said that drafting a QB is the priority.

It would seem to me that Hue Jackson had Haslam's ear and told him "You can't win without a decent QB and the Front Office passed on Wentz who is now succeeding in Philly, Watson who'd turned the Texans into contenders until he got injured and then they screwed up the McCarron trade which would have been perfect because I worked with him in Cincinnati".

So Dorsey has been brought in with a remit to draft a QB. Which, as an earlier poster wrote, will be a huge mistake if a decent one isn't on offer. It will be like the Vikings drafting The Ponderous One in 2011 as Will has talked about.

The mistake Haslam is making, that all dysfunctional organisations suffer from, is that he's not following the plan or the chain of command and just reacts to whatever noise comes from down below.