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:
Paul DePodesta's comments from last year on how owners get scared during the analytics process: pic.twitter.com/EVegR37VK8
— Kevin Clark (@bykevinclark) December 7, 2017
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?
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 7, 2017
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.
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) December 8, 2017