Cleveland Browns will pick a new coach at the end of the season, but first a new coach has to choose. There are only 32 NFL coaching positions, so every time you open it, it's bound to be very coveted. Even with low availability, as Browns know from recent experience, there are degrees of attractiveness. Brownies will be far from the only team that hires a new coach, and so to choose, a franchise rooted in the mess of the field will have to sell to his favorite candidate.
When it comes to their case, Browns just has to start with the game of the debut Baker Mayfield after eliminating former coach Hue Jackson. Mayfield, the first spring spring of last spring, experienced heights (which lowered Browns' unceasing chance in his first appearance) and dropped (20 bags, six interceptions by 78.9 points) in the six games who played them under Jackson. In the three games at the time, Mayfield revealed the full potential of his sparkling potential and made Cleveland – not really Cleveland – a desirable coaching destination.
Mayfield led Browns to a 35-20 victory at Cincinnati on Bengals on Sunday, the third victory in eight games as starter Browns. He became the first Browns defender who started three victories in a season from Brian Hoyer in 2014. After that, Mayfield spoke about how the experience made it more comfortable. But it also made clear that Cleveland's improved performance is partly due to coaching change.
"We still have the same players," Mayfield said at a postgame press conference. "We had to play better, you can put it on it. We have people we believe in calling the songs now."
In the last three matches, after Jackson and offensive coach Todd Haley were fired, and Freddie Kitchens took over as player, Mayfield finished 73.9 percent of his 771-meter routing and nine touchdowns, scoring only one intercepting and taking only two packages. Chiefs, Falcons and Bengals, Cleveland's opponents in the three games, are among the most generous of the league. However, Mayfield has proven not only capable but also a potential star in the most critical position in the sport.
Nothing can be inferred from a sample of three games, but three games can be the best and best measure of Mayfield's NFL career. Mayfield survived a circus in the first half of the season, as much as he did an NFL offense.
After Sunday's victory, Mayfield walked in the middle of the pitch and met with Jackson, who joined Cincinnati's team as a defense coach. Jackson should have known Brown's strengths and weaknesses better than anyone, but his defensive entry did not help Cincinnati; Mayfield threw four touch passes. When Jackson tried to hug his former defender, Mayfield offered only a superficial maneuver.
"He said a good job, a good game," Mayfield said. "It was short. I did not feel like talking.
Pressed further, Mayfield clarified that he was the one who held the brief exchange.
"He left Cleveland, going to Cincinnati," Mayfield said. "There is someone in the locker room, asking us to play for him and then going to a team we play twice a year. Everyone can spin on it, but that's how I feel.
Mayfield had reasons to prefer to stay away. Jackson and Haley were angry throughout the season, engaging in a power struggle about who called the credits, who got credit and blamed. It was a worrying incubator of Mayfield's talent and threatened to hinder his development. Early coach interim coach Gregg Williams – an old defense coach who himself has little experience to help Mayfield to grow in today's game – is that Mayfield has been out of dysfunction without penetrating him.
For potential coaches, who should make Cleveland an attractive place, perhaps the most attractive job available. The chance to work with Mayfield, a unique talent with reserve moxie and a mind for a modern offensive, would be the only attractive one.
Brownies also have a pair of defense blocks in defensive head Myles Garrett and cornerback Denzel Ward, the first and fourth general player in the last two versions. Rookie Nick Chubb will be something solid and sensational in running back, and Jarvis Landry is a Pro Bowler who would make a perfect compliment to another outward star. Brown's talent, especially in defense, is legitimate.
If the list was the only consideration, Cleveland would probably be the most appealing destination of any potentially available coaching job. Another obvious competitor would be Packers if Mike McCarthy does not survive in Green Bay. The coaches would have dragged over hot coals for coach Aaron Rodgers. But Browns probably has a better overall talent, and Mayfield is a rookie while Rodgers is in mid-30s.
But Packers are one of the crown jewels of the league, a model despite their small market. The Browns function loses brilliance when the focus moves away from the field. Jimmy Haslam owner only oversaw the turnover, chaos and loss in six years at the helm. At any time, you need an almanac to find out who is running the football. John Dorsey, the executive director who built a large portion of the Super Bowl boss battle before losing his job and coming to Browns, can help stabilize the front office.
Brownies will have to provide candidates with the ability to lead an organization competently. But it should not be too much to sell. The first thing a coach needs is a defender, and Cleveland has one. Brownies do not need the next coach to put their faith in an unknown future. There is evidence now, in the form of Baker Mayfield.
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