Continuity isn’t kept just for continuity’s sake

Posted by Vic Carucci on December 8, 2012 – 1:15 am

By Vic Carucci, Senior Editor

You’ve got questions and comments that you submit to the Browns’ official Facebook and Twitter pages. Here’s what I have to say about what you have to say:

Scott – Hey, Vic, are you in favor of keeping Par Shurmur and Tom Heckert in place just so the team doesn’t have to start fresh YET again?

Scott, the decision to retain coaches and/or general managers usually isn’t done merely to maintain continuity for the sake of maintaining continuity.

It isn’t done because of fear of causing disruption and worrying about the ramifications of hitting the reset button again.

If that decision is made, it will be because the people running the team believe they have the right men in place not just for the balance of the season, but for many years beyond. And if the opposite should happen, it will be because the folks in charge believe their new hires are capable of making the team better right away, without concern over difficulties caused by a transition period.

That is all part of the thorough evaluation process being conducted by Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and chief executive officer Joe Banner.

Mike – What do you think of the NFL thinking about eliminating kickoffs in the interest of player safety?

Mike, I’m all in favor of the league’s efforts to make the game safer, and it makes perfect sense to place close scrutiny on kickoffs where there are so many full-speed collisions.

However, I’m not so sure I like the idea of making such a radical change to the rules. The concept that league commissioner Roger Goodell mentioned during a recent interview with Time magazine – giving the kicking team a fourth-and-15 situation from its own 30-yard line and having the option to punt or go for it in lieu of an onside kick – sounds pretty radical.

If the commissioner and members of the NFL’s Competition Committee and others within the league hierarchy have compelling evidence that strongly supports such changes reducing the possibility of injury, then it might be hard to argue against their implementation.

But I also would like to hear more about the efforts being made to enhance the safety aspects of equipment. Is it possible for more to be done in that area before dramatically altering the way the game is played? And the answer might very well be that greater enhancement of equipment and the elimination of kickoffs are both needed to make the game safer.

It will be fascinating to see how all of this plays out when owners meet in March to discuss, among other topics, rules changes.

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