Big-name hires don’t guarantee big-time success

Posted by Vic Carucci on January 15, 2013 – 12:10 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:

Mike – Big-name coaches don’t always equate to big-time winning teams. I’d rather have a good offensive coach with a REAL passion for this team and its history than a coach who comes here just for a pay check. This is a good fit for this team at this time.

Totally agree, Mike.

A head-coaching background in the NFL and/or the collegiate level does not guarantee success.

And I think it’s fair to say that had the Browns hired a “big name,” whatever splash it would have created with media and fans would disappear quickly if the team did not instantly become a contender. Because the money it likely would have taken to land such a coach doesn’t allow for anything less than an immediate rise to postseason contender. Yet, he still would be dealing with a mostly young roster and a quarterback, Brandon Weeden, entering his second season with plenty to prove before he could be regarded as a true long-term answer at the position.

That isn’t to suggest that it’s necessary to lower expectations for Rob Chudzinski or any first-time head coach. You won’t and I won’t, either.

The expectation is that he was hired because he has the ability to make the Browns a better team. The expectation is that the highly productive offenses that he led as the Browns’ offensive coordinator in 2007 and as the Carolina Panthers’ offensive coordinator in 2011 make him someone who can inject more explosiveness into the Browns’ passing attack.

However, unlike a “big name” coach, Chudzinski has a much greater up side. Any success he has will be recognized in the context of overachievement, and so what?

Here’s something else to keep in mind: of the four finalists in the NFL postseason, two are guided by coaches who joined their respective teams with no head-coaching experience – Atlanta’s Mike Smith and Baltimore’s John Harbaugh.

Jeanette – I really hope Rob Chudzinski does well as the Browns’ new head coach. Coaches are only so important. They don’t run, pass, or catch. It’s talented players.

Well said, Jeanette.

Any coach’s success or failure is directly tied to the level of talent on his roster.

For the most part, I think the Browns have good, young talent. They have a solid enough core of youth on both sides of the ball that should help allow Chudzinski to successfully implement the attack-oriented mentality he intends to employ – especially on offense.

But the Browns clearly need to add more talented players, and if they do, Chudzinski’s chances for success will be that much greater, period.

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