Tag Archives: John DeFilippo

This, That, and Some More: Happenings with the Browns

Just like normal, the Browns’ offseason has been surprisingly action-packed thus far. I mean, why watch of focus on the playoffs and another occurrence of Brady and Belichick unnecessarily cheating their way to the top when instead we can focus our attention on yet another coaching search and our own inflated (unlike the Patriots’ balls) rumor mill. Screw the playoffs, we don’t need them anyway…

On Our New Coach…

So who exactly is he? I mean, who the hell is John DeFilippo? What kind of team goes to Oakland to scrounge for a new offensive coordinator?!?!

Wow, that kind of escalated quicker than I expected. I apologize. Despite the seemingly negative tone of the above, I think I kind of like this hire. At least compared to other options, which were slim and temporarily consisted of the likes of Marc Trestman. Sure, DeFilippo’s resumé consists of working extensively with (the bad version of) Carson Palmer, Terrelle Pryor, Matt McGloin, and Derek Carr, which isn’t the strongest group of quarterbacks (although what he did with Carr this past season was impressive). And sure, his name is much harder to write and pronounce than Shanahan. But despite the name problems (which I’m sure I’ll get over at some point), DeFilippo is an exciting hire. He has been widely lauded across the league as the next Adam Gase (the former Broncos OC), which is a very nice comparison to have. If he can come anywhere close to that, I think our offense will be vastly improved next year. Actually, even if he can’t come close to that, our offense should vastly improve next year. Alex Mack will be back. We have a high draft pick we can comfortably spend on a wide receiver. And we maybe will have a functional quarterback, depending on how well DeFilippo does his job. There are lots of reasons for hope. Maybe…

On Manziel…

Rumor has it Manziel is basically a god-awful teammate. So that’s nice, I guess.

An ESPN report that came out last week revealed that close to 20 Browns sources that were interviewed discussed Manziel’s “lack of commitment and preparation, failure to be ready when given his chance in his first start against Cincinnati and continued commitment to nightlife.” According to the report, Manziel was consistently late to practice and meetings, and wasn’t a positive presence in the locker room. On the one hand, I mean we all kind of expected that – one doesn’t really grow up in a year, definitely at the age of 21 and with boatloads of fame and money. But on the other hand, we all have a right to be disappointed. He was drafted with the expectation that he would grow into the role of starting quarterback in the NFL, both in terms of on-field and off-field ability. Though he consistently presented his desire and efforts to do so in press conferences, he never managed to actually translate those words into actions, as evidenced by his being confined to the locker room for the final game of the season. DeFilippo has been extremely noncommittal about Manziel’s future as quarterback of the Browns, and rightly so. Unless Manziel has some sort of epiphany this offseason and comes back to camp as a newly focused and committed player, the Browns are going to have another Josh Gordon situation on their hands. Speaking of which…

On Josh Gordon…

If you were to put money on why Josh Gordon is in the news, what would you say?

If you answered “he probably failed another drug test”, then you would absolutely be correct; Josh Gordon is once again up for a year-long suspension. Now I have supported Gordon through this past year. I mean, he is an incredibly talented player, and he just had to grow up and realize what he was throwing away at some point, right? Nah, that would be too much to ask for these Cleveland Browns. He had a whole season to prove to coaches and fans that he was growing up and would be a valuable asset to this time, but once again he failed to do so. I believe that Mike Pettine and Ray Farmer have no choice but to cut him as soon as possible. If some other team picks him up and turns him into the best receiver in the NFL then great, but that is no longer a realistic expectation for the Browns. He is a bad stock that needs to be dumped, regardless of return on investment. He is a toxic asset that no longer belongs in Cleveland. It is time to move on, once and for all.

And yeah, that’s what’s up with the Browns. At least for now. This weekend I’ll be trying to focus on the Superbowl, assuming no more Browns-related drama pops up. Anyway, here’s to my least favorite NFL team going down in similar fashion to the Broncos last year. Cheers and Go Seahawks!!

The Shanahan Situation

While by no means the most surprising (see John Fox) or significant (see Rex Ryan, Todd Bowles) coaching news of the past week, Kyle Shanahan’s decision to leave the Browns clearly affects us, as Browns fans, more than any other.

One week ago, on January 8th, reports surfaced that Shanahan had decided to resign from his position as offensive coordinator, primarily due to friction among coaches and front office members. Two days later, on the 10th, the Browns held a press conference announcing that they were accepting Shanahan’s resignation and would be looking for a new offensive coordinator. Quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains was also let go of on Saturday. One week later, the Browns are once again searching for a new coach to fill a high-profile position in their organization, but before we get into that, let’s look at what Shanahan did iduring his short stint here in Cleveland.

The Browns’ offense was ranked 23rd in total offense and 27th in scoring for the 2014 season. A squad hindered by injuries and another year of disappointing quarterback play, the offense slowly declined as the season wore on. Alex Mack’s injury in late October had more impact than most anyone could’ve imagined, and Shanahan’s offense was largely ineffective in the second half of the season. Personally, I’m not all that bummed to see him go. Growing up in Denver, I have a special place in my heart for his last name, but I was more than a little disappointed in his playcalling in 2014. Having watched him lead Robert Griffin III to an Offensive Rookie of the Year award in 2012, I expected Shanahan’s playbook to be just shy of brilliant if Johnny Manziel ever saw the field this past season. Brian Hoyer’s play quickly declined after Mack went down, and, inevitably, the overhyped rookie was given the opportunity to lead the team. Going into Manziel’s Week 15 debut as a starter, I was really really excited. The Browns had destroyed the Bengals in their earlier meeting, and with Shanahan calling plays for Manziel, I expected more of the same. Instead, Shanahan presented the Browns and their fans with what was probably one of the worst play books I have ever seen. The Browns got shutout, trampled, and humiliated. Manziel managed 80 yards through the air while putting up a 27.3 passer rating. Shanahan’s play calling wasn’t much better the following week either. As the season went on, Shanahan’s playcalling became less and less effective; as such, I don’t think his departure will be that much of a loss. As to Loggains, the Browns’ quarterbacks clearly underperformed this season, so I don’t have to much of a problem with that move either.

Shanahan’s departure leaves the Browns once again in the coaching hunt. As of Thursday morning, the Browns had interviewed former Bears head coach Marc Trestman. They also have set up interviews with John DeFilippo, the Raiders QB coach, and Anthony Lynn, the Jets assistant head coach and running backs coach. Other names that have surfaced in association with the job include Cowboys OC Bill Callahan and former Bills Coach Chan Gailey. Out of this list of names, Trestman would probably be the best hire, although it will be difficult to lure him to Cleveland. He is known around the NFL for his ability to coax good play out of QBs, a skill the Browns could really use. However, because of his profile, he is being interviewed for numerous jobs across the NFL, including serving as the Raiders new OC. If they Browns were unable to land him, it would be quite possible they bring on Lynn, someone who Mike Pettine worked with from 2009 to 2012 while in New York. In that case, the Browns would do well trying to bring on someone like Bears QB coach Matt Cavanaugh to replace Loggains. Although it will be difficult to convince any coach to join an organization with such an absurd history of turnover since Jimmy Haslam took ownership, the Browns might could leverage Johnny Manziel to draw someone in. Manziel’s first season was a massive failure, and there are many questioning whether he could even come close to making it on this level. A young coach with a lot of ambition might see a place to prove himself and fasttrack his career. If not…well then the Browns might end up having to claw for scraps when it comes to new coaching hires.

Anyway, it will be interesting to see how this plays out over the next couple weeks. I originally considered making a prediction as to who might be hired, but then I realized this was the Browns I was talking about. When it comes to coaching decisions, they are as unpredictable as it gets. As such, I’m going to go ahead and postpone making a fool of myself with a wildly incorrect guess…at least till next week that is.