The Browns Best Choice For Head Coach

By Chris Fedor

Behind a 2-14 record and one of the most disappointing seasons in the NFL lies a very good coach that is looking for a job right now.

However, rest assured, John Fox will not be looking for a head coaching gig very long.

Whether it is here in Cleveland or somewhere else in the NFL, John Fox roaming the sidelines with a headset in 2011 and it won’t be as a defensive coordinator. It will be as a head coach and here’s hoping it’s right here on the shores of Lake Erie.

While many fans will be unable to look past his 2-14 record this season, I’m not sure Vince Lombardi, Bill Belichick, or even Bill Parcells in his prime could’ve coached a winner this season in Carolina with the roster that was in place. The Panthers were the worst team in the league, but it was hardly because of John Fox. The failures of the Panthers this season are more of a reflection on the owner as opposed to Fox and his ability to coach. Don’t believe me? Check out this quote from Panthers owner Jerry Richardson on December 7th of 2010.

“I know how difficult the season has been for you. As the person ultimately responsible for putting a team on the field, I take full responsibility for our shortfalls.  It is agonizing that we have not performed at the level we had planned for and expected.”

Why is he taking so much responsibility? Because he should. Heading into this season, Richardson had one goal in mind. Get ready for a potential lockout in 2011. The Panthers signed zero free agents in 2009 and followed that up by signing none in 2010 as well. Not to mention the Panthers released six veterans this offseason, including Jake Delhomme and Julius Peppers, and they also traded away their best defensive back, Chris Harris. They went into the 2010 season undermanned with one of the youngest rosters in the league that just wasn’t good enough to compete on a weekly basis, especially with the trio that spent time under center. It all led to the worst season in the John Fox era, but yet it was still one game better than the team he inherited in 2002 from George Seifert.

Despite the 2-14 record this season, Fox was 78-74 in nine seasons in Carolina, won 49 games in his own conference, had a winning record in the division, made three playoff appearances, had a 5-3 record in those playoff games, and took his team to the Super Bowl despite having Jake Delhomme as his quarterback, which is a tough feat for any head coach.

While the record may not overwhelm many people, Fox did all of that with Rodney Peete, Jake Delhomme, Matt Moore, and Jimmy Clausen under center and an aging Stephen Davis, Nick Goings, and DeShaun Foster at running back until DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart arrived in Carolina. His teams were always well prepared, they were tough, they were physical, they fought for 60 minutes, he is one of the better defensive coaches in the league, and he is a winner.

John Fox is a good head coach. He is admired, liked, and respected by all his peers, by management, and by both his current and former players.

While it would be very beneficial for the Browns to have an offensive minded coach to help groom Colt McCoy and help out the struggles on that side of the ball, John Fox has enough clout and is respected enough around the league to bring in veteran, high quality coordinators with strong resumes to coach alongside him. Eric Mangini settled for Brian Daboll because others didn’t want to work with him and they didn’t want to be part of a philosophy that was best in the NFL 30 or 40 years ago. That won’t be a problem with Fox.

He may not create excitement and it might be tough for Mike Holmgren to sell a 2-14 coach to a starved fan base, but it’s not about exciting the fans. It’s about winning and finding the best coach for the Browns. If Mike Holmgren is not willing to come out of his luxury suite at Cleveland Browns Stadium, then the best coach for this franchise is John Fox.

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8 Comments

  1. They said the same thing about Manny Acta. He’s doing worse for the Tribe than Eric Wedge was, although Shapiro’s trades aren’t helping at all.

  2. agree with you on fox. i got to see him a lot in the last five years. i live out here on nh seacoast; girlfriend was a panthers fan — we got DTV and watched browns in one room and panthers in the other. during the crennel era, i stopped in to catch the panthers usually have a false start on 3rd and goal or after the second 1st half challenge or after RAC kicked a field goal to go down 9 points in the 4th qtr… something like that. so maybe fox looked good (effing amazing) in comparison to RAC.

    but it actually was more. fox recognized his talent and emphasized it. got juliius peppers and jon beason in your front 7? –> get after the qb with an aggressive 4-3. got the ballsiest WR in NFL history (steve smith)? –> let your goofball qb throw it up for grabs to him (instead of drilling him to avoid mistakes and checkdown all the time). and for god’s sake: if youve got jordan gross blocking for deangelo williams –> go ahead and go for on 4th down and take your chances.

    i liked his judgement and his players were ready to run through walls for him.

    he does’t look like much if you didnt see him… but he’s really really a savvy football guy and a great manager of men.

  3. key typo above. fixed here.

    girlfriend was a panthers fan — we got DTV and watched browns in one room and panthers in the other. during the crennel era, i stopped in to catch the panthers usually AFTER A BROWNS false start on 3rd and goal or after the second 1st half challenge or after RAC kicked a field goal to go down 9 points in the 4th qtr… something like that. so maybe fox looked good (effing amazing) in comparison to RAC.

    but it actually was more. fox recognized his talent and emphasized its strengths. got juliius peppers and jon beason in your front 7? –> get after the qb with an aggressive 4-3. got the ballsiest WR in NFL history (steve smith)? –> let your goofball qb throw it up for grabs to him (instead of drilling him to avoid mistakes and checkdown all the time). and for god’s sake: if youve got jordan gross blocking for deangelo williams –> go ahead and go for on 4th down and take your chances.

    i liked his judgement and his players were ready to run through walls for him.

    he does’t look like much if you didnt see him… but he’s really really a savvy football guy and a great manager of men.

  4. Am open to any improvement over Mangini, but w/NFL rules today, it must be a coach with the DESIRE to score, repeat, DESIRE to score and one who uses ALL timeouts when necessary.

  5. Mangini should have stayed… we were in every game this year until the team found out coach was canned a few weeks back and even then the only game they quit on was Pitt….

    Now we have to blow it up again, switch to a 4-3 D, all new philiosphoes… and worse of all, get a no name coach like marty Morniweg

  6. This stiff had 3 winning seasons out of 9 in Carolina. That’s considered a good head coach? Wow. Welcome to Cleveland, where you can have a winning season 33% of the time and STILL be good! I don’t care if he is respected by players and coach’s around the league. I care about wins. Winning seasons in 3 out of 9 years, or even if you disregard this year, 3 out of 8 years, isn’t good, no matter how you try and sell it.

  7. “Behind a 2-14 record and one of the most disappointing seasons in the NFL lies a very good coach that is looking for a job right now.”

    WOW!!!!! So how come John Fox gets this sentence but Mangini, with a better record is a lousy coach?

    Jesus you people are idiots!!

    • get back to me after youve actually watched john fox coach a game or two.

      romeo was 10-6 one year too. did that make him a good coach? bill walsh was 2-14 one year.. was he a bad coach.

      useless talking to cleveland fans sometimes.


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