The Browns continue to hire coaches to fill out the staff of new head coach Pat Shurmur.
Dick Jauron will be the Browns’ new defensive coordinator. Jauron is a two-time former NFL head coach as well as a two-time defensive coordinator, so he will bring a lot of experience to the table. Unfortunately, Jauron’s status as a two-time ex-head coach means he was fired twice — from Buffalo and Detroit. Jauron may be one of those coaches, like Dick LeBeau, who is just better suited to being a coordinator rather than a head coach. He has coached some good defenses in his career, but his style is to play a more conservative 4-3 defense, which will be a significant change from the gambling, blitzing 3-4 approach used by former Browns defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. Jauron will be joined on the defensive staff by Dwaine Board, as defensive line coach, and Bill Davis, as linebackers coach. Both also have plenty of NFL coaching experience, and Davis is a former defensive coordinator with the Cardinals.
Shurmur, who was offensive coordinator for the St. Louis Rams before being tabbed by the Browns, says he will call the plays on offense. I am not especially encouraged by that decision, which I think may show a lack of appreciation for the many competing demands of the head coaching position. A successful head coach is supposed to have a broader perspective. Still, some successful head coaches have called plays, and perhaps Shurmur can pull it off. The fact that he will be paying special attention to the offense at least may reflect the understanding that the Browns really need to focus on getting points on the board. He will be joined in coaching the offense by Mark Whipple as quarterbacks coach and Mike Wilson as wide receivers coach. Both will have big jobs this coming season. Colt McCoy is still raw, and Wilson will be challenged to produce a true, NFL-caliber receiver from the choices on the Browns roster.
It is looking more and more like the Browns will have to retool and realign their roster to play the new styles favored by their new coaches. I hope I’m wrong, but that probably means another “rebuilding year” — i.e., another year of missing the playoffs. So what else is new? The more the coaches and players change, the more the Browns’ mediocrity stays the same.