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Why coaches are staying away from the Cleveland Browns

Jimmy Haslam needs to decide on a coach after firing Rob Chudzinski after only one season.
Jimmy Haslam needs to decide on a coach after firing Rob Chudzinski after only one season.
Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns are entering their third week without a head coach, and it looks like the position won’t be filled any time soon. Possible candidate Ken Whisenhunt, took the head coaching job at Tennessee, leaving only a few names left on a list that seems to just get shorter as the weeks go on. Some fans wonder why we can’t attract a good coach, especially with a team that had 5 Pro Bowlers and 10 upcoming draft picks. There are a multiple of reasons why the Browns can’t get a coach including team history and front office decisions.

Since coming back to Cleveland in 1999, the Browns have had 6 head coaches (7 if you include interim head coach Terry Robiskie). The average length of these coaches is only two years. Some coaches were given a bit longer (Butch Davis and Romeo Crennel), but were eventually fired during or after their fourth season. The most recent victim, Rob Chudzinski, was only given one year before getting fired at the end of the season. In all of these seasons, only once have the Browns gone to a postseason game which they lost to their rivals, the Steelers.

The front office also has played a major role in why coaches won’t come to Cleveland. The trio of Haslam, Banner, and Lombardi have been tough on their coaches, expecting quick results. Last year they raved about Rob Chudzinski after they hired him, but after a disappointing second half of the season, Chud was fired. After the firing, the front office trio announced that it was a mistake to hire him and were going to get the right coach this time. This raises a red flag to candidates because they don’t want to be the next one and done coach.

The Browns are going to have a tough time getting a head coach to come to Cleveland. The front office needs to show that they have trust in the coach and will show commitment to bringing in the talent to make a winning team. Until they do that, they will continue to hire coaches with no head coaching experience and expect them to win.