2020 Cleveland Browns

cabezadecaballo

Well-known member
Regardless of how much of a mess this past season was, I was glad that they made a swift decision to cut Freddie loose having recognized that a mistake was made.
I agree. As awful as the revolving door on the Head Coach's office is, it was clear that Waffle House Fred had to go. His interim plan with the Haley offense was far better than his plan plan. His play-calling was Hue II.

I thought with the pool of candidates available that they would end up with an established, solid hire who could take control of the locker room and get this talented roster focused on playing football. The fact that all of the interviews were just a dog and pony show until DePodesta could officially snag his boy is very disheartening and yet another illustration of why they are such a mess.
Again, me too. Wormtongue DePo probably whispered in Jimmah's ear until he thought it was his own idea, too.

According to reports the new HC will need to turn in game plans to Haslam and the analytics boys each week, as well as give the analytics team a headset/access to the coaching staff on game days, mandatory extensive meetings with Haslam......No wonder McDaniels didn't budge. And quite frankly I don't have much respect for a head coach who agrees to those terms but maybe he was willing to do it to land his first gig. And before someone tells me "Well Harbaugh does it..." look dude has been coaching Ravens at a high level for a long time if he wants to spend time doing it then so be it. I want a coaching staff that will spend their time getting these guys playing ball.
Agreed, again.

No wonder McDaniels stepped off or declined. If Stefanski succeeds in this model, which he may do despite the "baked-in" meddling, there are a few ways this could go. He could stand up and say, "We aren't playing this game anymore", and if he brings enough to the table they may back down. He may fade it out slowly. Or he will take a Head Coach job somewhere else if he shows out here - a job without the BS.
 

clarkgriswold

Well-known member
At the end of the day, I hope it works. I hope that some day we look back at this and see that the Browns were at the forefront of something that became very successful. Unfortunately, I have no faith in that happening given the franchise's chronic inability to stick with a plan. History tells us that as soon as things start going south and someone presents Jimmy with a newer shinier toy he'll bail on the plan and again "exercise his due diligence" and "work even harder to get it right this time."
 

cabezadecaballo

Well-known member
I thought this was telling. Candidates had to agree to turn in the game plan to the OWNER and analytics dept by friday? Haslam has no idea what a game plan should look like but he's insisting on approving it? Stafanski is just the new version of Jason Garret in Dallas.
Yeah, they squeezed too hard and McDaniels said, "Uh, thanks, but no thanks.". He probably laughed all the way back to his good job as the highest paid OC in the NFL. At least he and the Mrs. got a free visit back to see the fam. Nice weekend, post-holidays.

What a chit show. I'm so pizzed at these guys. They are gonna burn Baker's entire rookie contract just on HC training wheels. What a bunch of idiot geniuses.
 
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cabezadecaballo

Well-known member
I'm not buying any of this until it is confirmed by the immediate parties. Why? Because I'm scared to death that it's true.
IKR

Statistical Process Control has been a thing since W. Edwards Deming was tasked by our post-WWII guilt to rebuild Japanese industry after we bombed them back to the stone age. Belichick has his own version of it in NE that pre-dates the buzzword "analytics".

What Analytics in football means is that a bunch of nerds that never did a damn thing as a coach can try to quantify what is happening out there and try to create an excuse to control activities without "earning" it.
 
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cabezadecaballo

Well-known member
I do not doubt for a second that it is true. Haslam is the type of guy that can only be hands-off for so long. As far as working with the analytics team, I don't have a problem with it as long as the analytics team is working at the disposal of the head coach like other teams do. Let the coaches coach and be there to support them. But the way this whole thing played out I have a difficult time believing that Stefanski will be anything but a puppet to Haslam and DePodesta. McDaniels wanted this job pretty bad and even he couldn't bring himself to give in to what they were asking. To me that says a lot about how the relationship between Stefanski and the front office is going to play out. "Alignment" is a good thing but it's also pretty important to have the best coaches that you can get and I'm afraid that getting someone who was willing to play "moneyball" was prioritized over coaching ability. This isn't the MLB. They have "managers" for a reason and NFL teams have head coaches with like 15 assistants.
well said

Hopefully Stefanski will prove his worth and Jimmah will get bored with the details and just go off and play billionaire. If he is succeeding, Stefanski can start to be more autonomous, and those complaining to Boss Jimmah will be waved off by him. Haslam just cares about results on the field. If the evolution to a full-fledged Head Coach is too slow or painful, Stefanski will leave.
 

bedevil

Well-known member
IKR

Statistical Process Control has been a thing since W. Edwards Deming was tasked by our post-WWII guilt to rebuild Japanese industry after we bombed them back to the stone age. Belichick has his own version of it in NE that pre-dates the buzzword "analytics".

What Analytics in football means is that a bunch of nerds that never did a damn thing as a coach can try to quantify what is happening out there and try to create an excuse to control activities with "earning" it.
I have no problem with analytics having a place in the system. To have analytics merit close to or actual equal footing with the football side is a reach. Spare me the DePodesta story in Oakland. DePodesta had a bonafide baseball guy running the show in Billy Beane. The Browns are going to bring back Andrew Berry who was one of the architects of the historic 1-31 debacle. So, hell yes, let's bring him back because it worked so well the first time.

If the reports are true about Haslam having his lapdogs and him meet after every game with the head coach are true, that's hilarious. What are they going to do but second-guess the poor guy? This could work because of John Dorsey's work. I don't have that much of a problem with Stefanski. He coaxed a good year out of Cousins. He likes to run the ball. It's the nerds who have me worried.
 

thavoice

Well-known member
I thought this was telling. Candidates had to agree to turn in the game plan to the OWNER and analytics dept by friday? Haslam has no idea what a game plan should look like but he's insisting on approving it? Stafanski is just the new version of Jason Garret in Dallas.
Wow.
Good for McDaniels to not give in to that garbage. I can respect a coach who wants to win, or lose, based on how he runs the team from the roster, practice and game plans. Of course, the GM/Scouts/etc are important in the roster creation with the coach but the HC needs to have the autonomy to do things as he sees fit to win.

I can see why "highly sought after" coaches get passed by in Cleveland.
 

thavoice

Well-known member
Was this the practice last season? The OC said what they worked on in practice, the game plan, etc, went out the window on game days and Freddie called a game taht wasnt in the game plan. Did the owner get to him and have him change stuff?
 

clarkgriswold

Well-known member
I have no problem with analytics having a place in the system. To have analytics merit close to or actual equal footing with the football side is a reach. Spare me the DePodesta story in Oakland. DePodesta had a bonafide baseball guy running the show in Billy Beane. The Browns are going to bring back Andrew Berry who was one of the architects of the historic 1-31 debacle. So, hell yes, let's bring him back because it worked so well the first time.

If the reports are true about Haslam having his lapdogs and him meet after every game with the head coach are true, that's hilarious. What are they going to do but second-guess the poor guy? This could work because of John Dorsey's work. I don't have that much of a problem with Stefanski. He coaxed a good year out of Cousins. He likes to run the ball. It's the nerds who have me worried.
Exactly. It has its role and the info derived from it is relevant and helpful. However, but in the pressure of a game you need guys at the helm with some football sense and instincts. Not sure they have that (but they will have a good idea of when to bunt the guy over).
 

cabezadecaballo

Well-known member
Wasn't Doug Pederson and Nagy both OC's under Reid ?
*Weren't

OK. And, what, you see the relative success of Pederson being a predictor of similar for Bienemy ? That's quite a stretch. I'm not all that impressed with Nagy yet. Pederson was an NFL QB, too.

Bienemy is 50. Why no shot yet ? Discrimination against short RBs ?
 

Stirred not Shaken

Well-known member
*Weren't

OK. And, what, you see the relative success of Pederson being a predictor of similar for Bienemy ? That's quite a stretch. I'm not all that impressed with Nagy yet. Pederson was an NFL QB, too.

Bienemy is 50. Why no shot yet ? Discrimination against short RBs ?
First thanks for the grammatic correction. However my point was just because Reid calls the plays has no bearing on whether Bienemy would or would not be a good H.C. Personally I would rather have Bienemy than Zac Taylor. Hiring a head coach is a crap shoot unless you have a good front office that has a proven record of success.
 

bedevil

Well-known member
Exactly. It has its role and the info derived from it is relevant and helpful. However, but in the pressure of a game you need guys at the helm with some football sense and instincts. Not sure they have that (but they will have a good idea of when to bunt the guy over).
Or go to the lefty.

Here is what worries me most, and you referred to it: there is supposed to be a nerd with a headset with the ability to have direct communication with Stefanski. Let's say Stefanski ignores a "suggestion" from the nerd and what Stefanski calls doesn't work? There will be hell to pay in the face-to-face meeting with Haslam and DePodesta. Now, let's say Stefanski DOES take the suggestion and it works. The nerds can crow over their analytics. In other words, Stefanski is damned is he does, and damned if he doesn't. I wish Stefanski nothing but the best, but I hope he knows he's walking into a rigged game with the front office of DePodesta and Berry and an inept owner in Haslam.
 

cabezadecaballo

Well-known member
First thanks for the grammatic correction. However my point was just because Reid calls the plays has no bearing on whether Bienemy would or would not be a good H.C. Personally I would rather have Bienemy than Zac Taylor. Hiring a head coach is a crap shoot unless you have a good front office that has a proven record of success.
And my point was that the success of the KC offense would be really hard to attribute to Bienemy, given who Andy Reid IS, and how short an amount of time Bienemy has held his current position, obviously. Let's not get this backwards here. Good God.
 
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cabezadecaballo

Well-known member
Or go to the lefty.

Here is what worries me most, and you referred to it: there is supposed to be a nerd with a headset with the ability to have direct communication with Stefanski. Let's say Stefanski ignores a "suggestion" from the nerd and what Stefanski calls doesn't work? There will be hell to pay in the face-to-face meeting with Haslam and DePodesta. Now, let's say Stefanski DOES take the suggestion and it works. The nerds can crow over their analytics. In other words, Stefanski is damned is he does, and damned if he doesn't. I wish Stefanski nothing but the best, but I hope he knows he's walking into a rigged game with the front office of DePodesta and Berry and an inept owner in Haslam.
In a worst case scenario, this^ is exactly what would happen. Especially if Jimmah hadn't followed DePo's lead. McDaniels would have been nuts to sign up for this. It seems likely that Jimmah's ego was sold on this structure by DePo first, and once it was set in Jimmah's head, this operational model selected the Head Coach by default. Who else but Stefanski here ? Build the path, control the choice of "destination". Sleight of hand of the mind.

DePo has a vested interest in Stefanski's success now, so the hyper-critical scenario won't prevail until Stefanski chafes against his master. Just follow the path, and you can stay on it until we set the snare that removes you. Simple as that. :)
 

bedevil

Well-known member
In a worst case scenario, this^ is exactly what would happen. Especially if Jimmah hadn't followed DePo's lead. McDaniels would have been nuts to sign up for this. It seems likely that Jimmah's ego was sold on this structure by DePo first, and once it was set in Jimmah's head, this operational model selected the Head Coach by default. Who else but Stefanski here ? Build the path, control the choice of "destination". Sleight of hand of the mind.

DePo has a vested interest in Stefanski's success now, so the hyper-critical scenario won't prevail until Stefanski chafes against his master. Just follow the path, and you can stay on it until we set the snare that removes you. Simple as that. :)
That doesn't exactly comfort me. :)

I do agree with you that DePodesta's credibility with Haslam now rests on the Stefanski hire. I'm asking a lot here, but I hope that Haslam is mindful of the fact that Dorsey built this roster. That Kitchens screwed it to dust is in the past. The talent is there and hopefully Stefanski can shape it into a winner. I like his commitment to the run and I like his work with Cousins.

It's the draft that concerns me. Offensive line, safety, linebacker and tight end all need improved. I believe the Browns have to re-sign Kareem Hunt now. The offenses of the Browns and Vikings have similarities with a strong runner, an exceptional possession receiver, and a stretch receiver. The Vikings are better at OL and TE. I believe Stefanski can make it work. But it's up to the front office to draft well, sign a couple of quality free agents and compile a group of coaches that can draw out the potential of this team. It's my lack of confidence in that area that dulls my enthusiasm for the Stefanski hire. And, I'll say it one more time (for now, at least :)): Jimmy Haslam still owns this team.
 

clarkgriswold

Well-known member
That doesn't exactly comfort me. :)

I do agree with you that DePodesta's credibility with Haslam now rests on the Stefanski hire. I'm asking a lot here, but I hope that Haslam is mindful of the fact that Dorsey built this roster. That Kitchens screwed it to dust is in the past. The talent is there and hopefully Stefanski can shape it into a winner. I like his commitment to the run and I like his work with Cousins.

It's the draft that concerns me. Offensive line, safety, linebacker and tight end all need improved. I believe the Browns have to re-sign Kareem Hunt now. The offenses of the Browns and Vikings have similarities with a strong runner, an exceptional possession receiver, and a stretch receiver. The Vikings are better at OL and TE. I believe Stefanski can make it work. But it's up to the front office to draft well, sign a couple of quality free agents and compile a group of coaches that can draw out the potential of this team. It's my lack of confidence in that area that dulls my enthusiasm for the Stefanski hire. And, I'll say it one more time (for now, at least :)): Jimmy Haslam still owns this team.
We're going to have some real "what the hell was that?" moments during the draft when someone waaaaaaaaaayy down the "experts" lists get taken much earlier than expected because some obscure data points were filled to the delight of the analytics guys. We are all focused on the direct on the field game day impact of this, but how those drafts work out is going to be just as important in determining whether this approach has any merit.
 

thavoice

Well-known member
Don't know how much this had to do with Stefanski or Zimmer, but remember early in the season there was almost a mutiny with the Minny WR's for their lack of passing?
Do that in Cleveland and OBJ will blow a gasket....
 

fortfan

Well-known member
Next week we'll see Pettine vs. Shanahan. 2 guys that were in Cleveland not long ago. Both got out when the getting was good. Kind of shows how bad the impact of drafting Johnny football was. They could have had Carr, Bridgewater........maybe others...would have had a much better impact on the Browns and maybe they would have stayed.....never know....LOL
 

joesports

Well-known member
From what I am reading and hearing ... this scares me. I am one of the original nerds playing football ... I was a math major who played football in college, in fact, I wrote my final senior paper on Statistics and Sports (over 35 years ago) .... I understand most of the math behind this ... there are times to listen to the analytics and a time not to ... example is on 4th and short ... the analytics may say go for it, but if you have been getting killed up front, it may not be smart to do that ... some of the calls should be based on how the game has played out and the individual matchups involved ... not just analytics!
 

bulldogcountry

Active member
From what I am reading and hearing ... this scares me. I am one of the original nerds playing football ... I was a math major who played football in college, in fact, I wrote my final senior paper on Statistics and Sports (over 35 years ago) .... I understand most of the math behind this ... there are times to listen to the analytics and a time not to ... example is on 4th and short ... the analytics may say go for it, but if you have been getting killed up front, it may not be smart to do that ... some of the calls should be based on how the game has played out and the individual matchups involved ... not just analytics!
100% agree. Just look at Ravens this past weekend. Considering the opponent and how that game was playing out up to that point (already down 7-0) there is absolutely no way they should have gone for it on 4th and 1 on their own 45 yard line when they could have punted and flipped the field. Some analytics guy clicks in and tells Harbaugh to go for it and two plays later they're down 14-0 to a team that is very difficult to beat when they get a two score lead. Then they went for it again, didn't get it, and the Titans promptly bang in another score. Game over.

Maybe the analytics department didn't think the data pointed to defensive let-downs after getting stuffed on 4th down, but as you and I know the game is played by humans, not robots. There are emotional swings, momentum swings....the types of things that no matter how many Ivy leaguers are in the room you cannot account for them on a spreadsheet and better have a feel for it while it's going on. Baltimore let analytics drive their decisions and it cost them a playoff game.
 

wolves82

Well-known member
With all the experts on here, Haslam should have just interviewed a bunch of Yappi posters. Fact is, none of us know for sure who would be the best head coach. We've got to just hope they are right about Stefanski. I do know this - just because the 49ers shut down the Vikings, it doesn't mean that Stefanski doesn't know how to coach, or his offense won't be successful in Cleveland. I mean, if recent performance is such a big issue, why even bother interviewing McDaniels? His offense reaked the last 6-8 weeks.
 

wolves82

Well-known member
100% agree. Just look at Ravens this past weekend. Considering the opponent and how that game was playing out up to that point (already down 7-0) there is absolutely no way they should have gone for it on 4th and 1 on their own 45 yard line when they could have punted and flipped the field. Some analytics guy clicks in and tells Harbaugh to go for it and two plays later they're down 14-0 to a team that is very difficult to beat when they get a two score lead. Then they went for it again, didn't get it, and the Titans promptly bang in another score. Game over.

Maybe the analytics department didn't think the data pointed to defensive let-downs after getting stuffed on 4th down, but as you and I know the game is played by humans, not robots. There are emotional swings, momentum swings....the types of things that no matter how many Ivy leaguers are in the room you cannot account for them on a spreadsheet and better have a feel for it while it's going on. Baltimore let analytics drive their decisions and it cost them a playoff game.
Are these facts you know, that Harbaugh was told what to do by analytics guys? Or could it be that a football coach knows he has a great rushing offense, and his guys have been picking up short yardage first downs all year, and he has confidence his guys will do it again, so he goes for it. Bet I'm right.

Tennessee just whipped them on both lines of scrimmage. And once the Ravens had to play from behind, they were sunk, because that is not how they are built. Blaming it on a phantom analytics guy overruling Harbaugh as a reason to be fearful of the Browns new hire seems very illogical to me.
 

clarkgriswold

Well-known member
With all the experts on here, Haslam should have just interviewed a bunch of Yappi posters. Fact is, none of us know for sure who would be the best head coach. We've got to just hope they are right about Stefanski. I do know this - just because the 49ers shut down the Vikings, it doesn't mean that Stefanski doesn't know how to coach, or his offense won't be successful in Cleveland. I mean, if recent performance is such a big issue, why even bother interviewing McDaniels? His offense reaked the last 6-8 weeks.
Agreed, however, the Browns history indicates that they could have drafted out of an Ourlads draft guide and used a Magic 8 Ball in choosing head coaches and GMs and had an equal or better success rate. As such, it's a little tough to have any confidence in the decisions made in Berea.
 

bulldogcountry

Active member
Are these facts you know, that Harbaugh was told what to do by analytics guys? Or could it be that a football coach knows he has a great rushing offense, and his guys have been picking up short yardage first downs all year, and he has confidence his guys will do it again, so he goes for it. Bet I'm right.

Tennessee just whipped them on both lines of scrimmage. And once the Ravens had to play from behind, they were sunk, because that is not how they are built. Blaming it on a phantom analytics guy overruling Harbaugh as a reason to be fearful of the Browns new hire seems very illogical to me.
So you think that most coaches, even if they had a great rushing offense, would make that decision to go for it on 4th down on their own side of the field against a team that is pretty good against the run? In a playoff game? You are disputing my assumptions by making your own lol.

Harbaugh was pretty open all year that the reasons for why they go for it on 4th down and play as aggressively as they do is that the analytics support it. I would take that bet all day long that going for it on 4th down on their own side of the field so early in the game was an analytics based decision. It bit them and they never recovered. Whether or not it was Harbaugh's idea at that moment or someone else is irrelevant as to how they came up with the decision. That's the point that you obviously missed. We are not fearful of the man Stefanski (I do question if he is ready to take on a full head coaching job), but rather the rationale as to why he was hired and what limits are going to be placed on him.

If a successful, established coach like Harbaugh is going to let analytics drive decision making (again not something I'm pulling out of thin air; they're pretty open and pride themselves on how much stock they put in it), then how is a first-time head coach like Stefanski going to handle DePodesta and his team dissecting the game plan every Friday? Pretty sure he is going to conform....
 

cabezadecaballo

Well-known member
That doesn't exactly comfort me. :)

I do agree with you that DePodesta's credibility with Haslam now rests on the Stefanski hire. I'm asking a lot here, but I hope that Haslam is mindful of the fact that Dorsey built this roster. That Kitchens screwed it to dust is in the past. The talent is there and hopefully Stefanski can shape it into a winner. I like his commitment to the run and I like his work with Cousins.

It's the draft that concerns me. Offensive line, safety, linebacker and tight end all need improved. I believe the Browns have to re-sign Kareem Hunt now. The offenses of the Browns and Vikings have similarities with a strong runner, an exceptional possession receiver, and a stretch receiver. The Vikings are better at OL and TE. I believe Stefanski can make it work. But it's up to the front office to draft well, sign a couple of quality free agents and compile a group of coaches that can draw out the potential of this team. It's my lack of confidence in that area that dulls my enthusiasm for the Stefanski hire. And, I'll say it one more time (for now, at least :)): Jimmy Haslam still owns this team.
I'm worried about the draft, too. We don't need another Peppers.

DePo has never really succeeded without the "old head" having the last word. Meh GM for the Dodgers. Here, he managed a tanking and then Dorsey came along. People forget sometimes that "Money Ball" DePodesta was the second banana. He identified value, but Billy Beane had the last word. Billy Beane was the Dorsey. Andrew Berry is just a mini DePo.

Is McCloughan still on board under contract ? Or was he just a Dorsey consultant ? We need some grumpy old men in the mix here.
 
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cabezadecaballo

Well-known member
We're going to have some real "what the hell was that?" moments during the draft when someone waaaaaaaaaayy down the "experts" lists get taken much earlier than expected because some obscure data points were filled to the delight of the analytics guys. We are all focused on the direct on the field game day impact of this, but how those drafts work out is going to be just as important in determining whether this approach has any merit.
You'd think that smart analytics would take into account what others will likely do, but I'd guess you'll be right.
 

cabezadecaballo

Well-known member
From what I am reading and hearing ... this scares me. I am one of the original nerds playing football ... I was a math major who played football in college, in fact, I wrote my final senior paper on Statistics and Sports (over 35 years ago) .... I understand most of the math behind this ... there are times to listen to the analytics and a time not to ... example is on 4th and short ... the analytics may say go for it, but if you have been getting killed up front, it may not be smart to do that ... some of the calls should be based on how the game has played out and the individual matchups involved ... not just analytics!
Right. You need team specific analysis, not league generic, but even that isn't enough if you have no feel for the game.
 

cabezadecaballo

Well-known member
With all the experts on here, Haslam should have just interviewed a bunch of Yappi posters. Fact is, none of us know for sure who would be the best head coach. We've got to just hope they are right about Stefanski. I do know this - just because the 49ers shut down the Vikings, it doesn't mean that Stefanski doesn't know how to coach, or his offense won't be successful in Cleveland. I mean, if recent performance is such a big issue, why even bother interviewing McDaniels? His offense reeked the last 6-8 weeks.
True enough. I don't think anyone in here is panning him over his last game, though. I just wanted an experienced HC, and McDaniels was my 3rd choice on that count. We'll see what Stefanski has beyond an education. It is pretty clear, though, that with the structure outlined here, no one but a newbie would take this job.

He's essentially been with one team, but under 3 Head Coaches. All of them saw value in keeping him and he's coached all over the field in many position groups, so he's seen a few different approaches to setting up a week and running a game. I hope he IS good, but you can be certain that the Browns' data-massagers' confirmation bias will have them patting themselves on the back if he is, and not Stefanski. I bet if he wins their arrogance will have them coach shopping when his contract is up.
 
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