According to Peter King of MMQB.com, the Browns decision to interview former Buccaneers HC Greg Schiano may have created a “major rift” in the organization that ultimately led to the front office being restructured on Tuesday.
King mentions that both Bill Belichick and Urban Meyer had offered strong recommendations for Schiano with Belichick calling twice to offer his support. However, then president Joe Banner reportedly “wanted nothing to do with Schiano.”
King adds that even with concerns from Banner regarding the idea of possibly hiring Schiano, owner Jimmy Haslam remained “intrigued” with him as a candidate based on the stellar recommendation from a widely respected coach like Belichick.
“The group flew to Tampa to interview Schiano, and one source said Banner was cold to Schiano, not participating much in the interview,” King writes. “Banner likely thought Schiano would be a disastrous hire, given all the negatives in recent Cleveland history. He was probably right, but the owner was open to it, and when the owner’s open to it, the man running football operations should at least consider it.”
Given that the Browns ultimately elected to hire Mike Pettine, you really have to wonder whether or not the team will look to make another change next year. King’s article mentions that “Haslam became dubious about Banner’s football acumen” and yet he still allowed him to choose the team’s next head coach. After thinking it through, Haslam replaced Banner and GM Michael Lombardi on Tuesday, but the Browns have said that they intend to make things work with Pettine and new GM Ray Farmer.
I guess we’ll have to see how things go in 2014, but this is clearly not the best strategy towards building a stable and respected franchise.