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Browns Hire Quarterbacks Coach

January 31, 2011

So I was little busy this morning, and I was directed to this tweet by Adam Schefter:

(h/t to @Swaeria)

Now there are a few glaringly obvious problems here, but let’s dial it back and start from the beginning.

This whole thing starts with the Browns hiring Pat Shurmur, a rookie head coach in the NFL who decided it was a good idea to announce in his opening press conference that he would be calling his own plays next season. This statement alone completely eradicated any chance that the Browns would be able to hire anyone with any experience at offensive coordinator whatsoever. Not exactly confidence inspiring, but whatever. Any confidence that I may have had in this franchise was shot down after Holmgren decided to waste a season on a coach he had no intention of keeping anyhow. That’s neither here nor there though.

A few weeks go by, and now today the Browns apparently hired Mark Whipple as a quarterbacks coach. Whipple was the offensive coordinator for the Miami Hurricanes last season. The offense, led by Jacory Harris was very underwhelming for a school with the expectations that Miami had entering the season , to say the least. By all accounts, Harris went from Heisman hopeful following the 2009 season to absolute bust in 2010. It would be difficult to say that the offensive shortcomings that plagued The U this past season aren’t mostly to blame for Randy Shannon’s tenure coming to an end there. Dropping the final game to the University of South Florida in overtime certainly didn’t help matters any.

That brings us to the follow up from our beloved beat writer. Thank goodness he’s there to offer this spot on analysis:

Right on the money

Yes, the Browns will follow the lead of Belichick. By firing the coaches who had ties with him. And converting to the West Coast Offense. And moving back to a 4-3 defense. With a rookie head coach. But since Shurmur is calling his own plays, I guess that makes this comparison completely logical. Any comparisons between the two come to a screeching halt there, though.

If you’re going to draw this comparison here, then you’re essentially telling me that Mark Whipple is comparable to Ernie Adams. I’m here to tell you that he isn’t. You could point to Whipple’s success at the Division 1-AA level, and that he’s had success in the Ivy League, for whatever that’s worth. I just haven’t seen much at a level higher than this that impresses me. Except for one thing, which in all fairness needs to be mentioned.

In 2004, Whipple was hired by Pittsburgh as an offensive assistant to help develop Ben Roethlisberger. Big Ben started out 13-0 as a rookie, and except for his tendency to hold on to the ball too long, has turned out to be a pretty good quarterback. The differences between McCoy and Roethlisberger are as stark as night and day, but hopefully Whipple is what they need to bring the kid along and help him get his game to the next level.

All in all, I suppose I understand the logic behind the hire. It seems like Holmgren is hoping lightning strikes twice. I would have liked to have seen a lot more out of Jacory Harris, but there is always the possibility that Harris just doesn’t get it. I guess we’ll have our answer as we watch what happens to him next season.

The bottom line is that I’m still having a hard time getting over this gaping hole at offensive coordinator. It seems logical to me that the challenges that a rookie head coach face in the NFL are enough without him having to gameplan the offense each week. Here’s hoping for the best, though.

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