The Cleveland Browns showed some signs of life against the Lions Sunday. That life didn’t lead to a win, but it was good to see, nevertheless. The Browns sit at 0-9 on the season and despite the mutters of solidarity in Berea, it’s hard to imagine this regime surviving past 2017. Someone is coming in in some capacity. Peyton Manning continues to be the frontrunner, at least according to the rumor mill.
Don’t worry about whether Manning buys real estate in Cleveland or sets up a dry cleaning account. With the relationship he has with Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, they likely don’t need formal meetings to get something ready to go. We’ll know when they want us to know.
Let’s assume that the lure of becoming an NFL executive in Cleveland is just too much for Peyton Manning to pass up. After all, he would probably get an ownership interest to go along as much decision-making authority as he desires. The Browns job should be seen as attractive based on the cap space and draft capital possessed and the recent infusion of some young talent. We can assume that there would be some other changes with the Browns.
How would Manning change the Browns? Changes would occur on two levels. There would obviously be other personnel moves within the organization. There would also be changes in player evaluation and in the basic strategy employed to rebuild this team.
Manning would most likely want his own coaches, but you just never know. Some coaches, like Chris Tabor, have more lives than a cat that base jumps. History tells us that front office guys like to work with their own coaches. We would expect some player personnel moves, too. The good news is that the Browns have already dumped most of their veterans. It’s likely that most of the young players would be given a fair shot at making the 2018 squad.
Peyton Manning would bring a new philosophy in talent evaluation. While we can’t look at an example of what he’s done elsewhere, we can assume that he would scrap emphasizing analytics and making SPARQ picks in the upcoming draft. Football guys don’t rely on that stuff. Manning would pick football players and work to bring in the best available guys.
DeShone Kizer is probably playing for a chance at the 2018 starting job over the rest of the season. That may not be enough for him if Manning comes to town. In a draft with several possible franchise prospects, Manning would likely want to hitch his wagon to a QB that he himself selects. You can’t blame him. Look at Hue Jackson, it appears that his future is tied to a quarterback that he was not in favor of selecting.
The rumors may be true. Peyton Manning may be coming to town. The Browns could turn this thing around quickly even with another change such as this. Don’t think about another teardown. The team is in a good spot to continue construction.