The Cleveland Browns are coming off the worst season they have ever had in franchise history after going 1-15 under new head coach Hue Jackson. It shouldn’t be much of a surprise that they dismissed six coaches in the process after the season, even if a number of them were in their first year with the team.
But that means that the Browns have six more coaches to get to know and they were able to use that time down in Mobile to get acquainted with one another. Cleveland’s coaching staff was chosen to coach the South squad during the Senior Bowl that Alex Kozora has covered for the past week.
The big name that was obviously brought in was Gregg Williams. Williams is best known as the defensive coordinator for the Saints several years back who was alleged to have run a ‘bounty’ system for his players who were awarded with monetary compensation for a variety of acts that included injuring opposing players.
Williams is replacing former Steelers assistant coach Ray Horton as defensive coordinator after the latter rejoined the Browns’ staff in his second stint in that role when Jackson’s administration took over the and coaching ranks were cleaned up.
With Horton went several other defensive coaches in charge of the linebackers and the secondary, with only a few carry-overs along the defensive line as well as one secondary coach. You may have observed that Cleveland tends to prefer hosting a larger than average coaching staff.
The Browns on an organizational level have not been afraid to dramatically shake things up from year to year in the hopes of stumbling upon the right mix of players and coaches that will breed a winning environment, no matter how much that frequent jostling might in itself impeded the construction of said type of environment.
But given the circumstances it is understandable that this most recent coaching staff wanted to exploit the coaching opportunity down in Alabama as much as they possibly could in order to learn about each other’s coaching methods and to breed chemistry and cohesion among the new group.
“Any time there’s new coaches that come on board, it’s like going to school again for the first day”, said special teams coach Chris Tabor. “You’re meeting new classmates how do they do things, what do they like to do, what’s the best way to communicate”.
On the coaching experience during the Senior Bowl he said that “it’s given our staff an opportunity to go through those things, to see how the defensive staff communicates with their players, communicates with you and it’s been a really good first starting point”.
It is fortunate for the new group of coaches that their predecessors set the bar so low after winning just one game. But I might not unpack my suitcase just yet.