Jim Tressel should be the next head football coach of the Cleveland Browns. I know that at first blush it sounds crazy, but after a week of talking about it at the coffee shop, it occurred to me that hiring any of the other candidates is way crazier.
The Browns choices for head coach are:
A) A marginally successful assistant coach from an another NFL team or a former head coach who has already failed. The Browns are currently the laughingstock of the NFL and by firing their latest coach after just one year, have made themselves the least desirable job for any top-flight candidate looking for a new job. Basically the Browns have their pick of scrubs, has been's and never will be's.
B) A living legend with close ties to Northeast Ohio who bleeds for Cleveland. A man who won titles at Ohio State, Youngstown State and is currently a successful A.D. at Akron, not to mention his old man is also a legendary coaching figure from Baldwin Wallace.
The Browns are a franchise in need of a face lift in the worst possible way and the hiring of Jim Tressel would make them instantly relevant again. Maybe not nationally, but certainly where they need it most: with the Browns long-suffering fan base. Can you imagine the excitement when Coach Tressel would show up to accept the job in an orange sweater vest and proceed to give a tear-jerking speech about his respect for the tradition of Browns Football and his love for Northeast Ohio? I swear a riot might break out right then and there on the streets of Cleveland.
Can he do the job? For starters, being head football coach at Ohio State is way harder than coaching the Browns, so he should be prepared on that front. Ohio State has higher expectations, a bigger budget, more players, boosters, alumni, and an unhinged fan base. And, as we are well-aware, that pesky NCAA has a nasty habit of sniffing around asking about the starting QB's latest tattoo. You just don't get that kind of action/scrutiny in the National Football League. (see: Josh Gordon / Greg Little ) As an administrator I would say Jim Tressel is over-qualified to take on the Browns head coaching job.
He would also bring some kind of football philosophy to the organization for the first time since Marty Schottenheimer was the coach. Whether you are a fan of "Tresselball" or not, he knows EXACTLY what he is trying to do and how he wants to win football games. Stout defense, good special teams and taking care of the football. Sounds like a pretty good fit for this particular Browns roster.
Or, to put it another another way: If you were looking to hire somebody to run your company, which of the following names and resumes is the strongest? Chris Palmer, Butch Davis, Terry Robiskie, Romeo Crennel, Eric Mangini, Pat Shurmur, Rob Chudzinski, or.......
Seriously folks, it's a no brainer. Expectations on the North Coast have never been lower and there isn't a person on Earth who can convince me that Jim Tressel couldn't do at least as good of a job as the list of previous Browns coaches. It is a golden opportunity to inject some instant excitement into the fan base, with tons of upside and very little downside.
What's the worst that can happen, the Browns keep losing?
I can live with that. I plead with the Browns front office to give Jim Tressel a shot.
Colin Gawel wrote this at Colin's Coffee on a busy Saturday morning so if it isn't exactly perfect what of it?