Cleveland sports teams are no strangers to the proverbial coaching carousel. The Browns are the embodiment of staff turnover, having employed 10 different head coaches since 1999, with the longest-tenured coach being Romeo Crennel from 2005-2008.
With last week’s announcement that the failed Hue Jackson experiment was finally coming to an end, former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams became that 10th coach, albeit in an interim capacity.
This move was much less surprising and much more welcomed by fans than the announcement just one day prior on Sunday that Cavs coach Tyronn Lue was relieved of his duties as well, following an 0-6 start for the 2016 NBA Champions.
I can’t say I was personally surprised that Dan Gilbert made that move in general, but I was surprised it happened so soon. In the span of one offseason, this Cavs team went from championship contender with LeBron James, to a team that’s highest aspirations were to finish with the eighth seed and possibly sneak into the playoffs.
In short, it seemed like everyone knew this Cavs team was going to be bad, and that’s the difference between these two situations. The Browns were poised to win six or seven games with the talent they acquired in the offseason and in the draft. And while the Cavs are certainly under-performing through the first several games of the season, that blame is not solely on Lue, especially when, in today’s NBA, no team can truly be competitive unless they are loaded head-to-toe with talented veterans.
Hue Jackson and the also-departed Todd Haley on the other hand, deserves the lion’s share of the blame for where the Browns are at now. Hue was 3-36-1 in his time with the team for God’s sake. The Browns gained talent, the Cavs lost talent and both teams are now on the downturn.
The main objective now for Browns the front office should be to start the coaching search for next season and leave no stone unturned to find something that won’t lead this team to 3-36-1 and can get the most out of Baker Mayfield in his sophomore season and beyond. Perhaps his old coach at Oklahoma, Lincoln Riley? Just a thought.
The Cavs turmoil now lies both on the team’s performance in the court and with the current coaching situation. Recently, reports have come out saying first-round draft pick Colin Sexton doesn't know what he’s doing on the court. Not promising.
Kevin Love is out for at least the next six weeks, leaving the team without a top-tier veteran leader on the court every night, J.R. Smith is demanding a trade and on top of everything else, acting head coach Larry Drew is feuding with ownership about his status with the team and how he wants a long-term contract.
It’s understandable that these moves occurred so close together, but the one thing Cleveland fans have to fall back on, at least, is our tried-and-true motto: There’s always next year.
Thankfully Cleveland still has Terry Francona. For now, at least.
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