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Browns' All-Pro and coach-search talk

Posted Jan 3, 2014


On Friday’s edition of “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford,” co-hosts Vic Carucci and Nathan Zegura announced the significant news of the five Cleveland Browns Players to be named to the Associated Press All-Pro team for 2013. Nathan and Vic were joined by Jason La Confora, from CBS Sports, to hear his thoughts on the purpose of firing Rob Chudzinski and what he feels is next for the Cleveland Browns. Tom Withers, from the Associated Press, also joined the show to give his insight on how this head-coaching job has both appealing and unappealing attributes and how important it is to try to find the right guy for the job.

Kent Somers, from the Arizona Republic, spoke with Nathan and Vic about potential Browns coaching prospect Todd Bowles, current defensive coordinator for the Arizona Cardinals, and the characteristics that could be beneficial to the Cleveland Browns team.

Je’Rod Cherry made his daily appearance to chime in about how he feels the new head coach needs to be someone that is capable of developing a quarterback since that is going to be the most important focus on the upcoming draft.

Here are some highlights:

Vic Carucci: “The thing that fascinates me about this whole (All-Pro) list is Josh Gordon and the fact that he played a grand total of 14 games and finds himself a first team All-Pro selection with Calvin Johnson. The obstacle for Josh Gordon is a new coaching staff and new forms of ideas coming to him. The Norv Turner system did wonders for this kid and the job that he did. The fact that he was able to overcome being on a four-win football team to still get these honors is amazing. His play and ability spoke louder than any of the problems that surrounded him. This is a good thing today for sure, because the rest of it is an avalanche because everyone is very skeptical of the new coaching staff to be hired. …We were pretty clear last year that Chip Kelly was the guy we wanted and we couldn’t get to him. We want the feeling that they got the guy that they want because anything less than that creates the possibility of what just happened to happen again.”





Nathan Zegura: “These players have made this team the most decorated team in the NFL. It makes you wonder exactly what happened this year. I think right now would be a great time to lock (Alex Mack and T.J. Ward) up. Josh Gordon is only getting better, he is only becoming more of a professional, and all he has to do is stay on the field. …There are a lot of young players here and one of the main things to do right now is keep this young group of players together and being able to add to them from the free agent pull and the draft picks we keep talking about. That is huge and that has to be appealing to the new coach coming in here to the Cleveland browns. They aren’t firing another coach in a year. This job may have the most security in the NFL for the next year. The way they acted with Rob Chudzinski is that they weren’t going to have that opportunity next year. It was done because they felt that strongly that Rob Chudzinski was not the guy. This team is going to be a contender next year and they wouldn’t have removed Rob Chudzinski unless they felt so strongly about it.”




Jason La Confora: “It looks like they are looking to do something very exciting. I know they are looking at a lot of different candidates and maybe that diamond in the rough. I know they are looking at Josh McDaniels, but I am not sure that is a slam dunk. I know they are optimistic about some of these college guys. I don’t think they made this move to go and get a retread. I think they go offense and they need an offensive identity and they need stability and Josh McDaniels has that to make it work. If the new head coach for the Browns is a college guy then they don’t have an NFL ready staff, if you have a few guys on speed dial that can do the job, which expedites the process. Go back and look at the guys the Browns really wanted last year, it’s not like they weren’t going down this road a year ago. We don’t have a quarterback, so you have to decide where you want to go and what direction you want to take. At the end of the day the job talks, the money talks and the opportunity talks. This is a job with some holes and it going to be hard to fill those holes.”


Tom Withers: “There is no one (among the coaching candidates) that really stands out to me that says, ‘Hey, that’s the guy! Sign him! Now!’ That may be due to what transpired over the last year. I can see the positives in bringing back Josh McDaniels, who has learned from his mistakes in Denver. I hear he is a tremendous game planner. The Gus Malzahn talk scares me very much because of no NFL experience. I like Todd Bowles a lot. He has been with the Browns before and there are a lot of good things to be said about him. No one really stands out to me at this point and to be quite frankly, I don’t think anyone stands out to the Browns at this point. What I would worry about is: how much is the water poisoned out there in this coaching pool? From the outside this does not look like an attractive job, not to say it is not because there are only 32 of them in the NFL and for a lot of guys this would be a dream job. But are they going to be able to get done what they need to get done? If I am a head coach looking in, I would ask myself, ‘What am I getting myself into?’ They have to get this right, they have to target a guy a go get him.”





Kent Somers: “I would think he (Todd Bowles) would be ready. There were a lot of changes on this defense this year. He and his staff did a really nice job and that being said, I cannot say Todd Bowles will be a great head coach and certainly a team would be gambling on him a little bit, but definitely an impressive job in Arizona, so I would think he is ready to go. One of the things he did was take a group that had some big egos involved and he was real steady. He was a hard guy with the media to configure; while he is very professional with the media, he doesn’t give a lot of insight to his personality. He seems he is quiet and reserved, but the players say behind closed doors that he gives strong criticism.  Todd Bowles has given me the impression that he is very comfortable in his own skin and he is not going to become someone he is not, but I can see him as a guy that the players respect a lot.”






Je'Rod Cherry: “The players we have on the All-Pro team show we have talent. It gives more credence that we have five All-Pro players. It says a lot that we have this many guys that get this much recognition so props to the coaches for that. Considering the issues we have had with the quarterback, we need a mindset that we can get someone that can develop a quarterback. We need a head coach that can help develop that quarterback and help this player whoever they may be. I want someone that is going to hold these guys accountable and get rid of this sense of entitlement here. A coach does this by physically and mentally breaking these players down in the offseason to see who can get there and who wants to get there.”