On January 27th the Cleveland Browns announced the hiring of former Minnesota Vikings head coach Brad Childress as offensive coordinator. Childress was a successful assistant coach in the NFL before he was hired as Minnesota’s head guy, and is hoping to bring the Browns a few more wins next year by lending his views of the west coast offense. His presence will allow Shurmur to worry less about the offense and spend more time focusing on general head coaching decisions (although I doubt Shurmur will let go of all the play calling). It should free up some of Shurmur’s time that he used to spend with little things (like writing play calling scripts for practice every day) and focus more on explaining his offensive concepts to his quarterback.
Not only will this hire help out the head coach (and probably the rest of the coaching staff), it should take some pressure off of the entire Browns team. Think about it: every day at practice the defense is supposed to prevent the offense from moving the ball and scoring, and vice versa. When the head coach is in charge of that offense, it tends to change how everyone approaches those situations during practice. It’s a conflict of interest that impacts everyone on the field. The offensive players are trying to live up to the head coaches expectations and the defense is often walking on egg shells, hoping to not upset the head guy. Obviously this is not always the case, as Green Bay and New Orleans both have very successful dual role head coaches. This can be a very effective formula, it just depends on the team situation.
The guy was able to deal with Brett Favre, and almost led that team to a Super Bowl. Childress may not bring a sudden change to the Cleveland Browns, but he should bring some positive energy to a team that is looking for its identity. He’s been through some tough situations as a coach in the NFL, and should be able to positively impact at least a few units on this team. Lord knows that more than a few of them need it.