Out of nowhere, an intriguing name has popped up for the Cleveland Browns. Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer is supposedly in Berea, OH interviewing for the vacant head coaching position. Given his past, I could live with that.
Zimmer entered the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys in 1994. While there are a ton of offensive minded coaches in the league, Zimmer is a defensive guru. Everywhere he has been, success has followed. In 2003, as defensive coordinator with the Cowboys, Zimmer’s defense gave up the fewest amount of yards in the entire league.
In 2008, Zimmer was named the same title for the Bengals. Pro Football Weekly and CBSSports.com honored Zimmer with the NFL Assistant Coach of the Year Award. That year Zimmer’s defense ranked 4th in the NFL. In 2011, Zimmer’s feisty Bengals defense finished 7th in total yards and 9th in points allowed. Helping the Bengals secure a playoff spot for the second year in a row, Zimmer’s defense finished 6th in total yards and 8th in points allowed this past season.
Combine all of these strong rankings with the fact that Zimmer is fully comfortable in the AFC North, it is no wonder why Jimmy Haslam and Joe Banner may want him on the sidelines. With how quickly turned negative the search for the vacant head coaching position has gone, Cleveland fans might be able to breathe a sigh of relief if Zimmer is chosen.
Whatever happens, Haslam and Banner must win back the belief these fans had when they first arrived. The Super Bowl hasn’t even arrived yet and people in Cleveland are already talking about another failed regime. The fans are sick of exuses and a smart decision must be made soon.
Ryan Ruiz – Cleveland Browns Writer
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