In Northeast Ohio, Bernie Kosar is a god. Much of this is due to the fact he’s seen as the last great quarterback of the Cleveland Browns, thanks in part to his leading the team to sustained success in the 1980’s. His ability to bring the Browns within the doorstep of the Super Bowl on three separate occasions that decade cemented his legacy as one of the city’s favorite athletes of all time.
Kosar’s play on the field saved the Browns in the 80’s, but he wants to be utilized off the field to save them now.
Over the weekend, Kosar made a public plea to Cleveland ownership on WOIO, vehemently asking to be brought in to help turn the team around. Already one of the team’s biggest critics, Kosar believes he can provide the assistance necessary to end the trends which have made the Browns a league-wide laughingstock.
“I want to do this, OK?” Kosar said. “And I’ll fire myself if we are not a competitive NFL team within a year or two.”
It’s certainly a valiant effort to try and save a franchise which has looked lost almost every year since its return in 1999. That said, don’t be surprised if Kosar ends up not receiving the opportunity he so desires.
Make no mistake, Kosar was an incredibly talented football player. Seen around the league as one of the game’s most accurate QBs, Kosar also possessed an uncanny ability of reading opposing defenses. His record of having the most consecutive completed passes without an interception held on for almost two decades before Tom Brady ended up snapping it in 2010.
However, being a great football player doesn’t immediately qualify you for being able to take on a top level job running an NFL team, especially one as disastrous as the Browns.
Kosar has worked with Cleveland as a consultant, but really hasn’t held any sort of front office position in the NFL before. It’s tough to believe owner Jimmy Haslam will overlook something like that and consider Kosar for any sort of powerful position with the team.
Quite frankly, it’s pretty difficult to see Haslam considering Kosar for any significant openings, mainly due to the fact the proud quarterback hasn’t been shy about his criticism on how the team has been run to date.
“This is 16-plus years and this is unacceptable,” Kosar continued in his plea yesterday morning. “I’m not trying to pick on people. This is not arrow [directed at someone]. This is factual statements that this is not acceptable. This is not professional football.”
“I see this stuff standing for a marketing logo instead of a football team or a football organization, and I’m tired of it.”
Though Kosar claimed he wasn’t signaling anyone out, this also didn’t sound like he was trying to keep ownership out of the crosshairs either, especially when claiming the team seems to be more focused on marketing than winning.
It’s from this point you need the obvious reminder that Kosar isn’t going to be given ownership of the team. No matter what he’d be appointed to do, at the end of the day he’s reporting to Haslam, someone he’s been very critical of in his complaints about the current regime. It’s pretty difficult to see the Browns owner turning a blind eye to the criticism Kosar has thrown his way and handing him the keys to fix the franchise.
The only way I could see Haslam considering bringing Kosar in is as an attempt to win back fan support.
This season has been a disaster for the Browns, and fans haven’t been shy in voicing their displeasure. Things will likely continue down this path when Haslam goes through with firing his current regime at season’s end as everyone is predicting. As a result, he may see the idea of bringing in a local hero to try and get the team back on the right path as something which could renew hope among fans.
However, though this scenario certainly isn’t inconceivable, it also likely isn’t enough to sway Haslam’s thinking and lead to him genuinely consider such a move.
It’s great to see Kosar so passionate about wanting to fix a broken team. That said, inexperience and a history of ruffling Haslam’s feathers are severely working against him in this fight. My guess is Kosar will continue stumping for this opportunity, but I’m also willing to bet said opportunity never comes.