The Cleveland Browns finally ended their latest coaching search, one that was both lengthy and, at times, laborious, with the hiring Mike Pettine on Thursday.
Throughout the entire process there was much discussion, debate and hand-wringing over the current state of the team and the direction the franchise is heading. One topic that we heard repeatedly was the notion that no coach would want to work for the Browns because they would have to “give up” control of the roster to CEO Joe Banner and General Manager Mike Lombardi.
Pettine was asked about having final say over the roster during his introductory news conference and his non-answer that the details are “still being worked out” only helped to stoke the fire over who’s in control in Berea.
When Banner was first hired by the Browns, this is what he told The Plain Dealer when asked about who will have final say on the team’s 53-man roster:
“We’ll determine that officially when we see who’s in those roles. My bias is for the coach to make those decisions. Now, we may end up with somebody in personnel who’s so good that I tweak that, but going in, my bias is that the coach will have the most say on the 53-man roster and the 45 who dress for games.”
That sounds to us like Banner would like to have the coach be the main voice when it comes to the final roster, but he’s not comfortable allowing that to happen until the head coach earns his trust. (Of course, firing your coach every year contributes heavily to any trust issues, so …)
So that got us to thinking about whether this whole issue about final say over the roster is a big deal or, as it happens too often in Cleveland, much ado about nothing? How do other teams in the NFL do this, especially the successful ones?