Browns coaching rumors: Haslam letting GM Dorsey run coach search after forcing Hue Jackson on him

The biggest problem for the Cleveland Browns over the last few years has been an inability of ownership to get out of the way. Jimmy Haslam insists on trying to pick coaches (Hue Jackson) and pick players (Johnny Manziel). That's well within his right because, you know, he owns the team. But he'd be smart to stand back and let football guys do football things. 

Fortunately, he is! As confirmed by the team after being first reported by's Mary Kay Cabot, Haslam has ceded control of the upcoming coaching search to GM John Dorsey, allowing the general manager to really put his stamp on the organization. 

This is smart: Haslam required Dorsey to keep Jackson around, for some reason despite Hue being 1-31 over two years, and all that occurred was more dysfunction. Hue hired Todd Haley and then proceeded to back the bus over Haley in an attempt to save his job and THEN proceeded to act like he didn't know he was backing the bus over Haley or what backing the bus over someone even meant, while doing post-firing interviews on television. It would be surreal if it wasn't such an obvious plot line to anyone who's followed Jackson's career. 

Anyway, Hue is gone and now Dorsey is in charge. And per Cabot, he will "lead the charge and will have full authority to conduct it any way he wants -- and make his first career coaching hire."

I'm telling you, this is an enormous win for the Browns and Browns fans. Dorsey might not hit a grand slam on his coaching hire, because hiring coaches is hard to do. But I would be very surprised if he completely struck out. Dorsey has done a good job assembling personnel at each stop of his in the NFL, and he knows enough people in the league to get some good interviews. The list of coaching candidates we floated after Hue was fired is more realistic with Dorsey in charge.

Hypothetically speaking, Mike McCarthy isn't talking to the Browns about this job without getting assurances from Dorsey that he'll report to the GM and the GM will have autonomy. Lincoln Riley isn't leaving Oklahoma to answer directly to Jimmy Haslam, who has now fired five coaches since he bought the team. 

Most importantly, letting Dorsey run the search puts everyone on the same page. Haslam will have to sign off on the final hire, no doubt, but it's unlikely he won't actually like the coach. 

Consider this, from Robert Klemko of, who reported recently that, "the choice of Jackson was not unanimous" when Hue was hired. Haslam wanted Hue while Sashi Brown and the other guys in the front office were more interested in Sean McDermott and Matt Patricia. McDermott took the Bills to the playoffs in his first season. Hue won a single game in his first two years. 

There's also a report, from Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports, of the Browns having Josh McDaniels on the hook, only to lose him because Haslam decided he needed to talk with Ben McAdoo first. McDaniels, insulted by being put off, bailed on the Cleveland job. Whoops. 

Both examples are being used here to note that letting Haslam run the hire would be a terrible idea. The Browns are giving a football guy -- and a non owner -- power to run a coaching search. It's new, it's different, it's chicken salad on rye and it's worth a try.

Hopefully it works out and the Browns become a shining beacon for everyone else on how to handle a coaching search. 

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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