It’s hard to believe we are at the mid-point of the NFL season. As such, there were eight teams starting the year with brand new head coaches. Six of them are in their first head coaching position, while two have held the job before.
In the competition to see who made the best hiring decision, the clear – and only – winner at this point is the Green Bay Packers. Matt LeFleur has this team leading their division at 7-1. Now, perhaps it’s the Aaron Duo – quarterback Aaron Rodgers and running back Aaron Jones – who deserve some credit, but there are other teams in this group with talented players who are not even close to being .500. That means I’m giving the Packers an A on the hire. Trust me – other coaches might have found a way to screw up this team so I’ll give credit to LeFleur because he hasn’t.
Let’s take a look at the other seven teams to see how they are faring…
Editors Note: OurTurf Football has had a great, long-time friendship with Russell Baxter and we were honored when he asked a few of our writers to do team season previews for his website, PFG Vibe/ProFootballGuru. OTFB’s Kate Arhar wrote up her thoughts on the upcoming season for the Cleveland Browns. The article was originally published on Aug 27, 2019, and can be seen here.
Even with a first-time head coach, new offensive coordinator and new defensive coordinator, the Cleveland Browns have never engendered higher hopes among their fans than they have in this off-season. While a 7-8-1 record is not usually something to give one much hope, the Browns were a combined 1-31 for the two previous seasons.
Their woes at the quarterback position are the stuff of legend – and ESPN film reels. But the drafting of quarterback Baker Mayfield seems to have changed all that. For the first time in my memory, and I’ve been following the Browns since 1975, the talent on this roster may actually be up to the challenge of meeting the fans expectations.
With the dog days of summer upon us, and very little news coming out of the NFL, there is one story I’ve been following. Running back Duke Johnson wants out of Cleveland.
During the off-season, Johnson asked the Cleveland Browns to trade him. He was feeling like the Browns just didn’t want him anymore. Hearing that the Browns had put Johnson on the trading block before the running back had even asked about a trade was sort of a hint. Johnson has become so adamant about wanting out of Cleveland that he fired his agent Kristin Campbell and hired Super-agent Drew Rosenhaus.
As a fan of the Cleveland Browns, I am often on the wrong end of trades or free agent signings.
But things have started to change for this team, and for once they were on the winning side of a deal!
While I have some sympathy for New York Giants fans, it’s every fan for themselves in the NFL. And the addition of Pro-Bowl wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., has definitely lifted my hopes from having a winning season to now having playoff and – dare I say – Super Bowl aspirations.
The Cleveland Browns have named Freddie Kitchens as the 17th head coach in franchise history.
While the past few head coaches didn’t fare very well – or last very long – hopes are high that Coach Kitchens will be “cooking up” a winning recipe with rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield. Fans seem to believe, and if this past season’s performance is any indication, that the Browns have finally found their franchise QB.
Kitchens and Dorsey have already started to put his coaching staff into place, naming Steve Wilks as the defensive coordinator and Todd Monken as the offensive coordinator.
Its been tumultuous week here in Cleveland. On Monday, head coach Hue Jackson was fired. While fans speculated on the timing and on when offensive coordinator Todd Haley would be named as interim coach, the announcement came that Haley was fired also.
This leaves defensive coordinator Gregg Williams as the “last man standing” in this year’s edition of “Cleveland Browns Coaching Survivor.” Not sure if you can call being put in charge of this team a personal victory, but Williams had his hands full facing the insanely productive Kansas City Chiefs offense and their incredibly talented quarterback Patrick Mahomes.