Countdown to The Draft
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By Will Burge
It looks as though owner Jimmy Haslam III, C.E.O. Joe Banner, and the Browns organization have found their next head coach and his name is Chip Kelly. The next big question to be answered, however, is who will be the quarterback?
A source in the Browns’ organization told ESPN Cleveland that just over a week ago Banner told backup quarterback Colt McCoy he is “in the next head coach’s plans.”
Adam Caplan of Sirius/XM NFL Radio reported earlier tonight that Michael Lombardi, who is rumored to be the next GM, has already been angling for the Browns in free agency. If you combine both of these reports it is pretty obvious that the Kelly/Lombardi regime did not just materialize in the last 24 hours.
As far as Brandon Weeden, who started all but one game for the Browns last season, he may end up the odd man out. Lombardi said the drafting of Brandon Weeden with the #22 pick was a panicked disaster last offseason. He also said on a Cleveland radio station in September that despite the fact that Colt McCoy gives the team a better chance to win, Weeden was going to finish out the season as the starter.
The one thing that is for sure, everyone else on the offense is excited about the prospects of Chip Kelly as the next head coach. I texted with multiple players on the offense after the news broke and each one to a man was ecstatic. One player, who is currently up for free agency, even went as far as to say they hope the Browns bring them back into this system next season.
Who will be the next quarterback? Can Chip Kelly integrate his offense into the NFL? How will the current Browns’ roster fit into Kelly’s offensive system? These questions will be answered in the coming weeks and months, but for now they will be masked by excitement and jubilation. Only time will tell if this move will have a different result than the last five head coaching hires since 1999.
|Will Burge covers the Browns for ESPNCleveland.com and hosts 3 Deep, Monday - Friday from 7pm-9pm.|
Follow Will on Twitter @WillBurge
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