After winning five of their last eight games, the Cleveland Browns are on a roll, riding a three-game winning streak into Sunday’s game against the Washington Redskins.
But will that happen with a completely new coaching staff and front office?
Current general manager Tom Heckert has previously made it known that he wants to stay in Cleveland, and he reiterated that on Friday. From the Plain Dealer:
“I would love to (stay) but if it doesn’t work out here I’ll go do it somewhere else.”
Heckert’s final say over the Browns’ roster has been considered a potential problem in his return next season. New team CEO Joe Banner prefers the coach to have the final say over the roster, which Heckert acknowledges and might be willing to concede.
“It’s important, Heckert said. “It’s why I came here. Not saying it’s an end-all, but it’s important to me.”
It’s incredibly hard – almost downright impossible – to deny that Heckert has done a solid job while in Cleveland. The Browns have been completely transformed in three seasons, from an aging roster to one of the youngest with serious upside. Heckert owns an impressive draft record and deserves the opportunity to finish what he started.
But does he get that chance? The last three games of this season could very well be the determining factors, and a win on Sunday should go a long way in convincing Banner to keep Heckert (and head coach Pat Shurmur, for that matter) around next season.