Flashback Friday: 5 coaches the Cleveland Browns should not have fired
Bill Belichick is now so uniquely identified with the New England Patriots that it is easy to forget he actually had several coaching lifetimes before going to New England. He was the architect of the great New York Giant defenses under Bill Parcells. Together Belichick and Parcells had won two Super Bowl rings. Thus Belichick was a great choice to be head coach of the Browns
Belichick was the Browns head coach for five years, starting in 1991. The Browns showed steady improvement under Belichick, going 6-10, 7-9, 7-9 and 11-5 and winning a Wild Card playoff game. Still, Belichick did not endear himself to the fans or owner Art Modell with his grumpy demeanor in front of the press, nor by promoting Vinny Testaverde over hometown favorite Bernie Kosar.
In 1995, the team stood 4-5 when Art Modell announced that the team would move to Baltimore. At that point the wheels fell off and the team went 1-6 the rest of the way. This is understandable given the chaos created by Modell’s decision, but of course the owner is never at fault in the NFL. The solution? Fire the coach, of course! This article could go on for page after page citing Belichick’s many accomplishments, but if you are a football fan at all, you already know the bottom line. Belichick should not have been fired. But more importantly, the Cleveland Browns should not have been moved to Baltimore!
For good measure, Modell also fired defensive coordinator Nick Saban, who is currently serving the state of Alabama as their king. So Modell fired the greatest coach of the present era, as well as the greatest college coach of the present era, and he also fired Marty Schottenheimer, who had the sixth-highest win total of all time.
What else could Modell possibly have possibly screwed up in his career?