Cleveland Browns Bill Callahan and son Brian will have cross purposes

Cleveland Browns. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Cleveland Browns. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images) /

Cleveland Browns OL coach Bill Callahan will have to face son twice a year

Cleveland Browns offensive line coach Bill Callahan hopes old age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill because his kid Brian Callahan is the offensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals and their new quarterback big bad Joe Burrow.

Papa Bill is the more accomplished coach having been the head coach of the Oakland Raiders and led them to a Super Bowl appearance, though most of his experience has been as an offensive line coach. Bill was also the head coach of the Nebraska Cornhuskers, incidentally.

Son Brian was the quarterbacks coach for the Lions and Raiders and the Bengals gave him the coordinator’s job last season. He is perceived as one of those bright young, up-and-coming offensive minds, becoming the Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator at the young age of 35.

Neither of them are related, so far as we know, to Bo Callahan, the super-talented but troubled quarterback Kevin Costner wisely passed on a few years back when he was temporarily made general manager of the Browns.

Unfortunately, the Bengals were an untalented team last year and tried to fix their problems by blaming the quarterback and initiating the Ryan Finley era prematurely. This was a disaster on a number of levels.

First, this observer does not agree there was anything wrong with Andy Dalton. He is not a Hall of Fame quarterback, but he is good enough to lead a team to victory. The Bengals big problem was they could not get stud receiver A.J. Green healthy, plus first-round draft pick Jonah Williams was out for the year with a torn labrum.

With two important cogs in the offense missing, they could not fire on all cylinders. They might not have been that great with their two stars, but without them, they were nothing. Then, by taking Dalton away, they were less than nothing.

To this observer–and I’m not much of a talent evaluator, Finley was shockingly bad, and miles away from where he needed to be in order to compete in the NFL.

So whose idea was it to draft Finley and whose idea was it to start him? Was it head coach Zac Taylor, Brian Callahan or–God forbid–the owner, Mike Brown? Browns fans know what a dumpster fire smells like, and there seems to be a whiff of that odor in the air down in the ‘Nati.

What would you do if you were coaching on the Browns’ staff, and your son is the offensive coordinator in Cincinnati, and he calls you and asks you, “Dad, I could really use some football advice right now.” Do you help him? Or do you say, “Well, son, let’s agree not to talk football till the season’s over, okay? Even then we are division rivals, so why don’t we talk about that golf game?”

It is hard to know, but I think the truly best father would teach his son to place winning over being helpful in this instance.

Son Brian has much more influence over his team’s game plan than Bill has; hence that might give the Browns a slight edge in terms of intelligence collection, though surely Brian has taken care to shield his latest innovations from the prying eyes of his pop.

NFL football is not very predictable of course, but this observer is not bullish on Burrow and the Bengals offense, at least not in year one of the Joe Burrow era. The Bengals had a stretch under Marvin Lewis in which they were very good at uncovering talent and hit on nearly every draft pick, but they seem to have lost their touch for the past few years. Just because they have a talented quarterback does not prove they have regained expertise in drafting.

Next. 3 things the Browns must accomplish this July. dark

As a Browns fan, frankly, it is not a bad thing to see Marvin Lewis go, and it could be a rough learning experience for Bill Callahan’s son.