Why Browns are hiring a coach before GM

December, 31, 2012
12/31/12
4:05
PM ET
The Browns made an announcement that caught reporters off guard Monday when they revealed that a head coach will be hired before the personnel director/general manager.

In the football world, that is typically opposite of what many teams do. But owner Jimmy Haslam and chief executive officer Joe Banner have a reason for doing so.

"We think that the head coach is going to play even a bigger role in where we go from here," Banner said. "That will create a better situation for us to identify what role the GM, potentially director of player personnel, whichever it ends up being, exactly what qualities do we need in that person, so when we fit everybody together, we’ve got real strength in every area that we think we need to be strong in.”

In other words, the Browns are setting their sights high when it comes to the first head coach under the new regime and are willing to give as much power to that new coach as it takes to land him.

This isn't the first time that the Browns have done it this way. Under the old regime, the Browns hired Eric Mangini as coach before bringing in a general manager (which later became George Kokinis).

“This is a reasonable line of questioning," Banner said. "It is something we discussed a lot. It isn’t an obvious answer and not everybody does it the same way. We made the determination that the greater impact on our future was going to be the head coach, that we need to make sure we find two people that fit together well and complement each other well and that we wanted the skill set of the head coach to kind of drive what we’d be looking for in the position that we would hire after that."

Banner added, "Time will tell if that’s right and if we can find the right two people that are both high quality and fit together as well as we hope. This was maybe the first decision we made in terms of kind of moving forward here was, ‘What’s the right order? Are we doing them together, one first, one second?’ So it’s a totally valid line of questioning, but the decision we, in the end, made was to find the head coach first.”

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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