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Sistine Chapel Approach

Posted: 2/6/2013 4:44 PM

Sistine Chapel Approach 


The first year with a new staff is not a time to splurge on free agents. They don't know the players they've already got well enough and will be afraid to look the fool if they let somebody go who turns up kicking it for another team.


Ah, the Sistine Chapel approach. 

"First, let me just take a few weeks to lay on my back and look at the architecture and the slopes and nooks and crannies, and hopefully some ideas will pop into my head.  Then I'll be off to China for the better part of a year to pick up rare materials to make up 3-4 really cool colors." 

If it was Chip Kelly and a band of his eager Beavers who really never saw these guys unless they had NFL Sunday ticket, I'd be inclined to agree. 

But they're not painting the Sistine chapel ceiling.  They're not carving the Crazy Horse Memorial.  It can take 2-4 weeks to form the 53-person roster of a lavish Broadway spectacle.  

Time is money and NFL coaches aren't traditional Italian shoe cobblers. 

Every new Browns coach and GM knows these players to a greater or lesser extent.  Turner and Horton have been around a while.  They have a fair idea of these players strengths and weaknesses before they were even drafted, and game planned them maybe once a year, maybe more, maybe less.  Where they have knowledge gaps, they have footage to stream (videotape went the way of film).  And they also have their pet players who they hope they can lure away and help be their liaison with the other players in terms of how things are done and what coach expects (and hopefully players better than the accident law firm of Barton, Bowen and Coleman).

Apparently Holmgren & Heckert needed little time in dispatching Quinn and Anderson to whereabouts unknown, and didn't those guys just light it up and make them look the fools.

Apparently no one needed more than a couple of days to determine that Frostee Freeze should get along to a more sedate, read-n-react scheme.  Apparently Horton was less afraid to look the fool and more inclined not to suffer one gladly. 

I don't doubt that before they even accepted the jobs, Turner and Horton conferred with Chud and Banner over who they had a pretty good mind would stay or go in the next few months... and in a year or two, and whether there was enough there as a core to make it worth their while to accept their posts in the first place.  And if there were fairly high profile players who did NOT fit the plans, would the club be supportive on moving them for better fits?

There can always be a couple of player who will remain a mystery, but those become the human interest stories a year from now, like "Horton wasn't sure about Fort, but the youngster showed him something in the way he sat poised on the bench."
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