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Thursday, July 31, 2014
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Published: Friday, 4/16/2004

Coach has become too powerful

Ron Wolf didn t need the headaches. Really, he didn t.

Living in semi-retirement in Maryland, basking in the afterglow of a distinguished front-office career, Wolf needed the Cleveland Browns like he needed a full-blown migraine.

The Browns, or for that matter, their fans, never had an opportunity to find out what Wolf, in his incredibly short stint as “personnel consultant” could do for the franchise, because coach Butch Davis wouldn t allow him to perform his job.

Am I concerned that in gaining absolute, unchecked power of the Browns, Davis essentially discarded Wolf like an empty bottle of Advil?

Yes.

The fact that Davis has given up on so many proven veteran players and badly mismanaged Cleveland s quarterback situation for the last two years concerns me.

The fact that Davis will answer only to owner Randy Lerner in the Browns recent front-office shake-up troubles me.

And the fact that Davis wasn t willing to work with someone with a bigger football reputation than his own bothers me.

Davis all but treated Wolf like he was some past-his-prime hanger-on attempting to reclaim his youth.

In fact, Wolf s ego wasn t in need of stroking.

Davis ego was.

Wolf didn t need Davis, or the Browns.

After leaving the Green Bay Packers, Wolf turned down offers to run other NFL teams. Wolf liked the idea of spending more time at home with his family.

Wolf only joined the Browns in a part-time capacity because of his relationship with team president Carmen Policy. But when Policy announced last week his decision to relinquish his role in May, Wolf quickly followed suit after being publicly embarrassed by Davis.

During the recent NFL meetings in Florida, Davis told reporters that Wolf had no role in the Browns decision-making process.

At that instant, all the phony baloney about Davis and Wolf having a long-standing relationship built on mutual respect was seen for what it really was: nothing but talk.

Wolf, in trying to do a favor for Policy, was played for a fool.

Give Policy credit for finally reaching the proper conclusion.

Davis, the coach he personally recruited and hired from the University of Miami, needs help.

In his first three seasons, Davis has proven he can t coach the Browns and make every personnel decision without some kind of checks-and-balance system in place.

So what? Most NFL coaches have a general manager-type looking over their shoulder.

That includes Bill Parcells, Mike Holmgren and Dick Vermeil, who have won a total of four Super Bowls.

When the Browns hired Davis I was convinced it was a good move. Anybody other than Chris Palmer was an improvement.

By the time Davis finished his coup of the Browns front office, I realized the error of my ways.

Davis may be too powerful for the Browns, and his, own good.



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