WPB Dawg Fan Posted December 30, 2008 Report Share Posted December 30, 2008 Interesting: Browns push for Scott Pioli would include Kirk Ferentz Ron Borges By Ron Borges Tuesday, December 30, 2008 - Updated 2m ago Cleveland Browns owner Randy Lerner isn’t prepared to be turned down a second time in his quest to find a savior for his football franchise, according to a league source familiar with his effort to hire New England Patriots [team stats] personnel director Scott Pioli. According to the source, Lerner was not pleased when former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher spurned his advances and so he is prepared to make what was described as a “huge” financial offer to Pioli that would include not only millions, but more importantly full control of the organization and the funds necessary to bring in Pioli’s first choice as head coach, Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz. Although it has been widely speculated that Pioli might try to create a package deal that would include young Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels as his head coach, that is not the case. Pioli favors Ferentz, with whom he first worked under Bill Belichick when both were with the Browns 15 years ago. Ferentz survived the move to Baltimore and was the Ravens assistant head coach/offensive line coach before leaving to take over the Iowa program in 1998. Ferentz began his career at the University of Connecticut, later coached locally at Worcester Academy (where he also taught English literature for two years), and was the head coach at Maine before leaving for the NFL. He has had success rebuilding Iowa’s program, but has suffered through several down years of late, drawing the ire of disgruntled alumni before this season began. The Hawkeyes went 8-4 and will face South Carolina on New Year’s Day in the Outback Bowl, an improvement on 2007’s 6-6 season. Pioli is also reportedly on the short list in Kansas City, but does not appear to be the leading candidate of owner Clint Hunt, son of Chiefs founder Lamar Hunt, who passed away earlier this year. Hunt is reportedly on the lookout for a young and less-well-known front office executive like Thomas Dimitroff, who left the Patriots’ personnel department a year ago and transformed the luckless Atlanta Falcons into a playoff team in one year. Hunt is searching for someone willing to work with club president and salary cap guru Denny Thum. Thum has been with the Chiefs for 34 years and was recently installed as team president and COO to replace departed Carl Peterson. Although Thum would not have final say over football matters it is likely Hunt would insist he be in the mix when decisions are made, a scenario that is not believed to be to Pioli’s liking. It is possible that Thum could move exclusively to the business side of the team, but his long-time presence with the Chiefs and association with the departed Peterson would make such a scenario less than likely for Pioli. As hot a commodity as Pioli is at the moment, his situation may in the end boil down to Cleveland or nothing. Thum is in place in Kansas City and Tom Lewand and Martin Mayhew were mysteriously given promotions in Detroit at the end of a 0-16 season, so there is really only one job out there that would offer him the full control of football operations he desires. Lewand was recently named Lions club president and Mayhew was promoted to general manager despite the fact both were with the team far longer than departed head coach Rod Marinelli, who inherited them as well as Matt Millen and an already bad situation upon arriving three years ago. If Pioli were to look at Detroit, he would be able to add a new head coach but where would he sit? Certainly not below Lewand, who has been with the Lions for 12 years, a stretch in which they’ve been a sorry excuse for a franchise while the Patriots were winning three super Bowls and going to four. So it seems if Pioli really wants to finally take over his own NFL franchise his best chance to have the situation he believes is necessary to win - which is to control the entire football operation - is with Cleveland or bust. Considering that the Browns are willing to do it, and willing to allow Ferentz to come in as head coach, it would appear Pioli either ends up there or back in Foxboro in short order. It basically says Pioli is ours for the taking...but it likely means we get Ferentz as the HC (not McDaniels). I don't know much about Ferentz, or his ties in the coaching community, so have no idea what that would mean for the OC/DC positions. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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