Take all the shots you want at Bill Belichick, but the Patriots don't win because they deflate footballs. They win because they have a singular voice within the organization, saying 'this is how we do things...get it right, or get out'. It starts at the top with Belichick and is carried out by his team leaders, and those in the locker room understand there's a price to be paid for failing to live up to the code. Ask Jonus Gray, the Pats' running back who burst onto the NFL map with a four-TD performance in November, only to follow that up by being late to a team meeting. We haven't seen or heard from him since.
If only the Browns had the same structure, consistency and accountability. They might have weathered the late-season storm that threw 'em off course, causing them to lose six of their final seven games. More likely, there wouldn't have been a late-season storm, because The Voice would have ended the turmoil before it even began. Instead, the Browns were once again fractured within, different voices trying to serve different agendas, leading to yet another quarterback mess, and allowing the Josh Gordon saga to continue. Does anybody really believe Gordon would still be around if Belichick was running this show? Belichick giveth chances...and then Belichick taketh away when the player can't live up to the code.
Is it any wonder then that coaching candidates are bypassing the Browns for other opportunities? What potential coordinator, on the rise with visions of a head coaching gig someday, wants to put his name and reputation on the line with this franchise? It's not just about inheriting issues; it's about the dysfunction that will remain in place until the organization decides that a singular voice will set the tone for this team. The head coach must be a major part of that voice. All parts must move in the same direction. And the players must all be accountable. No exceptions. Until then, they truly are the same old Browns. And coaching candidates around the NFL know it.