A week after starting their coaching search, the Browns have to start over again. There's no other option after failing to sign Oregon coach Chip Kelly, the team's top candidate.
This is a major setback for the regime of owner Jimmy Haslam and chief executive officer Joe Banner, who wanted to send the message that the new Browns are different than the old ones. After firing coach Pat Shurmur on Monday, Haslam and Banner both boldly said they would go after the top candidates and had no fear of getting one. It's hard to save face during a coaching search that has been a series of blows from not landing Kelly to losing out on both of the fallback options (Penn State's Bill O'Brien and Syracuse's Doug Marrone).
I'm not saying Kelly was going to be the answer. In fact, Kelly is a major gamble considering he never coached or played at the NFL level. The Browns may be better off in the long run without Kelly and his fast-paced offense. He has the potential to be a flop in the NFL.
But the Browns played all of their chips on Kelly in this coaching search and lost. If the Browns would've been able to get Kelly, Haslam and Banner would be considered winners for getting their man. Instead, they spent all day Friday with the man they coveted and let him walk out the door.
What's next? Back to square one for the Browns. Get ready for the second phase of the coaching search that may include the likes of Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman.