The Cleveland Browns lost up-and-coming offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan this week, and rumors indicate that text messages on the sidelines may have led to his departure.
The league is reportedly investigating whether text messages were sent to the team’s sidelines during games, which would violate league rules regarding electronic communications during games. It’s not clear who sent the messages or what they may have said, but sources close to the team indicate it was regarding coaching decisions.
Cleveland.com reported that the text messages may have led to Kyle Shanahan leaving, as he perceived the messages as front office meddling in his coaching decisions.
The text messages could explain what was a puzzling departure. As NFL.com noted, it was strange that Shanahan and quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains left the team after just one season:
From a schematic standpoint, the move makes little sense. Shanahan and Loggains were more than admirable in 2014 considering a myriad of unfortunate circumstances surrounding the team’s offense this season.
Not only was their first-round pick, Johnny Manziel, not NFL ready, but their No. 1 weapon, Josh Gordon, was suspended for almost the entire season. That resulted in a team still averaging 324.6 yards per game with Brian Hoyer at quarterback. Shanahan managed to put enough pieces in place to keep the team in playoff contention through almost the entire season.
But Kyle Shanahan may have actually benefited by leaving the Cleveland Browns. After what appeared to be a breakout season, the Browns lost six of its last seven games and are staring at an uncertain offensive future.
Kyle Shanahan now appears to be moving up in the world. He is viewed as a strong candidate to become a head coach, and is set to interview with the Buffalo Bills, who beat the Cleveland Browns in what was Johnny Manziel’s debut this year.
The Cleveland Browns are rumored to be looking into former Bears QB coach Matt Cavanaugh to replace Kyle Shanahan.
[Image via CBS Cleveland]