"I think today's message is that we will not tolerate internal discord," Haslam said. "We want people to collaborate and work together."
Somehow, the person who emerged from the power struggle between the head coach and the offensive coordinator was Williams, the defensive coordinator. He has been very successful in his career, and the Cleveland defense has often been strong, but Williams is primarily known for his role in what became known as Bountygate; When he was the defensive coordinator of New Orleans, the Saints players were encouraged to intentionally injure the opponents, which earned him a suspension that lasted almost a year.
Williams will take an interim title, but Dorsey said they would not look to hire a new coach until after the season. Williams will continue to direct the defense, while Freddie Kitchens, who had previously been the team's head coach and head coach, will run the offense. Both will be candidates for permanent roles once the off season begins.
Both Haslam and Dorsey mentioned Williams' coaching experience (he led the Buffalo Bills from 2001 to 2003, 17-31) as one of the main reasons for his promotion, while mentioning his success as a defensive coordinator. Williams has been the coordinator of a defense in the top ten six times.
"Gregg was the only person we talked to," Haslam said. "Gregg is a veteran defensive coordinator, he's been in the league for a long time, he's been head coach, so he was the only person we talked to."
For Williams and Kitchens, the first task will be to launch the Browns offense. After winning the starting job in Week 3, Mayfield had some good performances, including especially good efforts in victories over the Jets and the Ravens. But it seems to have regressed since then, and their numbers against the Steelers (22 for 36 for 180 yards) were not strong. He also received a beating from the Steelers passing race, and seemed beaten after the game.
But there is a lot to work with to move forward, for Williams or whoever succeeds. The team has a core of players that has developed rapidly. In the draft this year, the team chose Mayfield with the first global team, and also got two other potential stars in the first two rounds, selecting Denzel Ward, a cornerback, and Nick Chubb, a runner. And that does not even include Austin Corbett, a center with the 33rd overall selection that could become a starter in the future. Those players joined a very young team that also included talented young players like Myles Garrett, Jarvis Landry and David Njoku.