George Gojkovich/Getty Images
George Gojkovich/Getty Images

Why The Browns Blew Up The Franchise … Again

During a search for a new head coach, owner Jimmy Haslam lost faith in the leadership of CEO Joe Banner and GM Mike Lombardi, so he fired them. Now the Browns—losers of at least 11 games for six straight seasons—start all over

The Cleveland Browns interviewed Ken Whisenhunt for their head-coaching job in each of the past two Januaries, first after he was fired as Arizona’s head coach, and last month when he was employed as San Diego’s offensive coordinator. When Whisenhunt entered the room this year for the interview, he was one of the hottest commodities on the head-coaching market, and the Browns were very interested in him.

Whisenhunt said, “Why didn’t you guys hire me last year?’’

The Browns’ CEO who was in both interviews, Joe Banner, told Whisenhunt he didn’t think the staff he was putting together at the time was “a championship coaching staff.”

Whisenhunt, one NFL source said, was peeved that a man who had never coached and who’d been involved in football mainly on the business side would sit in judgment of his potential coaches.

“Who are you to tell me what makes up a championship coaching staff?” Whisenhunt said, with an edge in his voice.

That scene, another source told The MMQB, illustrated a big reason why owner Jimmy Haslam made the bombshell announcement he made Tuesday, firing Banner and general manager Mike Lombardi after their first full seasons on the job. Haslam became dubious about Banner’s football acumen and during the coach-search process following the firing of rookie coach Rob Chudzinski saw what a potential roadblock to success Banner would be. Add in Banner’s brusque and sometimes confrontational style that rubbed many around the NFL the wrong way, and you’ve got a good read on why Haslam stunned the NFL with the late-morning announcement.

As Haslam rushed to a meeting Tuesday evening, he wouldn’t be specific on the Whisenhunt story. About Banner, Haslam said “there was no one crowning blow’’ that made him dismiss the man he picked to run the organization 16 months ago. Haslam also knows he will be ridiculed—deservedly so—for looking like George Steinbrenner in his prime for the way he’s whacked coaches and front-office staff seemingly willy-nilly since he took over as owner on Oct. 16, 2012. Under Haslam, who came in preaching patient team-building, the Browns have fired two coaches (Pat Shurmur, Chudzinski), two general manages (Tom Heckert, Lombardi), a CEO (Banner) and a president (Mike Holmgren). They fired Chudzinski when he got off the team bus from Pittsburgh after the last game of the 2013 season. They have started four quarterbacks, and seem prepared to move heaven and earth to draft a new quarterback savior in the first round of the May 8 draft.

“There’s no training manual for being an NFL owner,” says Haslam. “There’s a steep learning curve to do it the right way, and I admit we didn’t get it right at first. But I am determined to do it.”

In Haslam’s 17-month tenure, the team has employed 56 coaches.

To call the Browns a circus would be an insult to circuses.

“Well,’’ Haslam told The MMQB by phone, “there’s no training manual for being an NFL owner. There’s a steep learning curve to do it the right way, and I admit we didn’t get it right at first. But I am determined to do it right, and to get the right people in place.

“In my business career, most of the mistakes I’ve made come from not moving quickly enough when you know there’s a tough decision to be made. The easy thing to do here would be to stay doing what you’re doing, even when you feel like you need to change course.’’

The latest Browns’ shakeup handed the GM job to a man, Ray Farmer, who wasn’t a part of the four-man team interviewing potential head coaches. Farmer also becomes the de facto head of football operations, since Banner won’t be replaced. In the most incredible news of the day, it was announced Farmer had been signed to a four-year contract. If you believe Farmer will be the Browns’ GM for four years, you’ll also believe Haslam’s going to name the downtown stadium after Art Modell.

Mike Lombardi (center) rarely addressed the media, with Joe Banner and Jimmy Haslam speaking about the Browns' front-office decisions. (Mark Duncan/AP)
Mike Lombardi (center) rarely addressed the media, with Joe Banner and Jimmy Haslam speaking about the Browns’ front-office decisions. (Mark Duncan/AP)

So let me explain this story the best I can. When Haslam was confirmed as owner in midseason 2012, he came from Pittsburgh, where the most valuable lesson he learned in his time as a Steeler majority owner was continuity. I chided him about that Tuesday in light of the revolving door in his own building, and he said, “You’re right. You’re right. That’s fair. I do know from previous experience how important continuity is. Right now, we have to make this change and suffer the pain.”

Haslam was paired with former Eagles president Banner, who wore out his welcome in Philadelphia after a long tenure with owner Jeffrey Lurie and coach Andy Reid. The headstrong Banner was looking to run a franchise on his own, and Haslam decided to take him on as day-to-day steward. Haslam disputes the commonly held view that his partnership with Banner was an arranged marriage, because he said he interviewed him and chose him; Banner, he said, was forced on him by no one.

But it was a shotgun marriage from the start, because Banner and Haslam needed each other. Sometimes that works, and sometime it doesn’t. One did this season, famously, with GM John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll in Seattle. This one, not so much. Banner convinced Haslam to hire Lombardi, disliked by many in Cleveland from his former tenure as GM with the Browns, and Lombardi came on board from his analyst’s role with NFL Network. Immediately Lombardi was a misfit. Except for special, one-off occasions, Lombardi was prevented from talking to the media, extremely odd for such a high-profile job in such a football-hungry town. On draft weekend, the front office looked stupid when someone granted Grantland’s Chuck Klosterman special access to cover the Cleveland draft room, then had it rescinded at the last minute. Wrote Klosterman: “The Browns live in a state of perpetual war, endlessly convincing themselves that every scrap of information they possess is some kind of game-changing superweapon that will alter lives and transmogrify the culture. They behave like members of a corporate cult.’’

Banner spent $5 million of Haslam’s money to totally revamp the second floor of the Browns’ training facility and offices—and to try to change the club’s philosophy. The Browns’ coaching, front-office, scouting, sales, PR and broadcast departments are all in an open campus. When a big sale was made, a bell was rung, and the sales team all clapped. The club had a live radio show in a $65,000 soundproof studio in the middle of it all. Banner toured me around the place last summer and said, “It’s the energy of feeling like something’s always happening, every day.”

So now two guys even the most ardent of Browns backers barely knew a month ago—Mike Pettine and Ray Farmer—constitute the Cleveland football braintrust. 

Then they began playing football, and nothing really changed. For the sixth straight season, the Browns lost at least 11 games. As the year went on, Banner thought coach Rob Chudzinski got promoted one time too many and was overmatched as a head coach. Word leaked at 3 p.m. on the last day of the season, during the last game, that Chudzinski could be fired after his first year, and five hours later, as the Browns returned to Cleveland from Pittsburgh, it happened. Team leader D’Qwell Jackson’s reaction: “We fired Chud? Are you kidding me?’’

Another coaching search. Three guys they liked—coordinators Josh McDaniels, Adam Gase and Dan Quinn—all pulled out with their teams still in play. None would say the truth: The job was toxic, and they all had good coaching jobs with solid teams. Lombardi, friends with McDaniels, went hard after the Patriots offensive coordinator again when New England lost in the AFC title game, but McDaniels stayed a Patriot.

Bill Belichick and Urban Meyer were strong in recommendations for fired Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano—Belichick called twice—and here’s where I hear there was a major rift in the organization. Banner wanted nothing to do with Schiano. Haslam was intrigued with him after the over-the-top recommendation from Belichick. The group flew to Tampa to interview Schiano, and one source said Banner was cold to Schiano, not participating much in the interview. Banner likely thought Schiano would be a disastrous hire, given all the negatives in recent Cleveland history. He was probably right, but the owner was open to it, and when the owner’s open to it, the man running football operations should at least consider it.

Last month, Haslam hired Mike Pettine, who will be the Browns' fourth head coach since 2009. (Nick Cammett/Getty Images)
Last month, Haslam hired Mike Pettine, who will be the Browns’ fourth head coach since 2009. (Nick Cammett/Getty Images)

So now two guys even the most ardent of Browns backers barely knew a month ago—then-Buffalo defensive coordinator Mike Pettine and Farmer—constitute the Cleveland football braintrust. For now, Farmer is in charge of cutting the roster and handing Pettine the final 53-man team. Pettine will be in charge of all game-day personnel decisions and deployment. For two guys who have never worked together, that bears watching.

Farmer is well-liked and respected as a personnel man. Until joining the Browns last year, he had worked in Kansas City as Scott Pioli’s assistant. He turned down Miami’s GM job recently, reportedly because he was offered only a two-year contract. Asked Tuesday about Miami at the news conference, Farmer went third-person, saying the Miami job “wasn’t right for Ray Farmer.” But Farmer’s friends say he’s not an ego guy.

Farmer earned Haslam’s respect with a strong interview in Cleveland after the Chiefs staff got blown up. “Smart, no ego, relates well to players,’’ said Haslam. Farmer got Haslam’s ear by standing with him at practice during the season and explaining personnel and scouting—and then by asking his counsel when he was considering taking the Miami GM job last month. The more Haslam thought about Farmer, the more he thought he was a valuable man he didn’t want to lose. Haslam started seriously considering making the changes last week.

A Browns free-agency meeting scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday was abruptly cancelled. It was Tuesday morning that Haslam delivered the news, which I’m told blew away both Banner and Lombardi. The owner told the staff in a 10 a.m. meeting, then told a news conference in the afternoon he was finished with major changes. After that, he and his staff—led by Farmer and Pettine, with club president Alec Scheiner and general counsel Sashi Brown—had their first organizational meeting, a session of about two hours.

It’s hard to imagine why the fans would have hope for a team in perpetual transition, but it’s Cleveland, and it’s football, and there are three draft picks in the top 35 to fantasize over.

“Ray was terrific in the meeting,’’ Haslam said. “He was as strong an individual as anyone in the room this afternoon.”

He’d better be. Haslam and Farmer now have to worry about calming the roiling waters around the team. It’s like there’s a moat around the Browns’ training center in suburban Berea, and alligators are swimming in it. In the past six weeks, the team has fired the entire coaching staff and the two biggest football people running the show. The coach is new, the coordinators are new, the offense (with a bruised Kyle Shanahan coming off an ugly year in Washington) is new. The Browns don’t have a quarterback of the future. They do have three draft picks in the top 35—Nos. 4, 26 and 35—with the prospect of trading two of those choices (or No. 4 plus next year’s first-rounder) to obtain the quarterback of their dreams. Unless, of course, that man is Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, coveted by Cleveland, and he goes to a team unwilling to trade down before the Browns have a chance to pick him.

Surprisingly, because of the local enmity for Banner and Lombardi, Haslam didn’t seem to be getting roasted Tuesday night in Cleveland, and I think the fans are probably right: Haslam reached the point where he thought Banner and Lombardi were impediments to success. When that happens, they’ve got to go.

But the other side, obviously, is how many times can you pull the cleaning-house rabbit out of the hat? Browns fans are numb to the mayhem by now. It’s hard to imagine why the fans would have hope for a team in perpetual transition, but it’s Cleveland, and it’s football, and there are three draft picks in the top 35 to fantasize over. Farmer, as a rookie GM, has a huge draft on his hands in just three months.

Assuming Farmer is still the general manager in three months.

mmqb-end-slug-square

195 comments
tpmaltbie
tpmaltbie

I love the last sentence.  Burn.

fastback67@roadrunner.com
fastback67@roadrunner.com

How you you say Manziel is coveted by Cleveland when all of the decision makers just changed?

RickSpinelli
RickSpinelli

Sad when you almost wish Modell was here!!!!!

Allan
Allan

No training manual for being an NFL owner?  Really?  He doesn't play Madden 25 like the rest of us?

mgh888
mgh888

Seems like a pretty fair article to me. Haslam has taken his lumps, owned his error and moved on.


It's pretty unfair to site the firing of Homgren who was nothing more than a lazy thief while on the Browns payroll and solely responsible for drafting Weeden (total bust) as well hiring Pat Shurmur who might be the most inept football coach I have ever seen.... When Haslam took over a losing franchise in disarray of course he is going to jettison the F.O and move on .... so those "firings" shouldn't be counted against him. 


Bottom line - he hired Banner. Banner hired Lombardi - they 'all' hirder Chud (as third or 4th choice). Haslam has seen Banner and Lombardi were not going to be successful and he did something about it. Sounds very much as if Banner pulled the trigger on Chud. Props to Haslam for looking in the mirror and owning his mistake. 


Who knows how well Pettine and Farmer will gel - I've been impressed with both so far. But it will be FA signings, the draft and the final 53 man roster that Farmer gets judged against. It will be wins on the field that Pettine gets judged against. Hopefully they will both be given a chance to succeed because Chud wasn't. 

iamfunei
iamfunei

Sure, continuity is a grand idea, but ask Lions fans if the "continuity" of Matt Millen's tenure was worth it. They've become much more successful recently, but how many years were they held back by Millen's inability to do his job with competence?


What I don't understand is Peter's assertion that there's no way Farmer can/will be the GM for four years. There's a difference between recognizing and eradicating dysfunction and having an itchy trigger finger. To wit, if Haslam was truly "cleaning house" both Farmer and Alec Sheiner would be gone, too, instead of doing largely the same jobs they've been doing. I consider it not a house-cleaning, but a pruning of dead branches so the other branches can grow.


My feeling on the situation as a fan of the Browns: Haslam believed that Banner had the experience to set up a good organization. After seeing the rubber meeting the road for a year, it was clear he did not have the ability to do that. To wit: he fired one coach he'd inherited, one that he'd hired, and word came down today that Banner also wanted to fire Lombardi. 


At least Haslam was smart/aware enough to see that the guy in charge was seemingly unhappy with everyone HE hired--which is not a recipe for any kind of long-term success or even growth toward success--and that if you can't spot the sucker in the first 30 minutes, you're the sucker.

MarkPost
MarkPost

Your article sounds very bitter, Peter.  Were Banner or Lombardi your top sources for inside team news because this entire article was worded like your best friend was fired.  You basically said the moves had to be made and yet you sound genuinely angry that those exact moves happened.  Are you saying it should have happened all at once? Are you saying they should have gotten another year and then been fired?  If it needed to happen then what would you have done differently?  You explain nothing about your attitude in this article which would have been very helpful in understand why you worded everything the way you did.

JDLKS24
JDLKS24

I get why they fired Banner, but this article didn't explain what the knock was on Lombardi. Overall, I think this is a good move for Cleveland. 

SG
SG

Haslam was not a majority owner of the Steelers, just a minority one...which is why he didn't learn anything about stability from being there because he spent 99.9% of his time at Pilot...trying to figure out ways to rip people off. 

JubJub
JubJub

I feel for you, Browns fans. That's a terrific fan base that deserves a much better football organization.

OL_Bob
OL_Bob

Just to run some numbers - since 1999, the Browns have averaged 5.13333 wins/season and 10.86667 losses/season (77-163 overall since this incarnation of the franchise was incarnated). This means that over the past six seasons, where they've had three years of 4-12 and three of 5-11, they've actually done WORSE, on average, than in the first nine years. Just some food for thought...

OL_Bob
OL_Bob

At this point about the only thing anyone can say about the Browns is, "Wait and see". I'd like them to do well but I have no faith this will happen any time soon. To those of us who grew up watching Jim Brown, Frank Ryan, and the Browns stomp their way through the NFL puddle with big boots on their feet this is beyond sad. The only explanation I can come up with for all this is that Haslam is playing a long game, trying to alienate every fan the Browns have ever had so he can move the franchise to Knoxville or Memphis.

Bjornagast
Bjornagast

Wow. And I thought the Redskins were dysfunctional. This is like watching a retarded man with brain damage, malaria and an LSD trip. 

brwns_fan
brwns_fan

I made a comment two weeks ago on how Lombardi was avoided by college draft people "in the know" and wondered out loud "If Haslam heard that, there will be a 'big shake-up' ".  Seems like he heard the same things I heard and read.  To me, that means the draft will likely be a good one.

liquidmuse3
liquidmuse3

One, talking to a man on the phone, & then throwing his new guy under the bus (Ray Farmer) with the "Will he still be GM in 4 years? Haha" comment was rude to both Haslam *&* Farmer.


2nd, "Cleveland likes Johnny Manziel"? Who in Cleveland? Haslam? Farmer? Pettine? Didn't the whole staff just get changed over? Who is "Cleveland"?

cornersss
cornersss

so we now have the real reason Farmer did not take the Miami job. Go figure....

Fifilo
Fifilo

Because the Dolphins and Bucs were making up too much ground for the coveted Worst Franchise Award.

badbeatya
badbeatya

It is unfortunate that some of the best players in the league are stuck on such a poorly run franchise.  If they could just get some stability, good coaching, and direction, the Browns could easily be competitive in their division.  The Dawg Pound deserves better.  I still say they should sign Vick to mentor Manziel, but take Hoyer into camp as well, unless they are going to make a run at Cousins, who would be much, much cheaper than Vick.  Obviously this draft is going to be huge for them and considering the Browns' positioning, there may be a big trade or 2 going down.  I hope they come out the other end with some impact players.  This could be Cleveland's best draft since the 2003 NBA draft.

anetgroup
anetgroup

Jimmy Haslem sold an interest in the Steelers to clear the way to full ownership of the Browns. Why?

Haslem's Republican Governor of Tennessee brother has White House ambitions and swing state Ohio has never been lost by a successful GOP presidential candidate.

So, creating a positive Haslem "brand" in Ohio is paramount.

Being the laughingstock of the league won't cut it.

Unfortunately, Haslem's personal problems with Flying J's fraudulent rebate practices commanded a lot of negative attention during the last year.

Perhaps spending time misdirecting attention from his personal problems has something to do with the double turnover turmoil the Brownies have suffered.

I hope at least the Brownies come out of this healthy.

I can hope.


Stevo1
Stevo1

Four coaches in 5 years?  I didn't know Dan Snyder had an alter-ego.

vamagman
vamagman

Why would Banner have been forced on Haslam--an "arranged marriage," according to the writer-- when Haslam is the owner and can hire any team ceo/president he thinks best? And Haslam makes clear that he hired Banner. 


You truly have a dysfunctional organization when you hire people and then lose confidence in them within months--for reasons not entirely clear. Everyone, starting with Haslam, looks pretty lame. Maybe Farmer will succeed--but if rolls the dice on Manziel, and I doubt that Manziel is even 70 percent as good an NFL prospect as Andrew Luck, he too will be getting his walking papers soon. 


RaoulDuke
RaoulDuke

Hard to share Mr. King's conclusion that "Haslam didn’t seem to be getting roasted Tuesday night in Cleveland."

Haslam's company, Pilot Flying J, is in the crosshairs of a serious federal criminal investigation, which might be distracting Mr. Haslam just a bit. 


Guilty pleas are mounting in the federal criminal probe into CEO Jimmy Haslam's Knoxville company as three more former employees admit to fraud related charges.

Brian Mosher, Haslam's former National Sales Director, pleaded guilty Monday to a criminal information filed by federal prosecutors investigating allegations that trucking companies were cheated of promised fuel rebates....

A criminal information is often filed by prosecutors, rather than a grand jury indictment, when defendants are cooperating with federal prosecutors.

Today's guilty plea now makes ten former Pilot employees who have pleaded guilty to fraud-related charges since the FBI raid at the company's headquarters last April.

http://www.newsnet5.com/news/local-n...xville-company

Haslam prudently refused to comment on that investigation when questioned by at the press conference  yesterday

But that did not mean it is not being brought up by Cleveland sports columnists 

This from Bud Shaw of the Cleveland Plain Dealer

 We are told Haslam will be more hands-on. You mean like he was (or wasn’t, if you believe him) at Pilot Flying J?

“These are the last of the major changes we’re going to make in the organization,” said Haslam. ”If you want to look at me as a work in progress (as an owner) I guess (that’s fair).”

Either Haslam is sure he won’t be indicted by the FBI or there could be one more major change to come.

http://www.cleveland.com/budshaw/ind...rt_maj-story-1

 And this from Bill Livingston of the Plain Dealer.


The perception of a franchise in disarray “is something you all have set out there,” Haslam had the gall to lecture media members in his Tuesday reinterpretation of the way we see the world.

I suppose the federal media is responsible for all the unflattering stories about Pilot Flying J, too....

This is from the billionaire who says he knew nothing about the gas rebate scam. If he didn’t, Haslam has just been kickin’ it in Knoxville as the scamps had their way with his business. It’s much the better of the two possible interpretations of the scandal, but no one should be impressed if it's true.


http://www.cleveland.com/livingston/...rt_maj-story-1

That reads like roasting to me.



Craig
Craig

There is an old saying about the city of Berlin:  It is a city that is always becoming but never becomes."  The same could be said about the Browns.  They are continually becoming a team, but never quite get there.  Like Berlin, way back when they had some great times, but...well...they're still becoming.  It's just not clear what they're becoming.

gary7
gary7

This is what happens when you hire Peter King types to run your football operations, good article Pete, but please keep your "If I was GM"  "If I was the coach", Cleveland is what would happen

ILoveMyWife
ILoveMyWife

Jimmy doess have a reputation for ripping off his customers. Perhaps he is attempting to change that perception.

fallentemplar
fallentemplar

I am a born and raised Browns fan since 1959 and are a first time commenter in this forum; Many of you can imagine the load of frustration I have on board which has prompted me to speak up for the first time this year on every media site I can find.  I have a lot to say because of it. I truly believe the squeaky wheel gets the grease!

Haslam exhibited courage and integrity after firing Banner and Lombardi. He accepted the blame for all the mistakes and recommitted himself to righting the ship. When you have toxic employees send them to the competition. Though I agree with an earlier commenter that B and L will probably not secure similar positions at least not for sometime. Clearing the slate and starting anew is an excellent idea. Can they do any worse than the last six seasons? There is only one direction from here!


I approve Haslam consulting Parcells and encourage him to throw the gauntlet down to Bill Polian, Jimmy Johnson, Tony Dungy, etc and challenge, no dare these "football geniuses" to pick it up. Regardless of what they say, they won't take the risk. They would rather rest on their laurels and disparage our team from afar. As for Keith (Wiley Coyote) Olbermann please accept Scent of a Woman's Lt Col Frank Slade's response to Charlie's buddies who were going to throw him under bus for your comments! 

This team has a real chance to turn it around this year with the right moves. The Browns have 5 Pro Bowlers. I hope the idea to let the All Pro center Alex Mack go and pursue Ben Tate in free agency was from the recently departed. Mack wants to stay in Cleveland for God's sake. Ben Tate is hurt every single year. Hell he's hurt now! Stop going after midget running backs and draft Carlos Hyde who has size, power and speed. He will punish would be tacklers like days of old.Jim Brown can teach him how!

The Browns have 10 draft picks, 7 in the first four rounds. They have a good QB in Brian Hoyer who understudied with Tom Brady and he is younger than Weedon. DO NOT trade up for a QB and lose the chance of filling all of the team needs. NONE OF THE AVAILABLE QB ARE WORTH THE RISK! For what its worth here are picks from a guy who has been a fan since 1959: The 4th pick Draft Sammy Watkins,Mike Evans, Kelvin Benjamin to complement Gordon. 28th Pick Draft Tajh Boyd, A.J. McCarron, Jimmy Garoppolo. 35th Pick Draft Carlos Hyde or switch the last two picks if you believe Hyde won't last. First 3rd Pick Draft a coverage Linebacker Van Noy, Skov, Jones. 2nd 3rd Rd Pick draft Guard C Richardson, Ryan Groy. 1st 4th Rd Pick Draft Cornerback K. McGill, E,J Gaines, Deion Belue. 2nd 4th Rd Pick Cornerback Chris Davis  Terrance Mitchell. 5th Rd Pick TE Joe Don Duncan, J Najvar. 6th Rd Pick DE J Morro. M Sam, T Hart 7th Rd Pick Draft Safety Sorenson, C J Barnett, J Dowling   

BigAltheShoeman
BigAltheShoeman

From am Eagle's fan . . .

Getting rid of Banner is a major plus for you guys.

Banner, in his last year . . signed every Free Agent he found, and set us back years.

He wasn't going to help you guys.

Even Lurie (our owner) and Banner's best-friend , , had enough of this guy.

good luck going forward . . . Brown's fans deserve better.

scp1957
scp1957

@Allan  I wish that I could be sure that that was sarcasm. Alas, I cannot.

iamfunei
iamfunei

@JDLKS24  The knock on Lombardi is that he has a track record of being a horrible GM--repeatedly--in the NFL.

JDLKS24
JDLKS24

@JubJub  Lets not get carried away here talking about how great of a fan base Cleveland has. These are the same fans that cheered when Tim Couch was laying on the field with a concussion. Aren't they the same ones that threw beer bottles and stuff, too? 


It'd be good to see Cleveland not suck anybody, but thats because its good for the league to not have poorly run franchises, not because Cleveland fans are so good and deserve it(not that I'm saying they don't). 

OL_Bob
OL_Bob

@Bjornagast  - the Browns are not dysfunctional. That would actually represent a step up in organizational competence.

JubJub
JubJub

Don't forget Washington and, of course, Oakland.

liquidmuse3
liquidmuse3

@Fifilo  Dumb comment, with Schiano gone. & the Bucs have won a Super Bowl recently. Not so much Miami & Cleveland.

badbeatya
badbeatya

@Fifilo Hey now!  The Bucs are going to turn it around with Lovie at the helm.

OL_Bob
OL_Bob

@badbeatya  - very few players from the 2003 NBA draft ever played for the Browns.

OL_Bob
OL_Bob

@anetgroup  - if Slick Jimmy's bro is hoping to gain some political capital from how Slick Jimmy's been running the Browns - yeah, I'm thinking that's not gonna happen. Maybe McD's is hiring..?

OL_Bob
OL_Bob

@Stevo1  - in terms of "head coaches on the field" it's actually three coaches in five years - Mangini (2009-2010) - Shurmur (2011-2012) - Chud (2013). Not that I'm implying in any way that this is a good thing...

iamfunei
iamfunei

@vamagman  "and I doubt that Manziel is even 70 percent as good an NFL prospect as Andrew Luck"


70% of Andrew Luck would be the best QB the Browns have had since they returned in 1999. By a large margin.

scp1957
scp1957

@RaoulDuke  This Federal pursuit of Flying J's "big fish" gets curiouser and curiouser, says Alice. Knowing the way that these guys work, the easy toppling of these many dominoes indicates that they've got them dead to rights. Now, this usually indicates hard information, rather than the merely suggestive. Given that, where is the hard information fingering Haslam? Should a case eventually be advanced which seeks to imprison Haslam solely on the basis of the sworn word of soft men, whose arms have been twisted behind their backs, them my response will consist of two words: "Eric Holder". The soft evidence regarding the Attorney General's corruption is at least as damning as any that is likely to be put in evidence against the brother of a Republican aspirant to the Presidency.

anetgroup
anetgroup

@RaoulDuke Good post.

I think Haslem came to Ohio to create a good "Haslem brand" for his brother, Gov of TN, to launch a national campaign. 

Gosh, how wrong could that have gone?

Flying J and flying sh*t with the Browns...doesn't get any worse than that for the bro.

Now, Jimmy is scrambling...maybe it'll work...or maybe it'll be Cleveland.

BTW, I'm a Browns fan...sigh.

scp1957
scp1957

@fallentemplar  No offense, son, but resting on one's laurels on South Beach, in a high-rise tower, sounds like much more fun than does spending twelve months a year within smelling distance of the World's Biggest Bathtub.

anetgroup
anetgroup

@fallentemplar Like your comment and style.

Think we could wait another pick to get Garoppolo, but I'd hate to lose him...seems like the one that will make it in the league, especially under Hoyer for a year or two.

2014 will be a good year for someone...why not us for once?

iamfunei
iamfunei

@JDLKS24 @JubJub  "These are the same fans that cheered when Tim Couch was laying on the field with a concussion."


I was at that game. The fans were cheering for Kelly Holcomb, who came onto the field while Couch was down. They were not cheering for Couch being hurt. Couch's post-game comments, to his detriment, were made when he was still somewhat concussed, and it's unfortunate that it played the way it did in the media.

badbeatya
badbeatya

@OL_Bob ...This could be the City of Cleveland's best draft since the 2003 NBA draft.

mgh888
mgh888

@iamfunei @JDLKS24 @JubJub  


I was at that game - and at bottle-gate.... I disagree. Fans cheered when Couch got hurt. Not specifically because he got hurt maybe, but tantamount to the same thing. 

Newsletter