April 18, 2014

Quotes: Randy Lerner Talks Cleveland Browns with WTAM’s Mike Trivisonno

Randy Lerner broke his silence today with the biggest radio show in Cleveland, hosted by Mike Trivisonno on WTAM.  Here were some of the more interesting quotes.  I won’t begin to pretend this was a hard-hitting interview with tough, antagonistic questions, but they did delve into many of the topics involved with all the losing in the last decade plus.  We will have a lot more on this interview, but I thought some of the raw quotes were pretty compelling all by themselves.

On the talk that Randy Lerner is an “Absentee landlord” when it comes to the Browns…

“I do care. Of course I care.  I don’t know ways of showing you care are clear to me other than to provide support and show up.  It sickens me when we lose games.  It sickens me when we have a season like we’ve just had.  But, I guess to my mind I also have to balance my responsibility to use some restraint emotionally and support the guys that I work with.  I suppose if I don’t get that balancing act quite right, or the optics quite right I might appear to not care or to be indifferent, but that’d be a shame because that’s not how I feel.”

After joking (or maybe not) about being so frustrated with game outcomes that he might have thrown chairs before, Lerner talked about whether he wants to win even more than the fans do.

“I don’t know that I’d say that.  I would like to say that, but I don’t think it’s appropriate to say that.  I think people are exhausted from losing in this town.  I think as a Browns fan from birth I’m exhausted too.  I think people are irritated.  They have every reason to be.  You know. And it’s on me.  I would like to think we’re moving this thing in the right direction.”

Regarding rumors about Mike Holmgren not being dedicated or “stealing” the Lerner’s money.

“There’s absolutely no truth to that. Nothing could be further from the truth.  Look, in this business it’s unforgiving.  People are going to voice their feelings and they’re going to do it on an unfiltered basis.  I understand that.  It comes with the territory.  But, I can say with total personal clarity that Mike Holmgren is as honorable and committed a football leader as I’ve been around.  I know he wants this team to do well.  I know that he suffers the losses miserably.  The impressions that you’ve outlined are just not accurate.  They’re nowhere near my personal experience with Mike.”

On the biggest critics and his frustration with their criticisms.

“Most of the people who say that or feel that way or air those feelings do so because they care about the Browns. It’s not people necessarily out to get anybody.  It’s people who are passionate about this team.  They feel things, see things or sense things and air them.  I’d rather have that than indifference.”

Let’s say that Mike Holmgren doesn’t get it done, what then?

“I don’t think it’s a “Mike get it done” equation.  You’ve got Tom Heckert in the building.  You certainly have coach Shurmur in the building.  And there’s a lot of other guys.  I would like to think that what we’re trying to do is spread responsibilities across guys with varying degrees of experience and an awful lot of hunger and commitment for the Browns. That’s going to grow and become more intense over time. I think Mike’s role as a mentor is very important almost as much as his role as an architect.”

Expectations when taking team over in 2002.

“I don’t know that I have a great answer for that.  My life at that time was more chaotic certainly.  My learning curve was different than it is now.”

On needing patience for Mike Holmgren and his staff.

“This is not an industry or business where you’re going to get time.  I understand what you’re saying (Triv) and I understand that you’re trying to be sympathetic for what we’re trying to do.  I think there are some basic things that have to get done that this organization is very focused on.  The most fundamental is settle on a quarterback.  Now far be it from me.  I’m not a talent evaluator, to say the least, or anything like one.  At some point as a Browns fan when you look around and see Pittsburgh needing a quarterback and dealing with Kordell Stewart or dealing with Tommy Maddox or whatever… They made a move.  They committed to the move and they’ve succeeded with that move.  And Baltimore with Kyle Boller and that didn’t work out.  And they tried and made a move and got Flacco.  I think one of the things that is crucial right now is to take a significant step forward is to try TRY if you can to get this quarterback situation settled.”

Can that quarterback, from the owner’s perspective, be Colt McCoy?

“(Joking) I suddenly lose the ability to speak when I’m asked that question.”

On longevity in the front office being important to all NFL franchises.

“No question.  And a coach if you can.  That continuity is without question the ultimate sign of strength within this business.  No question.”

On running regimes out of Cleveland every couple of years.

“That goes back to trying to balance the frustration and trying to be  conscious of it while also trying to get the results in the near term so that guys start to get comfortable with who is in the building.  Because you’re not going to get anywhere if you keep turning this thing over.”

On the pressure placed on the owner with the passion of the fans…

“Yeah. I do. I feel that pressure.  I get back to the same feeling that it is pressure but it’s a privilege.  We haven’t been able to deliver.  We live with that in this building every day.  To a certain extent it gives you strength because you’re motivated to turn things around and get it right.  To a certain extent it certainly wears you down.  I’d like to think I’ve got a lot left in the tank so I’m ready to go.”

When things aren’t going well do you walk into Holmgren’s office and do you yell?

“I would say usually the scenario is that he’s already in his office yelling.  And there’s usually things flying around the room…  I view my role and my approach has been to make very clear that there is a mandate in this building.  There is very real urgency about that mandate for all the reasons we’ve discussed.  But I try to balance that with being respectful to a guy that I brought here who’s got many decades of proven experience.  Probably not the greatest answer I’ve ever given, but that’s the balancing act I suppose.”

What do you do if you aren’t getting results from this regime?

“I can’t even get myself to think that way.  I think that we had a very strong draft.  I think while the season’s still raw, the feelings and the frustrations are still raw you have got at some point from a professional perspective, you’ve got to look for strengths.  I’m not saying you take any great comfort.  You’ve got to identify what you think you got done, obviously to help reveal what it is you think you need to get done in the near term.  To continue to get stronger. Again the furthest thing in the world I’d do is walk around saying “let’s focus on our strengths.”  That’s obviously not the case in any way.  But, it is part of the process, I would say, of heading into the offseason, being sober about what you’ve just been through.  But not getting so crazy that you get in the way of your principal objective which is continuity.”

On if it really does “all start at the top” with regard to responsibility when a hiring doesn’t work..

“It’s not my fault in creating some sort of massive penance, but it’s my fault because I have got to be held responsible for those hires.  It’s my job to acknowledge that and deal with that.  But it’s also my job to keep moving forward.  I think one of my responsibilities is to keep that in perspective but yeah, ultimately it is my fault.  You’re going to get a lot of credit for things you have nothing to do with in this business and you’re going to take blame for things you have nothing to do with.  That comes with any position like this in any industry.”

On the upcoming draft with Tom Heckert and how it could turn the Browns around quickly…

“I couldn’t say it better.  That’s my focus right there.”

On terrible towels being so prevalent in Cleveland Browns Stadium…

“Sickening…  Sickening… Sickening…”

  • http://twitter.com/oribiasi oribiasi

    THANK YOU RANDY FOR THIS GEM:

    “Most of the people who say that or feel that way or air those feelings
    do so because they care about the Browns. It’s not people necessarily
    out to get anybody.  It’s people who are passionate about this team.
     They feel things, see things or sense things and air them.  I’d rather
    have that than indifference.”

    So, to all the detractors who loathe anyone like me who tells it like it is, the OWNER HIMSELF says its alright.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Craig Lyndall

    He blatantly disagrees with what you think “it is.”  He respects your right to “tell it” though if that’s what you wanted to take out of it.

  • http://twitter.com/oribiasi oribiasi

    Well, if there are thirteen ways to look at a blackbird I guess there can be two ways to look at that quote.  I see this as it is; an approval for passionate fans whose only fault is the desire for a better team.  He is saying that he’d rather have outspoken fans who are critical of obvious blunders than ivory tower, arm-chair philosophers who contemplate their navels more than the game. 

    I know I care about the Browns and I’m not out to get anyone…ok, ok, I’d love to meet Pat Shurmur, but him aside, I just want to win, baby.

  • Con Kelly

    yeah Learner we need you in Birmingham aswell,we too are getting very irritated..ticket sales are well down and Villa Park feels like a mourgue..i mean you started off great but seem to have lost all interest,do the honourable thing sell Aston Villa now, and take that idiot manager you employed with you, before you totally destroy our beloved villa,if not at least give an outline statement to the fans about what you wish to achieve, cause at the moment you have completely lost us. With Regards a disgusted Aston Villa supporter

  • JM

    Did you really expect Triv to be hard hitting? The guy throws softball questions at anyone from Cleveland teams. Who wouldn’t want to go on that show? 

  • Steve

    I know its been tough at Villa this year, but you sound as dumb as Indians fans complaining about Dolan because they can’t accept that one of the better runs in team history wasn’t going to last forever.

  • Anonymous

    Wait a minute …fans aren’t “chaunting” anymore?!?!

  • ObieMassillon

    Then the rest of the time he criticizes the teams and players. The minute he gets one on the air he noses up to them.

  • Floydrubino

    Randy Lerner could care less about winning or losing he cares about the pay check.

    As an owner he has never been aggressive about trying to get a franchise quarterback.

    I know it is not like snap your fingers you get one but he has never made this a priority.

    In the history of the nfl there has basically been 1 team to win with a terrible quarterback
    and this is ironically Baltimore with trent dilfer not to mention you won’t win consistantly.

    It is difficult to get it right but it is easy to figure out; get a good to great quarterback.

    Randy Lerner just does not get it on what a privilege it is to own this team and does not reflect
    the true quality of the fans and knowledge of football in this region.

    Ohio is such a smart football state with incredible athletes that play football and this is what
    Randy Lerner brings to us.

    I remember when New Orleans got drew brees when he left san diego and look how he single handily
    put a city on his back.

    Whether it is drew brees or kurt warner years ago or other situations over the last 10 years where
    he could of at least gone after quarterbacks that were available we never made a move to get one.

    As far mike holmgren everything he has done has been wrong except for bringing in tom heckert and if
    bringing in holmgren was the only way to get this done than we have to be glad holmgren is here.

    Holmgren at least got heckert to come here and heckert is very good at what he does.

    If lerner loses heckert we are in trouble.

    We should consider trying to get Matt Flynn even if we get rg3 or not.

    As far as I’m concerned we should go after the best quarterbacks available the next 10 years
    and see where are in the next 10 years.

    Whomever we get on offense they will stink without a good quarterback.

    If we dont go the quarterback route trade down and draft defense again.

  • James

    It hasn’t been one of the better runs in Villas history though. Not even close.

  • McGrath

    Randy Lerner is a nice guy but as a leader and decision maker he struggles.  Throwing out once in a blue moon interviews like this is incredibly disrespectful to fans (paying customers) of the teams he is very fortunate to own.  We need more than this.  We need to know what is going on.  How are we working to be number one?  At no point in this interview does he state the bottom line, the targets and objectives of the people he employs to run the Browns; his thinking is woolly and his ability to plan long term strategies and think smartly are conspicuous by their absence.   It all adds up to a textbook case of how not to run a winning organization.

    I feel none the wiser after reading this interview, when what I really wanted was to hear something inspiring and the product of a winning mentality.

    Aston Villa are the most historic club in the world, creators of the league, former European Champions and the flagship club of the UK’s Second City.  They should be competing for the top prizes in the game.  Randy’s decision making and leadership has been so poor these past two years that, instead of building the brand, he has managed to turn it into a byword for mediocrity.  Attendances are falling and, in all likelihood, the value of his investment in the club is falling, too.  It is very clear that, in every sense he is out of his depth and over-stretched.  Running Villa and the Browns is too much for him and, the way things are headed, Villa’s troubles could spiral deeper and deeper into a relegation dogfight.

    Do the honourable thing, Mr. Lerner:  Use your contacts:  have a word in Prince William’s ear; talk to David Cameron and Mervyn King.  Between you all, you must have enough influence and power to find Aston Villa new owners that have  the business savvy, drive and desire to be NUMBER ONE.  You own the Rolls Royce of football clubs, Mr Lerner, and you are running it like a Toyota Corolla.

  • http://twitter.com/bbo13 B-bo

    I’m sorry McGrath–you are far from the only person with this mindset–but this is by far my least favorite attitude among Browns fans:

    “Throwing out once in a blue moon interviews like this is incredibly disrespectful to fans (paying customers) of the teams he is very fortunate to own.  We need more than this.  We need to know what is going on.”

    So Lerner is some sort of deadbeat dad who needs to be around more. Then, when he is, it’s not good enough. As is the case with Mike Holmgren, the guy just can’t do right by some folks–the ones who NEED to know more, NEED to know what’s going on. Where did this entitled attitude come from? I love this franchise, but I’d have to be a pretty selfish (and borderline delusional) person to sit here and stomp my feet and DEMAND that the organization explain itself to me at every turn, and then rant and rave when it doesn’t happen EXACTLY to my liking. Being a fan is a choice, one that does not entitle a person to ANYTHING. Bottom line? These men are running a business. Maybe we’d like to think of it as something more than that (I know I would, just like I’d like our players to care as much about the team and the city and winning as we do), but that’s simply not reality, and we should know that better than any fanbase. So for us to feel as though there is some obligation on the part of the franchise to hold our hands or pat our heads and make us feel all better is absurd to me. Can we want more from them? Sure, and we should want more on the field. Are we allowed to voice our displeasure when things aren’t going well? Absolutely. But, ultimately, we as fans/paying customers can either a) buy/get hired by the team, b) endure the hard times, or c) walk away.

    We really need a better sports storyline in this town. And soon.  

  • Joe in Wooster

    Floyd… are you really a Rubino? Rubinos unite!
    -Joe Rubino in Wooster

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    ‘..his thinking is wooly..’

    perfectly said.  this how coaches get hired before GMs.  this is how meetings with idiot fan-boycott self-promoters lead to regime change.  this is how current management can skate with responses of ‘it takes time,’ ‘build through the draft,’ ‘if youre not with us, youre against us’ when pressed on what the plan is and how fans should calibrate expectations for when we might see a winner.  

    lerner hasn’t set any milestones to measure holmgren against, thus holmgren doesn’t hasn’t revealed a plan and it’s unknown if there is one.  why no FA signings to replace injured starters in training camp?  ‘we’re building through the draft.’  if you’re building through the draft, why have draft five choices been spent to sign unused DEs, injured RBs, and a late round DT?  ‘**crickets**’  and that doesn’t get into the question of ‘are the any metrics in place to determine success/failure of the WCO change or the 4-3 defense implementation.  are strategic football decisions outside his expertise?  are managing and measuring the success/failure of these projects with milestones/metrics within his purview as owner?  absolutely.

    if you dont think wooly thinking of the owner is an issue, consider that in the nine years lerner has been in control, the browns have had six or fewer losses in eight.  i submit that if the plan involved dartboards and/or following the advice of his talking cat he would demonstrate a better record of success .. because listening to a talking cat is at least a plan.

    the testimony from mcgrath indicates the same problems at villa. pretty disturbing for anyone who was hopeful of seeing progress in the next five years.

  • Max

    I complain enough that we never hear from Randy, so I have to say, it was nice to hear his thoughts. Not sure how much of it was honest and how much of it was PR coaching, but it’s better than nothing.

  • Anonymous

    It’s a different league now though.  You can’t win consistently without money, and although I’m sure Villa would love for a multi-billionaire who doesn’t care about the bottom line to take over that team, I’d say it’s probably not likely.

  • kingdiesel

    That interview was a total shill-fest.  Wow.

  • Anonymous

    the amount of “misguided” in this comment is overwhelming. Finding a franchise QB is not like buying a loaf of bread at Wal-Mart or your grocer of choice.

    Obviously, I am not a Pittsburgh fan…but there’s a reason why very few teams have had similar success; it is really hard to run a winning franchise.

  • BrownsFanBrad

    It was good to hear from Randy, and all that he said was good,
    but the bottom line is he’s an absentee owner — and I just don’t know that that
    works in the NFL. Maybe it does. If there are any examples let me know, but I
    just think you need to have some hands-on involvement beyond writing the check.
    It’s great that Holmgren is running the show, but even he makes mistakes, and
    the only one he answers to is Randy Lerner. So, for example, when Holmgren failed
    to “get out in front” of the Colt McCoy concussion saga, Randy needed to step
    in. Not saying that Randy has to be like Al Davis of Jerry Jones, but just have
    SOME sort of presence.

  • 29tiz29

    I stopped reading your post right after your first comment:  ‘Randy Lerner could care less about winning or losing he cares about the pay check.”

    He is the OWNER…if he pays himself, it is coming out of his own pocket.  As so many professional sports organizations lose money, I would say the owners aren’t in it for the money, but instead because of their ego.  And waht bigger ego trip is there than owning a team?!?

  • dw1856

    “lerner hasn’t set any milestones to measure holmgren against, thus
    holmgren doesn’t hasn’t revealed a plan and it’s unknown if there is
    one.”

    How do you know Lerner has not set any milestone’s to Holmgren? Just because we do not see or hear it, does not mean they do not exist. Just like I do not know what milestones the Board of Directors has for my company’s CEO. Just because they do not talk about or show them, does not mean they do not exist.

    Also, are you really complaining that a late round DT is not starting? Really? They are late round picks for a reason. They are not all supposed to come in and start right away. Heck, Tom Brady was a 6th round pick and was not a starter right away, so I suppose that was a back pick?

    And those same DT’s that have been drafter turned in the 10th rated defense and 5th in points this year. When was the last time we can say that.

    Look, Lerner is not without fault. He has made his share of mistakes, but, IMO, it looks like he finally gets it and learned from those. But I do not think it is fair to say things as fact, when we do not know for sure.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    ‘How do you know Lerner has not set any milestone’s to Holmgren?’
    how do you know there are milestones?  i can demonstrate that there is no coherent plan.  can you demonstrate that there is one?  i get challenged with the ‘how do you know’ question a lot.. as though i’m the enemy.  it’s like you guys become talk radio hosts when you’re challenged to do some critical ‘outside the box’ thinking.  of course im not in a conference room.  but the evidence available indicates no plan.  tell me how hiring a coach before a GM is indicative of a ‘plan.’

    ‘Also, are you really complaining that a late round DT is not starting? Really?’
    yep.  because we are being scolded about not being patient.  we are being talked down to with remedial football speak when we’re told ‘building through the draft’ is the way to build a ‘solid foundation.’  this is the excuse trotted out for starting a 5th round rookie at OG for 16 games.  ok.. you’re ‘building through the draft’ and we’re all too dumb to understand that building through draft precludes using some of the 30MM in cap space to sign an OG (as the pats and ravens did).  but fine, i’ll accept that i’m too dumb to understand all the FA wheeling-dealing and that you’re ‘building through the draft.’  then my simple question becomes:  why are you pissing away draft picks if you’re building through the draft?

    you maybe arent aware of what late round draft picks can become.  they’re hit or miss, given, but conveniently for my point here are the players heckert could be building through the draft with (if he were following that plan).  more hits than misses:

    hardesty deal
    morgan burnett (starting FS for packers)
    jacoby ford (starting WR for raiders)
    taylor deal
    justin houston (starting OLB for chiefs as rookie)
    jayme mitchell deal
    mistral raymond (starting S for vikings as rookie)

    just because the PD is lazy and accepting that ‘late draft picks’ dont matter, doesnt mean it’s true.  just because heckert has a poor record drafting in late rounds doesnt mean there aren’t players there.

    i hope i dont have to remind you that the greatest QB in nfl history will be playing against the ravens this sunday — sixth round pick buddy.  it happens.  but it doesnt happen if you throw your late picks away.

  • McGrath

    B-bo – this is the first time I have HEARD Randy Lerner’s actual voice in five years.  Prior to this I didn’t know what he sounded like.  

    I have no idea at all what his plans are for our fantastic football club.  I stand by what I said.  This is an appalling way to lead and run a sports club.  Your idea that, as a fan I demanding success in the manner of a spoilt child is way off beam.  I am asking for Lerner to reveal his plan, strategy and vision for Aston Villa.  Our club competes to be number one.  Treading water and being mediocre is not the objective of any sports person or team that wins.  This isn’t being childish or spoilt – this is being a winner.  This is what winners expect and how winners behave.

    Are people in Cleveland prepared to sit on their hands and simply take rudderless, third rate leadership as a given?  Randy needs to step up to the plate and show us where our respective clubs are expected to be in twelve, twenty-four and thirty-six months time.

  • dw1856

    I am fully aware of what late round draft picks can become. Just look at Rubin, a late round pick that started right away.

    But there are also countless examples of late round picks that needed a year or two to develop. Jimmy Graham, Antonio Gates, Jared Allen, Matt Birk just to name a few. They all went on to Pro Bowls after developing a year or two. Just because a player is drafted late with the intent on developing them, does not mean they are not building through the draft. It is just not an immediate impact.

    For example, Jordan Cameron was drafted as a developmental tight end. If he becomes the next Antonio Gates or Jimmy Graham in a year or two, is that a wasted pick? No, even if he was drafted with the intent of developing for a few years, it is still using the draft to build a team. That is what late round picks are sometimes used for, not instant stardom.

    As for your point about a coherent plan, we will probably have different definitions but here goes.

    Point 1. Build through the draft
    Point 2. Do not waste money on free agents just to because they can
    Point 3. Draft/Trade/Sign players with high character that fit this team
    Point 4. Build a team that will not be a 1 year flash in the pan (i.e. 2007 Browns)
    Point 5. Have everyone in the building on the same page, moving in the same direction
    Point 6. Get younger and have the team grow together
    Point 7. Give young guys experience early.
    Point 8. Holmgren was hired, then GM, then coach (decision on Mangini was not until after Heckert was hired)

    People around Cleveland were dying for the Browns to make moves in FA. One in particular was Ray Edwards. Well, Atlanta signed him and he did virtually nothing. Even the OG that the Pats and Ravens signed were not world beaters. IMO, since we were not going to make the play-offs this year, I would rather have had Pinkston get 16 games under his belt then sign an over the hill OG or OT. Now, if they could have gone after a Stienbach that is a different story but there were none available. One serviceable starters.

    Again, just because they had some $$ under the cap does not mean they have to spend it just to spend it. If they were not in love with someone then why not give a younger player experience?

    Not all the moves they made were perfect. They were wrong about the WR. But by not throwing $$ around, they were able to develop a lot of young players, especially on Defense. And the defense was not too shabby.

    I love your last point about Brady because I mentioned him above. Brady became one of the Greatest QB’s of all time. But, and I repeat, but, he was not drafted to be the starter. He was a 6th round project that happened to develop into the HOFer he is. Just like we can say Cameron, Pinkston, Mitchell could be. They are projects. Some blossom, others fail.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    thoughtful reply, appreciated.

    my points boil down to these:
    1*building thru draft means getting lots of draft picks and using them knowing that its a numbers game.  heckert has been reckless here.  (the talk about trading UP for rg3 is horrifying.)
    2*signing older players to short contracts to plug obvious holes does not preclude ‘getting younger’ or ‘building through the draft.’  failure to do so reflected a deliberate acceptance of a non-competitive team.  
    2b*it surely harmed mccoy’s development and the implementation of whatever WCO shurmur was trying to install.  so how is the ‘all on the same page’ benefit being realized?

    to me, it’s malfeasance.  i resent being told to sit in the corner and be patient because i’m a silly child.  that’s where this comes from.  it’s exacerbated when so many of my fan brethren nod their heads like ralphie on santa’s lap to all this jive.  santa: ‘how about a nice.. football?’ ralphie:  ‘football.’

    i do want to point out that the two non-world beater FA guards mentioned are both starting this sunday.

  • dw1856

    I should also add a 9th Point: Find a QB (liked the analogy about Pitt. and Balt. deciding they did not want to stand pat with the Tommy Maddox’s and Kyle Bollers)

  • dw1856

    Fair points.

    In regards to wasting draft picks, if we know anything about Heckert, he is not going to waste them. That is why, like you, I hope they do not trade down to get RG III. If anything, they will trade down a few spots to get a few more picks. Now, taking a risk in rounds 3-7, I can live with. Sometimes those are worth in, other times they are not. Hardesty is a perfect example. But for the most part, Heckert covets these picks, just need to hope they pan out.

    As for the older players, I understand where you are coming from. I think part of the problem was the FO did not come out and say we were going to be competitive (which the Browns were) but are going to focus on growing the young talent. Trading for Usama Young and Patterson was smart, as they are young, decent players to grow with. But they did not mention that as their strategy. We will only know for sure in 1-2 more years if this paid off.

    I resent just as much as you about being told to be patient. But at least with this Regime, it feels a little different. I, for one, feel like they are actually trying to build a solid foundation as opposed to throwing money and picks around like Savage, or sign NY Jet Re-treads like Mangini.

    One thing that the Browns could do better is rather then just tell us to be patient but give us examples or the reasons why. To your point earlier of letting us know a little of their plan. If they did that, I think most all of us would feel better.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    nice convo, good chat.  

    one more thing i want to mention and file this under interesting/fun facts.

    in that 2000 brady draft one of the all-pros available after the 6th round was shaun ohara.  only in cleveland could we manage to acquire three all-pros at one position in three years — ohara, faine, bentley.  

    your point about cameron reminded me of this.  ie, TE was one of the only areas of strength last year.  only cleveland would draft a TE onto a team with watson, moore, smith and then actually carry four TEs on a 4-12 team.

    ok, im done for awhile.

  • dw1856

    OIC “Only In Cleveland” should be pattented because there are certainly some strange things that only happen in CLE.

    As for the point on Cameron. I understand TE had depth but other teams would have done that, if the sole purpose was to develop them for a few years. By then Watson and Smith will be retired, so Moore and Cameron would be the starters.

    Belichik did the same thing this past draft, spending a 3rd round pick on Mallett, even with a HOF QB having 5-6 more years left.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    (know i said i was done, but you hit on another binky of mine. i would LOVE to trade back with the pats and pick up their two 1st round picks and mallett. for the record, ive heard no rumors along these lines; the possibility of this happening exists only in my mind.)

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Craig Lyndall

    He used to be an absentee owner.  He claims he is now in the building and working next to Holmgren every week.

  • McGrath

    Yep, we’re in it together.  Let me stress this is no witch-hunt of Randy.  I can’t stress enough how decent and well meaning I believe he is.  As a leader of a sports franchise, though, his methods and methodology just don’t work.  He really needs to think about what he is doing and whether he is the man to get the Browns or Villa where they should be.  He strikes me as being totally out of his depth.

  • Denni Mortimer

    At least he gave an interview about the Browns, he now needs to do the same about his plans for the Villa. We’re over half way through the season headed towards relegation and he’s been to see us play twice! No one is complaining about the need to balance the books but his lack of interest and the appointment of our awful manager (that’s Coach to you guys in the colonies) against all our wishes is driving the club downhill fast. He doesn’t have the capacity to run both clubs and he certainly doesn’t have the experience and expertise to run an English football club (soccer). Randy, as nice a chap as your are, please sell up and put your energies into making the Browns a great side.

  • BrownsFanBrad

    Interesting to see that fans in the UK have turned on Randy for his lack of attendance at soccer games. Most  Browns fans criticize Randy for spending too much time with his soccer team.

  • Floydrubino

    the nfl just signed a multi billion dollar contract with networks and roger goodell is forcing owners to spend their money
    over the last 30 years cleveland has been a top 10 grossing franchise or right around that every year and have smaller payrolls every year than teams that make less money
    he hired mangini on the fly to go to his soccer team and you are defending him.
    the only reason why he hired holmgren is because he is feeling pressure from the nfl to do something
    get a clue

  • Scooter

    how many times have we attempted to get a QB in the draft?  Tim Couch and….are we counting Colt McCoy in the third as an attempt at a FRANCHISE QB?

  • Floydrubino

    if you read it fully you would of read that it is not easy to get one but you have to put a priority on it.
    you are one of those people that reads one line does not read the comment thoroughly
    when you wrote about the walmart comment do you honestly think that any knowledgeable football fan does not know how hard it is to get a franchise qb.
    read my comment and you will see i write that it is not easy to get 1 but your focus on the franchise should be to get 1
    i don’t care if you like pittsburgh or not; why is this even relevant
    I am not one of those people that enjoy other people’s failures or get mad at them doing well.
    I worry about the success of my team only.
    The only reason why I am writing this now is because if randy lerner does  not do anything the community should buy the browns like the packers did to hold people accountable.
    If I did my job like randy lerner i would have been fired after my first year.
    The whole temperant of franchise falls on randy lerner and it is obvious he does not get it.

  • logical Browns fan

    Hello Randy Learner. Please draft and trade for some offensive linemen. You say you’re tired of losing. The answer is not yet another quarterback (Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III). How about some guys to protect the one we have. An offensive line will also help our running game. But then you know that already, right?

  • pihc

    I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but more as an informant.    It’s sad that 3WE has gone to the way side by going as an political radio station first and foremost.   It’s “sports” spinsters, e.g. triv, talk more about anything other than sports.

    Once there was a time when you could listen to 3WE and get informative discussion on SPORTS.     There has been at least one full generation that’s missed out on radio that was a joy to tune in to, but that’s no longer an option with this radio station.

    I tell my sons and grandkids all the time, “…a person could tune into 1100 am and listen to topics about the Indians, Browns and Cavs any time of the day/night.   I’m not joking.    There was a glorious time when “rush” meant to hurry up.”

  • pihc

    My opinion is far different then yours.    The Browns HAVE drafted for offensive lineman.    We need to get a QB.     Learner even said so with this line;   “Can that quarterback, from the owner’s perspective, be Colt McCoy?“(Joking) I suddenly lose the ability to speak when I’m asked that question.” ”

    That sentence speaks loudly… wait… it shouts “we do not have faith in McCoy or I’d be saying something along the lines of ‘sure Colt is our guy’”.

  • Browns fan 1960

    Good to see the man is concerned. Things will get better for us, they have too!

  • Drstove

    He should be happy to see the terrible towels in the stadium. The next step, if things don’t get any better, is the people with the towels will no longer be attending games. Fans have overwhelming supported this losing team since it reentered the league with nothing to show for it. It would seem that as long as fans fill the stadium for every game, the Browns have no incentive to spend any money improving the team. Right now I blame the fans for the way this team has turned out. If attendance was relative to the quality of the team, the stadium wouldn’t be any more than 25% full. 

  • Wil

    Randy is a Blessing ,leave him alone.

  • Jack Slater

    You maybe a nice guy Mr Lerner but the way you are running Aston Villa FC is turning a lot of supporters away, 10, 000 every home game. Constantly selling our best players and appointing a manager with a dreadful record has only damaged your investment!

    Wake up or sell up!

  • Tjamuu

    Randy Lerner  is a PATHETIC  ( fill in the blanks )    Never in my life have i seen such an IDIOT .  He is a joke  as far as an owner ,  other owners know it too .  Im fed up with a PATHETIC football team & PATHETIC OWNER .  I have lived & died with this once great  team  since 1964  i would love to go to bed & wake up to hear , randy lerner & team leave town ———-  FOR GOOD !!!!!!!!!!      I’VE  HAD  ENOUGH OF YOUR  BS   RANDY  !!!!!!!!!!!!!!