Jimmy Haslam era off to a perfect (P.R.) start

Corporate photo of Jimmy Haslam from Steelers.com Corporate photo of Jimmy Haslam from Steelers.com

Corporate photo of Jimmy Haslam

So far, so good. That’s about all you can say about Jimmy Haslam’s entrance into the NFL as owner of the Cleveland Browns. Haslam just completed what seemed like a perfect press conference. Don’t mistake this for a Dixie cup full of Kool-Aid, but given his limited opportunities, Haslam has done everything pretty much right unless you’re already bummed about Joe Banner.

Speaking of Banner, Haslam is handling the potentially-messy transition pretty much perfectly, at least from the outside looking in. Mike Holmgren will stay on for the rest of the year and work with Joe Banner during the transition. Haslam said that transitions are best when there’s some overlap between the outgoing and the incoming people, and that’s just common sense. There’s no telling if it will actually work and if Holmgren and Banner will achieve a clean transition, but it sounds good right now.

Also, Haslam protected Holmgren a bit, I think when he spoke of the role that he was thrust into. “Mike was brought in to be the President, and I think, in a lot of ways, the de facto owner.” That isn’t necessarily a shot at Randy Lerner, but I think it insulates Mike Holmgren for additional criticism and/ or mockery he might have faced on the way out the door. 

Haslam also said all the right things regarding Pat Shurmur. Haslam said that he has a good relationship with the coach. He told the coach that they wouldn’t make any decisions until the end of the year, but that they will evaluate everyone at the end of every year. In the NFL that’s about as good a guarantee as any head coach gets anyway. Additionally, Haslam said he told Shurmur to just “get the team ready” and “win as many games as possible,” while adding, “and let me know if we can do anything to help.”

Changes? What other team changes will be on the table? According to Haslam today, everything but the helmet.

Last, but not least, Jimmy Haslam said that he and his ownership group won’t be perfect. They will make mistakes, but he hopes that none will be “fatal” and that any of them can be corrected quickly.

Again, in practice, we’ll see, but today, right now, given what we know, it is a professional and proper plan.

I can’t stress a few things enough. Jimmy Haslam had a near-perfect press conference. He thanked everyone. He laid out an initial plan that doesn’t sound particularly messy on the surface. All that being said, an initial press conference is just that. It is good P.R. and nothing more, really. Now’s the time where Jimmy Haslam and his family have to start backing it up with positive actions that will actually – positively – change this franchise.

At least for day one, Jimmy Haslam has already improved the Browns ownership from pretty much any objective measurement. It’s a bit of a back-handed compliment because it should always be this easy from a P.R. standpoint. Our previous experience just goes to show how difficult it has been out of Berea. Still, we all know that this is just a small part of fixing the Browns. Here’s hoping he’s able to achieve the same level of success in every one of his maneuvers that he handled his opening press conference as Cleveland Browns owner.


  • lunch

    My heart says “So far so good Jimmy. Keep it coming. Build this team right.”
    Yet, my brain says “Jimmy could still bring in pretenders, and further delay the Browns to greatness by another __ years”
    I hope my brain is wrong for a change.

  • Clown Baby

    Jimmy’s under the boards. Jimmy’s in the open. Jimmy makes the shot!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Snap into a slim Jim = oh yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

  • Ezzie Goldish

    I think that if they can correct how they do PR, it will go a long way to helping Shurmur or any future coach manage this team without having outside issues blow up and impact everything else. Haslam’s been nailing it from a PR standpoint the last few months, so this along could be worth a win or more each year.

  • Hopwin

    Yay! Just, yay!

  • maxfnmloans

    also done right: is not Randy Lerner

  • http://twitter.com/Dennymayo Denny

    “______ is now in charge of the Cleveland Football Browns. ______ will be the positive change that fans deserve. Please turn the tape over and press play.”

  • Harv 21

    Obviously press conferences are easiest without “why” questions, which will come later.

    But it’s still good that the top guy sets an example. I believe there’s some connection between Lerner hiding from the media, Holmgren losing his temper at a presser early this year and Shurmur acting petulant with the media after games. At a basic level you are selling a product to the fans, something I do not believe football lifers like Pat have internalized, and Holms has made statements that his preference was to be done with the media after finishing as a coach. An owner who understands this is also a product will not tolerate much of that attitude toward fans anymore.

  • Harv 21

    I’m 82% sure Jimmy Haslam has starred in a Propecia commercial.

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Craig Lyndall

    This is why I was very careful to qualify it as just PR to this point.

  • haden4d_mvp

    I’m slightly terrified. When we win in the media, the results have been awful. Holmgren, Brady Quinn(if only it was the aaron rodgers draft we trade up to get our qb!!!), Butch Davis. Hopefully better results. But of all these situations, think this Browns team has more talent. Haden, Thomas, Richardson, Jackson, Rubin, Ward and maybe Weeden and Gordon are all building blocks. At least the days of Darren Chevarrini are over. May need to address the O-line and add depth at DE and upgrade at OLB and S, but team really isn’t that far away. Just need experience and some consistency as far as the coaching staff. And by that I mean I understand Haslem will want to bring in a new coach, but would be nice if they got to stick around more than 2-3 years. If he was held under the same standard as a Browns coach, Tom Landry would’ve been fired as he went 6 years before he hit .500. Oh and don’t forget that Belichick guy we fired. He’s decent lol.