July 22, 2014

Joe Banner Brings Winning Experience and Tough Decisions to Cleveland

Joe Banner will have some decisions to make in Cleveland

While Randy Lerner’s sale of the Cleveland Browns to Jimmy Haslam is not yet official, it’s becoming quite clear that everyone expects the deal to go through without issue. Furthermore, we now know that former Philadelphia Eagles President Joe Banner is a part of Haslam’s ownership group.

What does that mean for the Cleveland Browns? Well, it’s possible that Banner just wants to be a part of the ownership group and is done overseeing football operations. But that seems highly unlikely. Most observers fully expect Banner to take up the role currently being held by Mike Holmgren. For Holmgren, the writing is on the wall. It would be stunning to see Holmgren hang onto his job once Banner gets into town. [Read more...]

How Will the Steelers React to James Harrison’s Rant?

Playing in the AFC North comes with a special set of challenges in the NFL because of how well run the Steelers have been historically.  Many Browns fans wish that the Browns had a fraction of the leadership and culture that the Steelers have had as they have won Super Bowls over the years.  This culture is often defined by not only drafting and developing players, but also knowing when to say goodbye to them.  We aren’t just talking about run of the mill players either.  This isn’t like the Browns saying goodbye to Mike Sellers.  The Steelers have been willing to wave goodbye to some really talented players over the years.  With that in mind, it will be interesting to see what – if anything – the Steelers do with James Harrison who has called Roger Goodell a “crook” and a “devil,” while also ripping teammates Rashard Mendenhall and Ben Roethlisberger in an interview with Men’s Journal.

Oh, and he also decided posing in a menacing fashion brandishing firearms was the image that he wanted to project for himself, so there’s that. [Read more...]

What Will the New Browns Organization Look Like?

HolmgrenPrezLast night I wrote about how I don’t really see Mangini surviving the Mike Holmgren hire.  Regardless of what happens with Mangini or whether or not you think he deserves more time or the boot, I will be interested to find out about what the new Browns structure will look like.

Obviously the head of everything football will be Mike Holmgren as team president.  Holmgren gets to think about the Browns from the 10,000 foot view.  I am guessing he will have plenty of people reporting to him.  Most notably, I would expect and hope that he will have the head coach and the GM both report to him directly as equals.  This way the GM and the scouts and personnel people get to do their jobs, the coaching staff gets to do their jobs and any crossover input from the GM to the coaches or the coaches to the GM will be filtered through Mike Holmgren while Holmgren simultaneously sets the overall tone and direction for the organization. [Read more...]

Randy Lerner Speaks

So, now that the Browns have gotten to the bye week with a 1-7 record, it seems Randy Lerner has decided to make himself heard.  According to reports in The OBR and Cleveland.com Lerner was not only at the game yesterday in Chicago, but he made himself quite visible to the coaches and team as they exited for half time and after the game.  I know a lot of fans won’t take any solace in just knowing that Lerner is upset right now.  Something Mary Kay Cabot reports that Lerner said might change your mind a little bit, though.

“The highest priority that I have is a strong, credible, serious leader within the building to guide decisions in a far more conspicuous, open transparent way. I can maybe defend decisions by saying I’ve sought advice and I’ve brought people in, and we’ve gone to see people — and I think my highest priority is to have a stable figure that represents the voice that explains the decisions.” [Read more...]

Kokinis Could Be GM Today

All my WFNY brethren are seemingly photoshop geniuses.  I have thrown my hat into the ring with this picture on the right.  What’s up now, boys?  Try and keep up, ok?  (I used PowerPoint because I don’t know how to use PhotoShop.  I know.  Genius, right?)

Yesterday the Ravens dropped their playoff game to the Steelers and that could mean the Browns will finally have a general manager.  George Kokinis has always been the frontrunner for the job.  Well, since Scott Pioli turned the Browns down and they hired Eric Mangini, anyway.  Now that the Ravens are out of it, George Kokinis is expected to return to Cleveland today for interview number two and potentially a job offer from Randy Lerner.

All indications are that Kokinis was avoiding becoming a distraction yesterday at the AFC Championship Game.  According to Tony Grossi yesterday, GK was avoiding the press box so as to avoid becoming a distraction to the Ravens’ goal of defeating the Steelers. Imagine that. A guy as GM who might try NOT to be a distraction? [Read more...]

Browns Bullets for Sunday January 4, 2009

I am sure most of you are either watching the NFL playoffs or the Cavs’ battle in Washington against the Wiz.  Meanwhile, we haven’t been talking a lot about the Browns since the season ended, and with good reason.  What is there to say that hasn’t already been said?  Well, now with a little time and with the coaching / GM situation pending, I finally have some thoughts.  No worries though.  It isn’t like I have a cohesive narrative or anything like that, so I give you the writer’s version of Cliff’s Notes with bullets.

  • Bud Shaw may have beaten me to the punch, but it needs to be stated again.  What is the Browns’ hurry?  Maybe it is because I am a little baffled at the thought that the Browns are so in love with Eric Mangini, but why is it that a two week vacation for Mike Shanahan has eliminated him as a candidate for a job that should be on a contract for at least two whole years?
  • Speaking of Eric Mangini, what is it that he could have said to impress Lerner so much? [Read more...]

Goodbye Phil Savage: A Recap of Drafts, Free Agents

Phil SavageWell, it didn’t take long for Randy Lerner to drop the hammer on one of the two people who share the responsibility for the Browns’ embarrassing season.  Now, I know that a lot of us are feeling awfully vengeful right about now due to the embarrassing season that we have just endured.  At the same time, I am not sure that the book has been completely written on the Phil Savage era in Cleveland.  Obviously there were a lot of things that went wrong this season that must be blamed on Savage.  Most notably, the Kellen Winslow situation and the ridiculous email to a fan immediately following the Buffalo game were too much for Randy Lerner to take.  I can’t say that I disagree with the firing, but I do think that from a pure talent acquisition standpoint the Browns are better off than before Phil Savage started.  Whether we miss Savage or not will obviously depend on who replaces him and how that person does.

And as I said, the book isn’t closed on the Phil Savage era.  We will continue to see the fruits of Savage’s labor for the next three-to-five years as his draft picks continue to hit or miss under whatever coaching regime happens to roll into town. [Read more...]

In Defense of Randy Lerner

I know that this season is over and we can’t get it back.  I know our expectations were way high after a 10-win season.  I know that the game against Houston feels like a complete rock bottom.  I know all this.  I am disappointed, dismayed, disgusted and about a million other words that start with dis and un.  We all are.  Still, as everyone I know tries to find ways to deal with their feelings and their interactions with this football team, I want to try and take a few steps back and find some perspective on this.  In times like this, perspective is about all we have to hold on to.  So today, I want to give some perspective on Randy Lerner, who is one of many people under fire right now because the Browns stink. [Read more...]