April 24, 2014

Jimmy Haslam sounds like the Browns owner we always wanted

 Jimmy Haslam Steely

Maybe 2013 will go down in Browns history as a strange outlier. Maybe we’ll all laugh about it as the trial by fire (of a thousand suns?) that Jimmy Haslam needed in order to figure out how to run a football team and be the kind of team owner he always envisioned becoming. After reading his latest Q&A with the media from the NFL meetings in Orlando, I’m starting to see the possibility that Jimmy Haslam can be the owner we all hoped he would be when he secured ownership of the team from the Lerner family. [Read more...]

Mike Lombardi seen with Browns documents at NFL Combine

photo

While this may have merely been a matter of inoportune timing mixed with media notes provided to the cavlacade of individuals at the NFL Combine, former Cleveland Browns general manager Mike Lombardi was shown on NFL Network, sifting through documents with the Cleveland Browns logo on them.

Daryl Ruiter of 92.3 The Fan tweeted Lombardi’s on-screen arrival which was quickly followed by images tweeted from all corners of the web, mostly consisting of cell-phone shots of television screens.

While we won’t know exactly what Lombardi was thumbing through, it’s safe to say that all of the NFL Draft prep that was done prior to his exit from Berea is now firmly in the hands of Bill Belichick.

Mike Pettine responds well to Cleveland Browns Harbaugh revelations

Pettine presser

Regardless of the conclusion one chooses to draw from the recent revelations regarding the Cleveland Browns’ attempted acquisition of 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh, it’s a pretty big piece of news. The reverberations were obviously going to reach recently-hired Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine, but rather than being bowled over by the waves, Pettine has planted his feet and deflected them with relative ease.

When speaking of the phone call that Pettine received ahead of the news, the coach said, “I shot the messenger a little bit because I asked, ‘How does that affect my tenure as the head coach?” That’s a pretty healthy outlook if you ask me. Coach Pettine continued, “I think that’s noise. That’s something that has no bearing on my job moving forward and I think that’s a critical thing.”

Finally, to put it to rest, Pettine echoed a lot of my own sentiment regarding the Browns’ pursuit of a proven head coach. “I think that when you look at it, I think that it shows that the organization’s committed to getting it turned around, that it would investigate that option. I see that as a positive.”

The Jim Harbaugh news couldn’t have much less to do with Mike Pettine when it’s all said and done. Pettine is a first-time head coach without an NFL track record at that level. Pettine couldn’t be offended by the Browns’ pursuit of Jim Harbaugh anymore than they could be if the Browns had conversations with any other candidate with an NFL track record.

Pettine knows that it’s his job. He knows that he likely beat out some candidates. He also likely knows that he never would have been hired if a few other options had come together in the Browns’ favor. That’s not a knock against him. That’s just reality of his level of candidacy. The good thing is that it appears Pettine is the kind of guy who can accept who he is and where he is currently. He seems firmly focused on making the most of his own situation.

I really like this guy from what I know of him so far. It’s going to be a real shame (for him and for us) if it turns out he isn’t at least a decent NFL head coach.

[Related: Wading through the reports of the Cleveland Browns and Jim Harbaugh]

Everyone in the Browns front office hated each other

Can’t you just feel the comfort oozing out of this picture?

On Tuesday morning when the Cleveland Browns disseminated the changes that were taking place in Berea, it appeared to be wrath wrought in the wake of impulsive decisions made by an impatient billionaire. Turns out that Browns majority owner Jimmy Haslam III, rather than choosing sides, decided that he had had enough of the drama unfolding behind closed doors.

Northeast Ohio Media Group’s Mary Kay Cabot reports that in addition to Haslam growing tired of the negative perception surrounding the other two Stooges, CEO in Joe Banner and general manager in Mike Lombardi, the two men he fired were not exactly seeing eye-to-eye.

Browns CEO Joe Banner and his top lieutenant Mike Lombardi ended on bad terms with each other, and their discord led to Jimmy Haslam firing both, league sources told cleveland.com. Banner and Lombardi clashed over a number of things, but the disconnect came to a head during the tumultuous 25-day coaching search. [...]

Banner wanted to fire his embattled GM, and Lombardi knew it. If he didn’t know, he missed the writing on the wall. But what Banner didn’t know — and should have — was that Haslam had also grown weary of him during the search — portrayed as dysfunctional in the local and national media — and was gearing up to fire him. The owner and the CEO didn’t see eye-to-eye over a number of candidates, and Haslam came to feel that Banner was the reason some didn’t want to interview for — or accept — his coaching job.

Earlier this week, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Haslam’s discontent with Banner dated back 13 months when Chip Kelly, Haslam’s No. 1 target to take over for Pat Shurmur, opted to stay in Oregon. This decision, as has been reported, stemmed from a disagreement over Kelly’s control over his roster as well as his selections for assistant coaches. As it was, the assistant coaching non-starter also reportedly impacted the interview of Ken Whisenhunt as Joe Banner, ever the football man, felt that Wisenhunt’s selection for coordinators was not up to par.

In addition to notes on Josh McDaniels, Mike Pettine and others, sources also reportedly told Cabot that former Penn State coach Bill O’Brien, who was the top candidate of many vacancies this off-season, wasn’t interested in interviewing with the Browns this year because of the management team in place. At the end of it all, despite all of his proclamations to the contrary, the common denominator in all of these reports appears to be the bespectacled former CEO, the man who attempted to wield a bit too much power—giving his head coach in-season ultimatums, firing said head coach, attempting to oust his general manager—only to be left with a pink slip of his own, all while the “lazy media” “created” a “narrative” of dysfunction. The nerve.

Mike Lombardi reportedly lands on his feet, set to join the Patriots

Well, that certainly didn’t take long. Multiple reports out of both Cleveland and New England claim former Browns general manager Mike Lombardi will join the New England Patriots’ front office, just days after being shown the door in Berea.

Lombardi will be reuniting with long-time friend in Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick. Recall, the two worked together with the Browns during Belichick’s first head coaching opportunity in Cleveland from 1991-1995. Lombardi’s role with the Patriots is unclear, though he is believed to be assuming the nebulous role of “personnel executive.” He spent five years working in the media (NFL Network, National Football Post) after being fired by the Oakland Raiders. He was subsequently hired to run the Browns prior to last season to work under Joe Banner pror to being fired earlier this week.

Various members of 92.3 The Fan, including Chris Fedor and Browns beat reporter Daryl Ruiter, were among the first out of Cleveland to report on Lombardi’s next chapter.

(Image via ClevelandBrowns.com)

Why Banner and Lombardi’s exits could be a good thing for the Browns

11386361-standard

As I’ve stated time and again when it comes to the hiring decisions for coaches and front office members, we really must accept what we don’t know. We haven’t interviewed these people for jobs the way those making the hiring decisions have, so it’s reasonable to assume the value of our outsider opinions. That being said, today’s shakeup that has pushed Michael Lombardi and Joe Banner out in Berea leaves me feeling positive about the Browns for the first time in a long time.

[Read more...]

Joe Banner steps down, Mike Lombardi out as Browns general manager

Joe Banner

The fun never stops in Berea. Just weeks after the Cleveland Browns hired Mike Pettine as their new head coach, and the media was chastised for painting the team in an ill light, the front office has beeen shaken up in drastic fashion.

On Tuesday, the team announced that they have promoted Ray Farmer to General Manager and with Joe Banner stepping down in the next two months as he transitions out of his role as CEO. Farmer, who has spearheaded scouting through the offseason, will immediately take the over the team’s football operations and lead the Browns during free agency and the draft. Additionally, the team announced that General Manager Michael Lombardi is departing the organization. President Alec Scheiner will continue in charge of the organization’s business operations. Owner Jimmy Haslam made the announcement.

“First of all, we wanted to capitalize on the knowledge, experience and character we’re fortunate to have in Ray Farmer. Ray has a tremendous football IQ, he’s compelling, and he understands the types of players we need to acquire and develop in order to win in Cleveland. He embraces his partnership with Mike Pettine, which is critical in helping build the right team. Ray will provide excellent leadership in our front office.

“We appreciate Joe’s contributions to the Cleveland Browns, especially in helping us as new owners. He was committed to creating a successful organization and bringing in talented individuals. We thank him for his work and dedication. We wish him and his family the best.

“Alec will continue in his role as President of this team. I think he’s one of the most intelligent and innovative young executives in the NFL.

“We’re also grateful for Mike Lombardi’s efforts and commitment since rejoining our organization. He is an experienced and creative NFL executive with a unique ability to see the big picture. He has tremendous instincts and I know he’ll be a valuable addition to any NFL organization. We simply wanted to give Ray this opportunity that he’s earned. We wanted to move forward under his leadership and capabilities.

“The purpose of these moves is to unify our team with one, unequivocal goal: Provide our fans with the winning organization they have long deserved.”

When the Browns fired Rob Chudzinski following his first year on the job, the front office, led by Banner, was asked whether or not the team was being run by the “Three Stooges.” Throughout the team’s search for a head coach, there was considerable grumbling surrounding consternation amongst decision makers and overall team vision. Just a week ago, it was Banner who spoke highly of the situation in Berea, calling it one of the most desireable locations in the NFL.

And Banner’s parting words?

“It is bittersweet leaving the Browns organization. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Jimmy Haslam and helping him set the infrastructure for this franchise. I am proud of the talented individuals we brought in to help lead this team and feel that the Cleveland Browns are in good hands moving forward.”

That this news was not broken by any plugged-in reporter throughout the league speaks volumes.

Browns front office discusses “redefining” history, people “desperately” wanting head coaching job

ray farmer browns

It was all but assumed that Cleveland Browns assistant general manager Ray Farmer was going to be the next GM of the Miami Dolphins. After several weeks of discussion, Farmer decided to withdraw his name from consideration, sticking with the Browns’ ongoing quest for respectability. Northeast Ohio Media Group’s Mary Kay Cabot caught up with Farmer and team CEO Joe Banner this week to discuss the team’s ability to keep the 39-year-old up-and-coming executive.

In what was a very quote-heavy piece, Farmer and Banner both managed to provide some gems—each ranging from motivational and optimistic to outright head-scratching.

From Farmer:

I think Cleveland is primed and I think we’re in a position to redefine the history books. I think change is on the horizon and I didn’t want to miss what’s going to happen in Cleveland.

Given that the definition of “history books” is, and will always be, the documentation of knowledge dealing with past events, it will be essentially impossible for an NFL franchise to redefine anything, let alone this very term. Rewriting history is a commonly used cliché, predominantly in sports, but even this would be difficult to do given the Internet and all. What the Browns can do is add on a few subsequent chapters that allow fans and media alike to focus on positive items—like wins, for example. So we’ll go with that.

From Banner:

The voice of one became the voice that got quoted in every story that was written. It had nothing to do with reality. Some of the most desirable people in all of sports have come to Cleveland since Jimmy and I took over, including Rob Chudzinski, Norv Turner, Ray Horton, Mike Pettine, Alec Scheiner and Sashi Brown. Players like Des Bryant and Paul Kruger chose us over others cities, not to mention all of the people that desperately wanted this head coaching job. The evidence — which nobody wanted to bother with — is that this is an extremely desirable place and all of the actions by so many people are proof of that.’

Talk about cranking the troll dial up to maximum output. I don’t even know where to start.

Let’s move on. Here, Joe discusses the team’s desire to keep Mike Lombardi (and Farmer) behind the scenes.

I’ve never seen a sports team have more than one voice other than the head coach that speaks for the organization. That’s what we do in Cleveland, but somehow that’s become controversial. Teams don’t put out multiple layers of people and usually the media doesn’t want to speak to anybody other than the kind of decision-makers and as high up in the organization as they can get — so no, Ray won’t be any more of a public face than he’s been. [...] They want to bash Mike. You’d like to think people would rise above that, but it just doesn’t happen. I never heard of the media that can speak to the higher level executive or to the lower level executive and they’re clamoring to speak to the lower level executive.

So if there are any key takeaways, keeping Farmer in Berea is absolutely a big deal. The guy is highly regarded throughout the NFL. The Browns promoted Lombardi with the sole goal of getting Farmer in Cleveland. He was the man who has led much of the scouting efforts for the team and was watching every snap of the Senior Bowl last month. When Farmer was interviewing with the Dolphins ownership team, there was some clamoring for the team to remove their current general manager and promote from within. Keeping Farmer may have been the biggest “move” of the team’s all-too-young offseason.

Also, the team was willing to fire some of the “most desirable” people in all of sports—one of which is still unemployed at this very moment.

Image: Jennifer Nawalaniec, Cleveland Browns

Talking Mike Pettine, Browns ticket prices and Davone Bess with Tom Reed – WFNY Podcast – 2014-02-04

WFNY Podcast LogoTom Reed from Northeast Ohio Media Group joined me to talk about the Browns. It’s always fun to talk to Tom. Here are some of the things we discussed.

Kyle Shanahan’s apparent hiring, Dan Quinn and whether the Browns should have waited, Browns ticket prices and where they’re going, Davone Bess and why the Browns haven’t done anything with him yet, and finally, we discussed Ray Farmer’s return to the Browns after turning down the possibility of a promtion in Miami.

Last, but not least, I forced Tom to recommend something, whether it’s a movie, album or TV show, and he chose a book.

Tom Reed recommends a history book on prohibition. Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition

Check out this episode

Doyel: As a city, Cleveland deserves better

photo2As the Cleveland Browns head coaching vacancy saunters in to Day 24, the national media—having just one team to focus on at this stage; the Vikings and Lions and Redskins and Titans have long found replacements—is starting to pile on. While there have been a variety of different angles taken as to not duplicate the efforts of the last 15 years of Browns coverage, CBS Sports’ columnist Greg Doyel stands up for the city of Cleveland, a group of individuals having to feel the wrath wrought in the wake of a regime that has become a punchline not just in fan circles, but within those around the league as well.

As a city, Cleveland deserves better. What Cleveland is getting on social media is a mocking laughter, as if this is Cleveland’s fault. Not going to show you the tweets because why give free publicity to mean-spirited folks, but lots of readers have tweeted me to say something along the lines of, “Nobody wants to work in a city like Cleveland.” And that’s not what this is. That’s not even close. First, Cleveland is a fine place to live if you’re a head coach in the NFL. Maybe it’s hard on the shrinking middle class and harder still on those trying to get out of poverty, but look around — that’s not Cleveland. That’s America. Is it cold in Cleveland? Sure. It’s cold in Buffalo and Green Bay and Minnesota and Pittsburgh, too.

What’s different about Cleveland isn’t the economy or the weather — it’s the people running the Browns, people doing it so badly that Adam Gase and Todd Bowles and Josh McDaniels would rather not be a head coach this year if being a head coach means doing it for the Browns. Ben McAdoo would rather coordinate a Giants offense led by a 33-year-old quarterback (Eli Manning) coming off his worst season than wait for the Browns to make a decision.

Having long set their sights on the next, great offensive mind within the NFL, the Browns have seemingly shifted their search—be it by choice or by chance—in the direction of two defensive coordinators. Murmors being reported from the Senior Bowl have not painted the Browns in a very kind light. Jimmy Haslam, Joe Banner and Mike Lombardi weren’t voted in to their current positions by anyone who has put their hard-earned money toward the purchase of a Browns jersey. As the list of individuals who have said “thanks, but no thanks” grows longer, it’s important to remember that the city of Cleveland isn’t, and will never be, defined by the acts of egos and checkbooks which were put in place by the league a little over a year ago.

The Dude, Michael, and Joey…who loved bowling

Browns Lebowski

“The Dude abides”

The Big Lebowski is one of the greatest movies of all time. Sometimes when life has you down, all you can do is try to laugh about it. With the Browns coaching search seemingly devolving into chaos once again, I thought it might be fun to intertwine some of my favorite quotes from the movie and paraphrase them through the context of the recent events.

The writing was on the wall. From the moment news started leaking out that the Cleveland Browns were going to fire first-year head coach Rob Chudzinski, the word that fans should look for Josh McDaniels to be the prime target of the team was almost immediate.

It wasn’t long before whispers began trickling through that former Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz was expected to be the Browns’ next defensive coordinator, as long as the new coach didn’t veto the move. If the Browns were high enough on Schwartz to hire him before a coach, it would make sense to look for a coach who specifically wouldn’t object. And what kind of coach wouldn’t object? How about a coach from the Belichick tree who shares the same agent as Schwartz and Browns GM Mike Lombardi?

“Oh yeah, how’d the interview go?”
”Went alright. Dude’s candidate got a little dinged up.”
”Walter, we didn’t make the f—ing hire, man! He didn’t get, the f—ing money and we’re not gonna – not gonna –“
”We’re not gonna hire that poor candidate.” [Read more...]

“Three Stooges” Browns t-shirt now available for your purchasing pleasure

photo1It was only a matter of time before a local t-shirt designer utilized the clown show in Berea to their advantage. While this latest incarnation may not exactly jive with the usage of likeness (we’re operating under the assumption that this design was not approved by the three men on the front of the shirt), Teespring has unveiled their “Disbelieveland” shirt which features the “Three Stooges” logo and the three main men of the Cleveland Browns front office.

For a crisp $17.50, you too can sport the faces of Mike Lombardi, Jimmy Haslam and Joe Banner on your chest. The design was naturally inspired by the team’s press conference from this past Monday wherein a reporter, using the words of distraught fans on Facebook, asked team owner Jimmy Haslam how he could assure the city and its fans that he, in fact, did not have “the three stooges running this operation?”

The inquiry led to countless e-high fives and some wet blanket deadpanning from the sanctimonious. Now, it has provided some gear that can commemorate yet another low moment in the history of a Cleveland franchise, a town that has been rebuilding since 1964.

(h/t Cleveland Scene)

Browns given permission to interview Josh McDaniels

Fans can now add Josh McDaniels to the list of men allegeldy brave enough to take the job of head coach of the Cleveland Browns. Per Albert Breer of the NFL Network, the Browns asked, and have been granted permission to interview the baseball hat-wearing current offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots.

After being named the head coach of the Denver Broncos as the replacement to Mike Shanahan, McDaniels, as you may recall, was the man who managed to instantly cultivate distrust within quarterback Jay Cutler. He eventually traded the Vanderbilt product to Chicago, and ultimately selected (alleged) left-handed quarterback Tim Tebow in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft. It would also be McDaniels who would also bench and trade wide receiver Brandon Marshall. While with Denver, a 3-9 season (after the team finished 2011 with four straight losses) would lead to his dismissal in early December of 2010.

The Browns’ interest in the Patriots’ play-caller should not come as much of a surprise as general manager Michael Lombardi has long been a fan of New England’s Bill Belichick and the Patriots organization.

A big reason McDaniels returned to New England, having been their offensive coordinator prior to his stint in Denver, was, per Breer, due to the stability within the franchise.

The Patriots, winners of their Week 17 contest, have a bye this weekend. How does this impact the Browns as they look to fill their vacancy? Well, any team wishing to interview the 37-year-old has to do so by the end of Sunday’s wild-card games—the interview window closes soon as the calendar turns to Jan. 6, only opening again if the Patriots make the Super Bowl or once the Pats are eliminated from the postseason. McDaniels cannot accept a head coaching job until that time.

[Related: Denver’s Adam Gase declines interviews until end of his season]

The Browns QB Carousel — WFNY Top 10 Cleveland Sports Stories of 2013: No. 4

If you thought that 2012 was one crazy year in the world of Cleveland Sports, 2013 proved that there is rarely a dull moment. There were good times and bad, hirings and firings, wins and losses, and appearances in postseasons and courtrooms. As the year comes to a close, like we have done the last five years, WFNY will take a look at what we view to be the ten biggest sports stories to grace our local sports scene over the last 12 months. Each day through the rest of the year, we will be counting down from ten to one. Do enjoy.

The Quarterbacks

Stop me if you have heard this one before: The Cleveland Browns need a quarterback. You have all seen the infamous jersey. Since Bernie Kosar, the lord himself, your football team has struggled not just in finding a good, quality quarterback, but a competent one. It is truly incredible how many swings and misses several different regimes have taken with the various men under center. It doesn’t matter whether they went the first-overall pick route (Tim Couch), the first-round path (Brady Quinn, Brandon Weeden), the mid-round developmental guy (Colt McCoy, Charlie Ward), the waiver wire pickup (Derek Anderson), the career backup (Kelly Holcomb), or the end-of-the-line veteran (Trent Dilfer, Jeff Garcia), nothing and I mean NOTHING has worked out long term since the Browns returned in 1999.
[Read more...]

NFL News: John Moffitt says Browns failed his physical due to salary dispute

One-time trade target of the Cleveland Browns, John Moffitt, says that the team failed his physical, thus nullifying his acquisition, after he refused to take less money.

“I haven’t said this publicly – they suck. Cleveland sucks,” Moffitt told 710 ESPN Seattle. “They are so terrible and the way that they did me in that front office was so dirty. They failed me on a B.S. physical. They took me in, they MRI-ed me, they ran me through their gamut, they flew me out there that night, and I saw the MRIs with the doctor. I went through all the slides with the doctor ‘cause I knew, I’m like, ‘I want to see this, right?’ So [the doctor] goes to me, he’s like, ‘You’ve got a little bit of arthritis, but for the knee injury, you’re fine.’

“So then they call my agent, and [he’s] like, ‘They want you to take less money. They want you to do a split or something like that.’ I’m like, ‘No. No, I’m on a basic contract. I’m not doing a split.’ And then my agent finally did some work and figured out that per the CBA you can’t do that on a trade. So now they just call me up to [their] office and they said, ‘We’re going to fail you on your physical.’ I’m like, ‘Oh, OK.’ I went in with the GM [Mike Lombardi], though, and talked to him, and they tried tell me, they tried to get the head trainer [Joe Sheehan] to tell me that my knee wasn’t right and they said that the slides were in there, basically trying to lie to me. I was like, ‘That’s great. Thanks. You guys really set me up here ‘cause you failed me on a physical [and] the whole league’s going to know.’”

After the Browns voided the trade, Moffitt passed the Broncos’ physical to make that deal official. He played in two games with the Broncos.

Moffitt recently decided to walk away from the game of football, citing lifestyle changes and the physical and mental toll of the NFL. The Browns vehemently deny any wrongdoing, saying that the only reason Moffitt is not a member of the Browns is due to the failed physical.

[Related: John Moffitt: “It would have been easy to walk away from Browns”]

Scott Raab on the Browns beating the Ravens, Chris Perez and Chris Grant’s future – WFNY Podcast – 2013-11-04

WFNY Podcast LogoScott Raab ended this week’s podcast telling everyone to go to the dentist, don’t do drugs and stay in school. You should listen all the way to the end to see how we got there. As per usual, here’s the email I sent Scott last night.

—————

They beat the Ravens. It was a “proof of parity” game for the Browns. The Cleveland Browns with Jason Campbell are no longer defying the rules of parity in the NFL! There’s nothing like going into a bye week with a win. Love it. Love being consistently mediocre with a chance to win. I hate myself for loving it as much as I do.

Farewell Chris Perez. There was a lot of talk about Chris Perez’ legacy this week in Cleveland and it seems like a waste of breath. I supported Chris Perez talking when he was in Cleveland because I kind of like it when athletes don’t shy away from saying something real as opposed to a cookie-cutter phrase. [Read more...]

Hey Cleveland, it’s me…Quarterback Controversy: Brian Hoyer’s Maiden Voyage with the Cleveland Browns

IMG_20130918_110654_023

The hometown kid is getting the starting nod. One day after saying the decision had not yet been made, Cleveland Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski announced that their starting quarterback this Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings will be one Brian Hoyer. On the cover, a thumb injury sustained by Brandon Weeden a week earlier paved the way for Hoyer to get the nod. Peel back the onion a bit and it becomes a bit more evident that the Browns, currently sitting winless two weeks into the NFL season, were looking to shake things up and this was merely seamless way to do so.

[Read more...]

What do you make of Brandon Weeden? – Cleveland Browns Roundtable

WFNY_roundtable

Craig: The takeaways from this week’s game seem to be setting the tone for the rest of the season. We’re going to continually look to define Brandon Weeden. On one side there will be those who seem to defend him out of hope, those that will bash him out of preemptive judgement, and those that continue to sit and watch and take it all in.

Where are you guys on Brandon Weeden at this point? Do you still have hope and expectations of Weeden that he can be the Browns quarterback? Have you given up on the guy and just wish the Browns could move on right now? Are you in the middle hoping that Weeden somehow proves to be a decent placeholder?

Andrew: Well, first things first, it’s been one game. I have to keep telling myself that, because every last fiber of my instinct is telling me that what we saw is reality. [Read more...]

Seneca Wallace and Colt McCoy to re-unite in San Francisco?

The San Francisco 49ers might be interested in talking to recently released Seneca Wallace according to Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com (by way of ProFootballTalk.) Of course that seems ironic to Browns fans that saw the Colt McCoy / Seneca Wallace combination lead to controversy over the Browns’ starting QB spot in Cleveland over the last couple years.

Seneca Wallace was cut by the Browns after the pre-season last year and spent the season out of football before being signed by the Saints this off-season. He was released on August 19th.

Colt McCoy was expected to be the backup to 49ers starting QB Colin Kaepernick after being traded on April 1st 2013. The deal sent the Browns’ 2013 6th rounder and McCoy to the 49ers for 7th and 5th round picks in the 2013 NFL draft.

The 5th rounder was flipped to the Colts for their 4th rounder in 2014 and the 7th was included in the trade that brought the Browns veteran receiver Davone Bess.

Hard to believe all the movement of players and draft picks in the NFL. This is a league where it isn’t uncommon for players to go from presumed starters, to expected backups, to assets used in trades for veteran receivers all in a matter of a couple of seasons.

Seneca Wallace better not ask McCoy for any pointers on the playbook should he end up signing in San Francisco. You know, if that comes to pass and McCoy is still there when Wallace arrives, that is.

[Related: Browns’ Chudzinski praises Joe Haden’s leadership]

Weeden’s big chance: will he buck trend of bad Browns QB play?

brandon weedenWe are about to enter our 15th season of the “new Browns” era. 15 years. Wow. To paraphrase the great Thornton Melon in “Back To School”- 15 years, seems like yesterday. And you know what a lousy day yesterday was. I’ve noticed we haven’t seen a lot of “15th anniversary” stories floating around. It is not hard to decipher why. To put it bluntly, the Browns haven’t won a lot. And it’s not as if there has been a lot to get excited about.

Sure, the 2002 season spawned a 9-7 record and a wild card playoff run. But if not for some things breaking their way in week 17 and a last second goal line stand against an already-clinched Atlanta Falcons, the new Browns still wouldn’t have a playoff appearance since their return. 2007 was as exciting of a season as we have seen in the last 15 years, but we all know that was fools gold and a product of a last place schedule. You can only play the teams in front of you, but the 10-6 Browns beat one over .500 team – the Seattle Seahawks – at home in overtime. [Read more...]