A day that was most likely going to be a slow one in Cleveland sports new with the Cleveland Indians reporting for duty, but no new acquisitions likely, the Cleveland Cavaliers game happening in the evening, but no new moves likely and the Cleveland Browns waiting for the start of the off-season after hiring their new head coach. Then BOOM the Browns shook their foundation once again. This time the regime has changed again but a level of consistency is still there with Ray Farmer stepping into the big chair. That led this counselor to think about his thoughts about the Browns. And now to write about his thinking about his thoughts about the Browns.
The Browns have been consistent at basically only one thing, being inconsistent. I think about what it would be like for the Browns to have the same front office executives and coach and I get hopeful. A new regime comes in and the optimist in me finds reasons to have hope, minimally reasons to have patience with the new group. What do I think about that thought today? I find myself thinking in the same direction. Owner Jimmy Haslam has decided to own his team, in every sense of the word. He hired his coach, he promoted his GM and he brought in Alec Scheiner last year to run the business side. My thoughts on consistency, I think, are very clear. I hope the team gets some, I have patience that we will.
I think Haslam was semi-forced to bring in Joe Banner and with him Mike Lombardi. Haslam knew what he wanted on the business side and brought in Scheiner and put a lot of clear cut effort into improving that side of the team, including community relations and game day performances. Now that those things are in motion Haslam decided to own the other side of the team, the on the field side. I think he may of even learned from his Pilot/Flying J issues and instead of letting underlings be his undoing he would step up and take charge. I think my thoughts on Haslam have improved. He is not just a absent owner but he is not Jerry Jones. He hired very strong leaders in Mike Pettine and Ray Farmer. Two guys who are assertive and aggressive and won’t let themselves be run by other people’s timeframes and thoughts. I think if Haslam wants Johnny Manziel but Farmer does not, he will not be drafted. Farmer is no yes man.
Banner and Lombardi
I felt levels of comfort with Banner based on his success in Philadelphia. I expected, like most healthy people, he would learn from his mistakes. I though Lombardi was a pointless piece to the puzzle. He would evaluate talent but Banner would make all the decisions. I was happy when Farmer was brought in to actually do the work that Lombardi was suppose to. When I think about Lombardi this is all I can think of (some light adult language):
What would you say you do here Lombardi? In the end the loss of these two does not seem like much.
Many people around the league wanted Farmer. When the GM “search” was going on last year the stories and write ups made me want Farmer as well. I was excited when he was brought in. He actually is a football person that has football knowledge and skills. He was at the Senior Bowl scouting. He knows the roster, having been around all of last year, and isn’t just going to clean the slate with the old players brought in but has fresh perspective. Farmer wasn’t a Banner guy, wasn’t a Lombardi guy he was just a good decision. That gives me hope. I think I like guys who are straight forward and don’t play games. I think, from the little I saw, I liked how he presented himself in today’s press conference.
I dislike games. I dislike arrogance. I dislike having “your people.” With Banner and Lombardi it felt like everything was about showing that they were smarter then everyone else. They drafted people others might not of, just to try to prove their brilliance. Every move seemed to have to be evaluated on multiple levels. It wasn’t a question of “Is this player talented?” The questions ended up being “What is Banner’s goal here?” “Who is this player’s agent?” “What is Banner trying to do?”
I am breaking this final point into two paragraphs as this is the thing I am leaving thinking the most: I think the Browns may start to make decisions because they are the right, or best, decision. They won’t draft someone because it fits “their style” they will draft the best player that can fill a need. They won’t sign someone just because they have to sign someone, they will sign someone who is the player they want. They will take off their biased glasses to try to win football games. Pettine said so in his press conference when talking about defensive schemes. He will fit his schemes to his players, not vice versa. I think the Browns now will make decisions like any normal person, organization, business or team does: What is the best decision for our franchise. Taking out personal agendas, secret meetings and proving a point. I think its time that winning games was the #1 goal.
What are some of your emotional and rational thoughts following these moves? What do you think about what I think about my thoughts? Thank you for taking time to read a fan’s, not a writers, thoughts.