Cleveland Browns: ESPN’s Tony Grossi shuts down Jason La Canfora’s ‘conference-call’ report

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 01: A Cleveland Browns fan is seen during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 1, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Justin Aller /Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 01: A Cleveland Browns fan is seen during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 1, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Justin Aller /Getty Images) /

Cleveland Browns writer Tony Grossi shout down CBS’ Jason La Canfora’s report that Jimmy Haslam is trying to create discord in the front office.

Jason La Canfora dropped another bomb on Browns fans before’s Sunday’s game against the Bengals, in which the CBS scribe tried to paint a picture of discord.

La Canfora reported Browns owner Jimmy Haslam got on the phone with his football operations staff, and according to J-La, it freaked everyone out.

La Canfora wrote:

"“Haslam held a conference call with his football operations staff in the aftermath of [comments Hue Jackson made regarding the state of the team] sources said, and while his remarks intended to instill confidence in them and allay fears, team sources noted that the fact he felt compelled to make such a call so soon in the season, at a time when there is no denying some of the rifts that exist, did not go unnoticed. Given the history of churn in Cleveland, some viewed the situation more as a ‘kiss of death,’ team sources said.”"

ESPN Cleveland analyst Tony Grossi, a long time detractor of La Canfora was initially skeptical of the report, just because the Browns are such low hanging fruit.

Grossi’s point is that of course there’s tension at the Browns’ Headquarters, the team stinks!

Well Wednesday, on the airwaves of ESPN Cleveland, Grossi shed light on what he was told what really happened on the now infamous conference call, which basically renders La Canfora’s report as a huge waste of time, via (Subscription).

"“I am told this. They hold these conference calls every quarter of the season, and we’re at the quarter poll. The GM, Andrew Berry, has a conference call with his scouts on the road and they communicate as a group and in this case, Haslam was nearby, he hopped on and said, ‘Hey, want you guys to know, keep up the good work, you’re doing a good job.”"

Grossi continued:

"“That’s all it was! It’s not as if Jimmy Haslam said, “Sashi, I want all of those scouts on the phone now! That’s not it went down.”"

Some thoughts here.

1. How many of you get revved up when La Canfora writes about the Browns any more? I don’t.

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I don’t believe he’s making this stuff up, but I do wonder about his sources, and his association/friendship with fired former GM Mike Lombardi is a huge conflict of interest. That’s why journalistic ethics are kind of an important thing. I know of this relationship, and I know Lombardi may have an axe to grind, so he may be talking to his friend. I don’t know if that’s the case, but I’m certainly entitled to believe it unless La Canfora states otherwise.

2. Browns radio play-by-play man Jim Donovan said it best about La Canfora before the season even started, when it reported discord in the front office. He’s fighting for valuable air time on those national shows, and this is a salacious story.

3. Why get so worked up over this? If I may insert some breaking news here, Cleveland isn’t going to Super Bowl this year, and they’re not going next year. If things continues to trend downward, don’t worry, Haslam will blow it all up and you won’t need to a reporter to tell you how the seeds were planted.

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4. Browns Town may not like it, but as of today, everyone’s got a shot to keep their jobs last year. I just don’t know how you bring in someone like Paul DePodesta and not ride it out. If this isn’t trending up by year three, then Haslam’s decision is easy.