Frank Gelb `15
The Cleveland Browns have had one crazy off season. The organization became the first in NFL history to fire their head coach and general manager after just one year in office for both of them. They have already replaced head coach Rob Chudzinski with former Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine but the most surprising news came this week when owner Jimmy Haslam got rid of CEO Joe Banner and GM Mike Lombardi, less than a month before the NFL draft. Although media and fans feel the Browns are in a debacle, Haslam seems to have it under control. Haslam has already named former assistant general manager of the Browns and GM candidate for the Dolphins Ray Farmer to the Cleveland GM position. Asked about the situation, Haslam told media “We feel that Ray is the best person to handle the personnel side of our organization.”
Haslam and Lombardi may have been on the wrong page when it came to the head coaching position as Lombardi wanted to stage another interview with Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn but Haslam was already commuted to Mike Pettine. The confidence in Pettine is nice but everyone saw the Super Bowl, and the Seahawks defense shut down the best offense in the NFL. Maybe Lombardi had a point by wanting to get another interview with Quinn first.
As to Banner, it seems he worked himself out of a job. Haslam has no immediate plans to hire a new CEO so the firing was obviously on Banner’s part.
Fans have continually seen new regime after new regime, and the firings just add to the list. However, being a typical Browns fan, there is optimism this time of the year. Pettine seems like an exciting coach commuted to hard nose football and Farmer is an exciting new Manager with plenty of upside. The rest of the staff is shaping up before this years draft. With plenty of talent on the roster, the team has the opportunity to break away from losing ways, and the new regime may be moving in the right direction. Only time will tell…
Also, in other news, Brandon Weeden has stated he wants out of Cleveland. I am pretty sure no fan really cares about it as they are hopeful for Brian Hoyer to start or for a rookie, possibly Johnny Manziel. Draft previews will be out in a few weeks. Stay tuned.