Originally posted on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 2/2/12

Mike Holmgren’s interactions with the media weren’t perfect this year.  He left everyone with some audio that he could regret some day if he was the type of guy to ever truly regret anything.  I don’t get that sense about him, but certain quotes about playoff tickets could haunt a less confident person.  Anyone who knows me well knows that I dwell on things I’ve said that were far less important than that on much smaller stages for excruciating periods of time as if it would do me any good to second-guess the things that come off the top of my brain.  In that respect, I am guessing Randy Lerner is a lot more like I am than he is like Mike Holmgren.

Randy Lerner has turned things around of late and is letting people inside the giant gates that he’s maintained around him since he was pushed into stewardship of the Browns.  We learned from Vince Grzegorek’s amazing profile of Lerner in Cleveland Scene Magazine that Lerner prefers not to be called “owner” of the Browns.  That isn’t the most important thing Lerner says in the must-read profile.  It seems Randy Lerner can learn a very important lesson about the value of letting his guard down and speaking freely.

You see, if you never say anything, you will never say the wrong things, but you can also never say the right things.  Sometimes what might feel like the wrong things at the time turn out to absolutely be the right things.  I am talking about a quote at the end of the post. “We are working hard to turn around this f***ing nightmare.”

You know that this site absolutely does not dwell in profane language lightly, but this supersedes site guidelines.  It is the most important thing Randy Lerner said in that profile.  It takes what Mike Holmgren stated earlier in the year about the Browns not being “business as usual” and gives it evidence that Browns fans can chew on.

Before everyone got to know Lerner between his interview with Mike Trivisonno and this profile with Scene, it took a leap of faith to actually believe that things were different in Berea.  We heard that Lerner was living in Cleveland and maintaining his offices in Browns headquarters with Holmgren, Heckert, Shurmur and the rest, but what did that mean?  I was still of the opinion that Lerner had outsourced himself with the Mike Holmgren hire.  I’ve been accused of being a Browns apologist and even I thought for sure that Lerner was just throwing his hands in the air and telling Mike Holmgren, “Here. You do it.”

I sit here today and think that I was totally wrong.  Randy Lerner dropping an f-bomb isn’t anything really, but it is everything at the same time.  It doesn’t mean he and this new version of the Browns accomplished anything yet.  It does mean that this new version of the Browns is sincerely new, though.  It is different than it was.  Will it work?  Who knows?

Just like you can’t say anything good when you don’t say anything at all, you can’t do anything good if you don’t try new things.  It actually feels like the Browns are trying something new this time around.  I see it now thanks to Randy Lerner stepping out from the shadows and proving that he is involved, engaged and invested enough to drop an f-bomb to a columnist about it.

Across the entire NFL, that isn’t business as usual.  Has Goodell found out about the quote yet?  Let’s top off this realization that things are different with a fine for the Browns owner.  It can be another letter for him to put on his wall in his office in Berea.

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