Found December 20, 2012 on
Waiting For Next Year:
The scariest part is the not knowing. Even knowing what we think we know about who won’t be in Cleveland next year – namely Pat Shurmur and Tom Heckert – that uncertainty about who will replace them is even scarier.
I think most have resigned themselves by this point to just about any alternative to Pat Shurmur. I know that’s not 100 percent in the fan base at this point, but there’s certainly enough evidence to suggest that the team could improve in that area to the point that even the supporters have a tough time clinging to much more than concept of continuity first and foremost. The scariest part is not knowing about Joe Banner who begins to look a bit like Skeletor if you decide that he might be somewhat nefarious. That’s ridiculous, of course, because I’ve read enough about Banner to know that there’s a genuinely compassionate human behind the tough, unbending businessman.
In particular I remember a fascinating profile of Banner from Philadelphia Magazine that described the same control freak businessman as a baby-cuddling softy walking around his office cooing a visiting baby. Being informed of that Joe Banner makes it a little bit easier to cast aside the most facile short-hand that seems to be used for the man who made the Eagles business hum after Jeffrey Lurie purchased the team. No doubt he’s controlling. Look no further than the fact that every person in the new Browns organization other than Jimmy Haslam will apparently report to him. That’s only a scary arrangement if you don’t trust the man at the top of the organizational chart.
That seems to be what most Browns fans are struggling with right now.
Is it possible to trust anyone who might get rid of Tom Heckert? Heckert has undoubtedly done the best job of any GM in Cleveland since the Browns have been back in 1999. I guess I could be convinced otherwise if someone with greater knowledge than I points back to a time period before I started watching football in the 1980′s, but even then Heckert’s job would still be a good argument. So, how can you possibly trust a man who might remove one of the best drafting GMs in team history?
That silence you hear is me trying to figure out what to say next. There’s no way to trust in that, except to know that Banner and Haslam desperately want to succeed and will do it the best way they know how. Sometimes that doesn’t include even the most successful people who work in a different style. So while you can’t blindly trust Joe Banner to get everything 100% right, you have to at least trust his motives and motivation. Even with me saying that, I find it a very tough sell for myself, let alone trying to sell it to anyone else.
So Joe Banner wants control of the 53-man roster. I don’t see any big problem with that in theory. As an undeniable cap expert, you want the cap guy to have the hammer to keep the draft / free agent mix under control so the team has the flexibility to keep the best of their young players while also supplementing them to remain competitive. In that sense, I get why Banner wants that even if on some infinitesimal chance Tom Heckert sticks around.
At the same time, people are terrified of having even the most aggressive attorney/accountant/business expert type person making football judgements. Sure, we like to fashion ourselves draft analysts combing through YouTube, but I don’t think any of us would really relish the opportunity to have the draft room waiting for us to make a selection. The fear is that an overconfident businessman will all of a sudden believe he’s an expert in actual football player evaluation. That seems like a surefire way to turn an up-and-coming team into a bust-fest like we’ve seen continually since 1999.
Again, that’s something we don’t know. Will Joe Banner replace Tom Heckert with other football people to do all the football analysis? To a fan, I haven’t talked to a single person who doesn’t want to be sure there are great scouts and talent evaluators in the organization. That’s where I take the most solace in recent moves. The Browns proactively went out and hired a president, Alec Scheiner, who is regarded as one of the best at what he does. I think it is also reasonable to assume that even if the Browns eliminate the Tom Heckert role as it exists today, they won’t eliminate top-notch talent evaluation from their business plan. You just have to assume that Haslam and Banner value that and recognize that as an absolute necessity in this NFL. It’s common sense, really, but doesn’t it just feel good to say it aloud? Say it with me. A top-notch NFL franchise can not consider itself top-notch without a premier-level talent evaluation department running the draft, scouting undrafted free agents and making free agent recommendations.
Feel better? Yeah. Me either. We’ll just have to see who they hire. What’s your other option?
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
According to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, former Broncos head coach and current Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels would love to coach the Browns. A source told The Plain Dealer that McDaniels, who coached the Broncos in 2009, would jump at the chance to coach the Browns. I thought McDaniels did a good job in Denver as a head coach. He ended up failing...
The Browns weren’t going to be favored this week regardless of the outcome last week against the Redskins. After a three game winning streak ends and with two tough games and a presumably lame duck coach, will the wheels come off? Will this team continue to play hard to the final whistle this season? We’ll know soon enough, but I want to know what you think right now. Will Peyton...
Before proceeding, I would emphasize what follows is a rumor, and has not been confirmed.
But it comes from the Boston Globe and its excellent NFL writer Greg Bedard.
He was one of the first guys who reported that Joe Banner would hire Mike Lombardi as the teams new GM, after Banner let Tom Heckert go. Bedard attributed that report to two independent sources he calls influential...
Mohamed Massaquoi, Jordan Cameron and Tashaun Gipson will not travel with the Cleveland Browns to Denver.
Coach Pat Shurmur announced Friday that all three are out for the game against the Broncos (11-3) on Sunday.
Massaquoi, a starting wide receiver, has a knee injury. He missed five games earlier this season with a hamstring problem. Cameron has a concussion, sustained last week...
Over the past two weeks (part 1 and part 2), my good friend and colleague Rick has posted updates on some historic NFL records being accomplished by the current trio of rookies on the Browns offense: QB Brandon Weeden, RB Trent Richardson and WR Josh Gordon.
In his initial post, I helped to provide some of the backbone research. Yes, I never gave enough credit to Rick for his research...
Browns placed LB James-Michael Johnson (knee) on injured reserve, ending his season. The rookie fourth-rounder will not need surgery on the knee. Johnson started eight of 10 games this season, recording 36 tackles while playing primarily on early downs. With Scott Fujita’s Cleveland career likely over and Chris Gocong’s (Achilles) future in question, Johnson is a good bet to...
Despite rumors that Alabama head coach Nick Saban is considering a return to the NFL, one of his star pupils, Cleveland Browns running back Trent Richardson thinks he's staying put with the Crimson Tide.
“I can’t see him coming to the NFL,” Richardson said, via Tom Reed of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer,. “I can see him staying at Alabama and retiring at Alabama. That’s...
The Cleveland Browns have placed a pair of starters, safety
T.J. Ward and linebacker James-Michael Johnson on injured reserve, ending their
2012 seasons, reports Curtis Crabtree of Pro Football Talk.
The Cleveland Browns lost two starters for the rest of the
season on Tuesday as the team placed safety T.J. Ward and linebacker
James-Michael Johnson on injured reserve.
Safety T.J. Ward, who started every game for the Cleveland Browns this season, landed on injured reserve Tuesday. The team officially listed Ward as having a knee injury, but the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that Ward has a bone bruise in one of his knees. According to the newspaper, Ward won't need surgery. In 14 games this year, Ward was credited with 68 tackles (second...
Everyone loves an over sized check T…
NFL free agent Seneca Wallace visited the elementary school he attended in Sacramento and gave away subscriptions to ClinckN Kids on behalf of a new partnership with the One World Literacy Foundation. He also visited Shriners Children’s Hospital where he visited with some children. For all he’s done off the field the city of Rancho Cordova...
Last week: 26 (+0)
Net points per drive: -0.11 (20th)
DVOA: -12.4% (25th)
Weighted DVOA: -5.5% (19th)
That 17 point loss to the Redskins was actually the first time this season the Browns had been blown out. Their previous biggest loss was 14 and their biggest win (23) is still bigger than their biggest loss. Even that 14 point loss wasn’t as bad as the final score...
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In a town starved for wins and long-suffering because of losses (54 the past five years alone), a failure of a Browns quarterback draws condemnation faster than the Tasmaniam Devil spins.
Brandon Weeden suffered that fate this week.
He played the second-worst game of his career against Washington...
#regram from my cuz @qholt
Welcome to the latest edition of X’s and O’s with the Bros by X’s and O’s editor @rodofdisaster. This feature represents a basic attempt to look deeper into the game of football, learn something about the X’s and O’s that make it go, and better appreciate the games within the game. It’s called “X’s and O’s with the Bros” because you don’t have to be a player...