Just when you think the Cleveland Browns are acting as a normal, professional football team, they throw a huge wrench into the mix.
They announced today that Joe Banner and Mike Lombardi are out as CEO and GM, with Ray Farmer replacing the latter as general manager.
The obvious point to be made is owner Jimmy Haslam was so disgusted by the season and seemingly bungled coaching search, that he couldn’t take the Banner/Lombardi combination for one more day.
Still want to tell everyone that these aren’t the same old Browns?
Look, this is not to say we thought Banner and Lombardi were doing a great job, in fact, we feel quite the contrary.
Banner seemed to be a “me-first” guy, a person who really wanted to coach the team as well as run it, and he didn’t seem to be satisfied with any person who wasn’t Joe Banner.
However, remember that the league recommended Banner to Haslam, the owner didn’t seem to seek him out.
Lombardi comes across as someone who still wants to sit on the lap of Bill Belichick, waiting with anticipation for every word that drips off of the Patriots’ coach’s tongue.
It seemed his solution to every problem was to go back to the Belichick tree.
Farmer helped put together a Kansas City team that had a bushel of Pro Bowlers on a 2-14 team in 2012 and made a major leap forward to the playoffs last season. The fact that Miami was very interested in him shows how respected he is throughout the NFL.
So do we assume things are better in Berea because Farmer and team president Alec Scheiner are more likeable to the fans and media alike?
As with the new coach and his staff, we can’t evaluate how the newest new regime will perform until the Cleveland Browns start playing football games that count in September.
The more disturbing aspect of all this is the growing Snyderization of Jimmy Haslam.
We felt all along that it was Haslam who pulled the trigger on Rob Chudzinski after one season in charge. Could it be that part of the reason Banner and Lombardi aren’t employed here anymore is they told the owner he was being impetuous?
Now, Haslam just fired two people he claimed were part of the solution just 18 months ago.
The Browns’ owner is looking more and more like his counterpart in Washington, Redskins’ owner Daniel Snyder.
Does anyone think that organization is well run?
Since 2000, Washington has gone through six coaches and have amassed three playoff appearances, a boatload compared to Cleveland.
He’s brought in college coaches (Steve Spurrier), veteran coaches with histories of winning (Marty Schottenheimer, Joe Gibbs, and Mike Shanahan), and offensive coordinators (Jim Zorn and new coach Jay Gruden).
They’ve gone 86-122 in that span. While that’s better than Cleveland’s record (72 wins) over the same time period, it’s hardly a winning franchise or something to be aspiring to.
If the Browns go 6-10 this season and Haslam keeps Farmer and Mike Pettine in place seeing some progress, then we can ease off on the Daniel Snyder comparisons.
Until that happens, he appears to be another owner who wants success, but either doesn’t know how to get it, or doesn’t have the patience to attain a winning team.
Either way, no matter how they spin it, it just looks like more chaos at Browns’ headquarters.