After the Browns 13th consecutive loss Thursday night against the Baltimore Ravens, rumors are beginning to swirl about the future of the Cleveland Browns organization. CBS national NFL writer Jason La Canfora wrote a very interesting article Sunday morning with some shocking info about the ongoing saga that has been the Jimmy Haslam era.
Jimmy Haslam purchased the team from former owner Randy Lerner in October of 2012. He came to Cleveland preaching continuity and that he was going to turn this franchise around. Fans bought in to the then Steelers minority owner and hoped he would bring the winning culture that’s been in Pittsburgh for decades.
What he’s brought has been the direct opposite, since taking over the Browns here’s what Mr. Haslam has led us to:
- 18-50 record (3 wins since November 2014)
- Four head coaches (Shurmur, Chudzinski, Pettine, Jackson)
- Four general managers (Heckert, Lombardi, Farmer, Brown)
- Three team presidents (Banner, Scheiner, DePodesta)
And more changes could be coming if the team does go 0-16, La Canfora reported that defensive coordinator Ray Horton’s future is “very uncertain” according to his sources. He also said that could be the very least of the changes. If the Browns do go winless, sounds like the way he’s reporting, Haslam could “blow it up” for the fourth time in five years.
La Canfora had this to say about what he was told about the current organization:
“Morale is low, even by Browns standards, and with 10 or so departments reporting directly to ownership and without the presence of a strong team president providing leadership, the hands-on approach of the Haslams is causing concern throughout the organization.”
He also talked to someone within the organization who had this to say about the ownership:
“You basically have a husband and wife in charge of various areas they don’t really understand — football, coaching, scouting, analytics, ticketing, marketing,” a team source said. “And that’s the way they want it.”
Now I know everyone will attack La Canfora for reporting this because he constantly reports nothing but negativity as it pertains to the organization. Most of it likely being because the organization fired his former colleague and former Browns general manager Michael Lombardi.
But is it negative or the truth?
After the Browns fired head coach Rob Chudzinski in 2013 after one season, national reports said the Browns were “toxic” and that no one wanted to work for that organization. Now the local media directed that at then team president and CEO Joe Banner as well as Lombardi but no one ever pointed the finger at Haslam.
I’m starting to believe he’s the reason why the organization is toxic. Haslam has been an impatient owner since the day he walked into the Berra facility. Now firing then front office people Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert as well as head coach Pat Shurmur was necessary.
As was the firings of general manager Ray Farmer and coach Mike Petrine, a partnership that Haslam forced on the two after firing Lombardi and Banner because they couldn’t get along.
And then there’s May 8, 2014: the first round of the NFL draft…..
Now he can deny this all he wants and Ray Farmer can say it was his call but everyone knows that Jimmy Haslam was the one who drafted Johnny Manziel with the 22nd overall pick. That pick set the organization back so much and it was his meddling with the help of Scheiner and Farmer that cost the team a shot at a winning record with Brian Hoyer as the quarterback.
After firing Farmer and Pettine, Jimmy Haslam stood at that podium on January 3 of this year and said this will be a multi-year rebuild with Sashi Brown as Vice President of Football Operations and Paul DePodesta as team president and then ultimately the hiring of Hue Jackson.
If Jimmy Haslam gets that itchy trigger finger and decides to “blow it up” after letting the front office and coaching staff tear down the roster and watching this team potentially go winless with twenty first year players and six different guys take a snap at the quarterback position, he will face some serious backlash.
No one will want to come work for this organization. No one will want to coach for this organization. No one will want to play for this organization. And last but not least, no one will want to cheer for this organization.
If he does indeed do what Jason La Canfora is alluding to, then this will be the last year I support the Cleveland Browns with Jimmy Haslam as the owner. Firing everyone after one to two years doesn’t create sustained success or a winning culture.
So if we do indeed go 0-16 and you plan to clean house for the fourth time in five seasons, do us all a favor…..
Sell the team, sell your big mansion by the lake, pack up and go back to Tennessee with your embezzling trucking company. Because the Browns fans are getting tired of your shtick.