7 min

Cleveland Browns - An Unstable Sports Franchise

Thoughts after the 2013 NFL season.

The number of Super Bowl appearances for the Browns: zero.

For the 2014 season, the Browns will have its 3rd head coach in 3 years.

Now compare Cleveland to two of the Browns' divisional opponents: the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Baltimore Ravens

The Browns moved to Baltimore and became the Ravens in 1996. Over the past 18 Ravens seasons:

  • 3 head coaches
  • 2 Super Bowl appearances
  • 2 Super Bowl wins

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seems like a fairly stable and successful organization.

  • 3 head coaches since 1970 (44 seasons)
  • 8 Super Bowl appearances
  • 6 Super Bowl wins

Pitt and Balt

Since 1970 for the Steelers and Ravens combined:

  • 62 total seasons
  • 6 head coaches
  • 10 Super Bowl appearances
  • 8 Super Bowl wins

Average head coach lifespan: 10.3 years.

Cleveland v2.0

In the late 1990s, the NFL granted Cleveland a new Browns team which began play in 1999.

With the firing of Chud earlier this week, the Browns have already digested 7 head coaches in the past 15 seasons.

Average head coach lifespan since 1999: 2.1 years.

I think being unstable works for pro wrestling but not for pro football.

For the Browns since their return in 1999, it's been too many years now for this to be attributed to simply bad luck.

Jan 22, 2014 News

Browns hire a new head coach, the defensive coordinator from the Buffalo Bills. Will he last more than two years? Or even one year?

The Browns coordinators from this past season, Turner and Horton, have taken jobs elsewhere, so that's good news.

My 2014 pre-season rankings for the four teams in the AFC North:

  1. Bengals
  2. Steelers
  3. Ravens
  4. .
  5. .
  6. .
  7. .
  8. Browns

I think the battle for the division will between Cincy and Pitt, but I think the Bengals finish first again. Baltimore, not quite. Cleveland, way back.

But the 2011 49ers and the 2013 Chiefs surprised the league with new coaches and amazing turnarounds after dreadful previous seasons.

Feb 2014 Browns Changes

On Feb 11, 2014, Browns owner Jimmy Haslam fired CEO Joe Banner and GM Mike Lombardi, adding to the unstable tag that has been assigned to the Browns. It's bizarre, considering that when Haslam bought the Browns in the fall of 2012, Haslam discussed building a franchise for the long-term.

Feb 12, 2014 Peter King story titled Why The Browns Blew Up The Franchise ... Again

During a search for a new head coach, owner Jimmy Haslam lost faith in the leadership of CEO Joe Banner and GM Mike Lombardi, so he fired them. Now the Browns—losers of at least 11 games for six straight seasons—start all over.

Under Haslam, who came in preaching patient team-building, the Browns have fired two coaches (Pat Shurmur, Chudzinski), two general manages (Tom Heckert, Lombardi), a CEO (Banner) and a president (Mike Holmgren).

In Haslam’s 17-month tenure, the team has employed 56 coaches.

To call the Browns a circus would be an insult to circuses.

When Whisenhunt entered the room this year for the interview, he was one of the hottest commodities on the head-coaching market, and the Browns were very interested in him.

Whisenhunt said, “Why didn’t you guys hire me last year?’’

The Browns’ CEO who was in both interviews, Joe Banner, told Whisenhunt he didn’t think the staff he was putting together at the time was “a championship coaching staff.”

Whisenhunt, one NFL source said, was peeved that a man who had never coached and who’d been involved in football mainly on the business side would sit in judgment of his potential coaches.

“Who are you to tell me what makes up a championship coaching staff?” Whisenhunt said, with an edge in his voice.

Banner spent $5 million of Haslam’s money to totally revamp the second floor of the Browns’ training facility and offices—and to try to change the club’s philosophy. The Browns’ coaching, front-office, scouting, sales, PR and broadcast departments are all in an open campus. When a big sale was made, a bell was rung, and the sales team all clapped. The club had a live radio show in a $65,000 soundproof studio in the middle of it all.

The latest Browns’ shakeup handed the GM job to a man, Ray Farmer, who wasn’t a part of the four-man team interviewing potential head coaches. Farmer also becomes the de facto head of football operations, since Banner won’t be replaced. In the most incredible news of the day, it was announced Farmer had been signed to a four-year contract.

If you believe Farmer will be the Browns’ GM for four years, you’ll also believe Haslam’s going to name the downtown stadium after Art Modell.

Haslam was paired with former Eagles president Banner, who wore out his welcome in Philadelphia after a long tenure with owner Jeffrey Lurie and coach Andy Reid. The headstrong Banner was looking to run a franchise on his own, and Haslam decided to take him on as day-to-day steward. Haslam disputes the commonly held view that his partnership with Banner was an arranged marriage, because he said he interviewed him and chose him; Banner, he said, was forced on him by no one.

Banner convinced Haslam to hire Lombardi, disliked by many in Cleveland from his former tenure as GM with the Browns, and Lombardi came on board from his analyst’s role with NFL Network. Immediately Lombardi was a misfit. Except for special, one-off occasions, Lombardi was prevented from talking to the media, extremely odd for such a high-profile job in such a football-hungry town.

King referenced this May 10, 2013 Grantland story titled Black and Brown Blues - "A visit inside — OK, near — the Cleveland war room on the occasion of the NFL draft"

Elsewhere:

NFL.com - Jimmy Haslam: Cleveland Browns aren't dysfunctional

Aware that his team is perceived by some as a constantly churning clown car, Haslam dismissed the notion that the organization has sunk into complete dysfunction.

Simultaneously, the Browns are the first NFL team to fire both their head coach and general manager after just one season on the job, according to ESPN.

Haslam enabled a toxic environment to grow within the franchise by hiring Banner and then Lombardi. The Browns look silly to the rest of the nation, and that's 100 percent on Haslam, the new owner. The one positive, I guess, is that Haslam recognized his huge error in relatively quick fashion, and therefore, cleaned house. Maybe that's his business experience shining through. Sometimes, companies nix product ideas before they ever leave the lab.

Ian Rapoport tweet

What does #Browns upheaval mean for the future of Mike Pettine? Source says new GM Ray Farmer wasn’t present during head coach interviews

Does that mean that Pettine is not Farmer's "guy," and he could be fired after one season if the Browns only win a handful of games?

Cleveland.com - Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam redefines the term 'trigger happy'

NBC's Pro Football Talk - Peyton Manning could be Cleveland’s best hope

Sure, the Browns could use a quarterback like Peyton Manning. Over the long haul, they’d be better off with an executive like Peyton Manning.

Manning and Haslam have been linked for years, dating back to Peyton’s time at the University of Tennessee, where Haslam is a major booster. For years, the theory had been that Haslam would buy the Titans and hire Peyton to run the team. Haslam still has a team; he now simply needs someone to run it the way it needs to be run. By someone with the skills to run it. With Haslam taking his unqualified hands off the wheel.

Peyton has the track record, the work ethic, and the gravitas to succeed as an NFL executive, and to persuade the latest meddling NFL owner to stop meddling.

Peyton’s involvement also would go a long way toward making the Browns under Haslam look like something other than a clown show.

Niners Nation - Jimmy Haslam continues the dumpster fire that is the Cleveland Browns

Unstable, circus, dysfunctional, clown show, dumpster fire, the terms used to describe the Cleveland Browns at least up to Tue, Feb 11, 2014. Maybe now, starting with Wed, Feb 12, 2014, the Browns will be less of a circus. The Browns team has good talent in several positions. The Browns could be only a healthy, consistent QB away from 8 or 9 wins.

#browns - #nfl - #football - #sports - #blog_jr - #quote - #moronism

By JR - 1409 words
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