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Mixed views on possible Lombardi return to Cleveland

As the Browns make plans to lay the foundation for the first Vince Lombardi Trophy in franchise history, another guy named Lombardi who worked for the Browns franchise that used to be in Cleveland could be returning.  Or not.

Jason La Canfora of CBS recently floated Mike Lombardi’s name as a possible candidate to return to Cleveland, as a member of the front office under new CEO Joe Banner.  Stronger than the link to Cleveland is the fact that Lombardi once worked for Banner in Philadelphia, before the hiring of Andy Reid and coach and, essentially, the chief of the football operations.

Tony Grossi of has a somewhat (sarcasm) different assessment of the situation, capping an article on the possible switch from G.M. Tom Heckert to Lombardi like this:  “If Banner now is seriously considering Lombardi as a replacement for Heckert, who is eminently more qualified and can draft rings around Lombardi, then the Browns’ fortunes are not as promising as I once thought.”

Lombardi is a somewhat (no sarcasm) polarizing figure in league circles.  Regarded as close to his former boss in Cleveland, Bill Belichick, the current NFL Network employee gets access and scoop from Belichick but, to date, not a job.  (That said, Lombardi’s son has been hired by Belichick.)  In contrast, the late Al Davis publicly lambasted Lombardi during an anti-Lane Kiffin press conference.  (Then again, the list of folks Davis publicly lambasted is not a short one.)

Like any other NFL hire, player or otherwise, it only takes one team to make the move.  Banner told PFT Live earlier this month that the Browns hope to put the right mix of people together moving forward.  Whether Lombardi is in the mix to be part of that mix remains to be seen.

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16 Responses to “Mixed views on possible Lombardi return to Cleveland”
  1. joetoronto says: Oct 31, 2012 11:32 AM

    Don’t do it, he stinks.

  2. fuglyflorio says: Oct 31, 2012 11:33 AM

    Well … he certainly seems fat enough. And has the usual number of chins you find in Cleveland.

  3. tednancy says: Oct 31, 2012 11:42 AM

    There is obviously something personal between Grossi and Lombardi (understatement). Grossi, who I respect, has feuded with other Browns coaches/executives, including but not limited to Bill Belichick, Art Modell, Randy Lerner, Mike Lombardi, Mike Holmgren, and Eric Mangini. It’s probably just as fair to ask with whom Grossi HASN’T feuded. In other words, I’d take Grossi’s opinion of Lombardi with a giant grain of salt.

    I will never forget Grossi’s vendetta against Eric Mangini, which led to Mangini’s firing, Holmgren’s hiring, and the current mess that Jimmy Haslem is trying to clean up.

  4. raiderlyfe510 says: Oct 31, 2012 11:44 AM

    Lombardi….the man who built a Raider team that went like 21-79 in 10 years, who also wanted to hire Bobby Petrino as Raider Head Coach?

    Who in their right mind would hire him?

  5. realfootballfan says: Oct 31, 2012 12:02 PM

    Completely agree with Grossi. Anyone associated with football knows that Lombardi is a dope.

    Contrary to popular belief, Al Davis leaned on his underlings, and Lombardi was the top underling in that organization as they became the laughing stock of the league.

    Everyone thought Bill Bellichick was a mediocre coach at best until he ditched Lombardi.

    On top of his incompetence, his people skills are non-existent. Brown fans better hope this is just La Canfora doing a solid for a former colleague at the league network.

  6. MichaelEdits says: Oct 31, 2012 12:12 PM

    Hire him just to see Jim Haslam throw another “punting on 4th and short” fit in the owner’s box.

  7. brainslicer says: Oct 31, 2012 12:17 PM

    Lombardi is an idiot. Period.

  8. Reggie's Bush says: Oct 31, 2012 12:20 PM

    Lombardi is a dunce.

    Listen to 3 minutes of him on the BS report with Simmons and you’ll see it right away. His best work is fellating Billichek, kissing Simmons’ ass and comparing football players to basketball players.

  9. rajbais says: Oct 31, 2012 12:27 PM

    I like Lombardi on NFL Network!

    He’s my favorite studio analyst on TV!!!

    Granted I think he can be harsh at times towards certain players after watching tape, but he gives tips and information that you can rarely find from other analysts.

    Plus, every now and then he can have refreshing candor for viewers.

  10. fosnomore says: Oct 31, 2012 1:20 PM

    Please Banner.. Don’t hire Lombardi…There has been enough losing in Cleveland and they don’t need another lousy hire coupled with another failed atttempt to rebuild.

  11. gojags says: Oct 31, 2012 1:52 PM

    Lombardi getting any front office job has as much odds as Lombardi trading for Gabbert.

  12. fuzzynuts55 says: Oct 31, 2012 2:43 PM

    I don’t care who comes in as long as browns return to take there top spot with the steelers.

  13. jerruhjones says: Oct 31, 2012 7:29 PM

    Keep Heckert!

  14. hikohadon says: Nov 1, 2012 6:12 PM

    While I agree that Grossi has an unprofessional tendency to get into personal spats with pretty much every Browns executive (which led to his getting fired from the Plain Dealer), I have to agree with his assessment on this one.

    If Haslam & Banner hire Lombardi, it’ll signal that we’re in for more of the same.

  15. bumbleb572 says: Nov 2, 2012 10:17 AM

    I would rather hire Floyd Reese before Lombardi. Heckert has done some good and some bad, the question is can the Browns find someone better.

  16. realkelevra says: Nov 2, 2012 1:12 PM

    No thank you, I’m all full on Heckert…perhaps another team would like some Mike Lombardi.

    Here’s the thing, I always thought he was kind of weasely, as an analyst. Then I recently watched a documentary on the ’95 Browns in which I got the impression that his position was “guy who sits quietly in the corner while other, more talented guys who know what they’re doing, get it done.”

    Haslam/Banner had better put egos aside here, stick with what we have, because by the end of the season, this team is going to make them and everyone else realize the Browns have woken from their slumber.

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