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Jimmy Haslam thinks Browns are “very close” to being in playoff mix

Jimmy Haslam, Tom Heckert AP

Ever since he bought the team earlier this year, Browns owner Jimmy Haslam has said that he will hold off on making any decisions about the future of General Manager Tom Heckert or coach Pat Shurmur until after the season comes to an end.

Haslam stuck to that during an interview with Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, but he did offer a potential hint into where his head is at as the team prepares to make those decisions. Haslam pointed to a series of close losses in games that the Browns could’ve won in the fourth quarter as a sign that the team is close to doing bigger and better things.

“I think we have better players and we’re better coached (than last year). We’re 3-8, but if you went back through the season, I could make a case where we could easily be 6-5,” Haslam said. “Dallas, Philly, Indy are all games I think we should’ve won. If we win those three games, we’re 6-5 and in the hunt for the playoffs, right? We’re very close.”

You could argue that a team that’s “very close” should stick with what’s working in order to take the next step. You could also argue that bringing in a coach other than Shurmur could be the thing that takes them from being close to being where they want to be. We’ll have to wait another month or so to find out which why Haslam and the Browns choose to go.

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32 Responses to “Jimmy Haslam thinks Browns are “very close” to being in playoff mix”
  1. captainvilfo says: Nov 30, 2012 9:55 AM

    LOL

  2. pooflingingmonkey says: Nov 30, 2012 9:58 AM

    Sure they are! Just as soon as the NFL expands the playoff field to 32 teams, the Browns will have a shot at the playoffs.

  3. galatians62 says: Nov 30, 2012 10:03 AM

    I think the Browns need a QB. Bet they wished they had Kaepernick right now.

  4. nigellino says: Nov 30, 2012 10:04 AM

    Basically, every team in the NFL is “very close” to winning games: that’s called “parity”. I believe that the only teams that should go around talking about being close to the playoffs are teams that either: 1) have a winning record or 2) have been consistently competitive in the past 3-5yrs.

    In other words, I’ll believe it when I see it Mr Haslam!

  5. sterilizecromartie says: Nov 30, 2012 10:08 AM

    They were also “very close” when Mangini was there. But they decided to make a change and start over. And I’m sure they will do the same this offseason.

    The cycle continues.

  6. t8ertot says: Nov 30, 2012 10:11 AM

    Close but no cigar

  7. milkmandanimal says: Nov 30, 2012 10:12 AM

    Cleveland’s not that far from Canada, right? So, CFL Browns?

  8. cledawg says: Nov 30, 2012 10:16 AM

    Finally an owner who gives a crap. Non Browns fans who post here have zero clue what we went through with Randy Lerner who had no interest in being a NFL owner.
    For us hearing an owner get excited about the team, and actually know whats going on is a huge win.
    We are the youngest team in the AFC, and in a division that is aging, this team can be something in a year or 2

  9. fuglyflorio says: Nov 30, 2012 10:20 AM

    I’ll have one of whatever he’s drinking.

  10. totallyuselessme says: Nov 30, 2012 10:21 AM

    We’ve been competitive in every game AND we beat the Steelers. I’ll take that over some of the years we’ve had, trust me.

    Weeden’s played okay, but ultimately unless he was already a superstar, franchise-type QB then he wasn’t worth a first-round pick.

    So, he wasn’t worth a first-round pick, he diminished Colt’s value while never giving the kid a fair shot (IE, with some actual playmakers like Trent Richardson on the offense, or any semblance of a top-level WR).

    Holmgren had us on the right track before this year – the Julio Jones trade made sense, and we got some good guys out of it – but blowing a first-rounder on a guy that’s knocking on 30’s door was a real setback.

  11. citiciti says: Nov 30, 2012 10:21 AM

    Clean Sweep.

  12. mistakeonthelake says: Nov 30, 2012 10:22 AM

    Those close games were lost because of Shurmur. We dominated Dallas in the first half, and then came out in the 3rd quarter in a prevent defense and a clock killing run game. What idiot thinks a 13 pt lead is so insurmountable that he can kill two entire quarters. The same thing happened against the Eagles, the Colts, and the Giants. Shurmur doesn’t play to win, he plays to not lose…which is exactly why he loses.

  13. sterilizecromartie says: Nov 30, 2012 10:36 AM

    @ cledawg

    Your owner is a Steelers fan at heart. Just let that sink in before you go overboard on how great he is.

  14. brownstown33 says: Nov 30, 2012 10:37 AM

    As a Browns fan, this is exactly what we have been waiting for! There is optimism in NE Ohio! This season has showed us what kind of guys suit up for the orange and brown every Sunday. The non Browns fan that are posting on here are just haters and we will be laughing when we’re in the playoff mix in the next couple of seasons. As a predominantly young team the maturation process is is full swing and we are building a team of a scary good defense and an offensive that has some young skill position players who are gaining comfort in the NFL.

    GO BROWNS!

  15. getyourownname says: Nov 30, 2012 10:38 AM

    If I were a Browns fan, I would be very encouraged. The owner appears to get it.

  16. bigdaddybullwhip says: Nov 30, 2012 10:58 AM

    I think the Ravens, Steelers and Bengals are “very close” to chasing the Browns out of Cleveland and to L.A.

  17. dws123 says: Nov 30, 2012 10:59 AM

    It seems laughable on the surface, but this Browns team is incredibly young and has the most talent since their return in ’99. If these young guys are able to improve, it’s very plausible that they’re only a couple plugs and a competent head coach away from being playoff contenders.

  18. NoobTubeTV says: Nov 30, 2012 10:59 AM

    Considering all the Browns haters out there I am assuming they are fellow AFC North fans. Otherwise I am just confused.

  19. geezohman says: Nov 30, 2012 11:02 AM

    i think he is ‘close’ in his comments, but forgot to check out his QB ranking which i understand remains at #32.

    Obviously with Richardson but not with Weeden.

    They got one of those wins by beating a 3rd string QB starting for the first time, lot of rust, normally then that would be a loss.

  20. dws123 says: Nov 30, 2012 11:07 AM

    @sterilizecromartie

    Haslam proclaimed himself a “1,000% Steelers fan” when he owned a stake in the team. Who puts money into something and says, “I hope this thing I invested in fails”?

    His roots are in Tennessee, where his dad played for the Vols and he continues to be a major booster. So Haslam is a Titans fan at heart, not Steelers.

    “I will have absolutely no problem against the Tennessee Titans just like I didn’t when we were with the Steelers. The governor of Tennessee may feel a little bit differently. He’s not part of this transaction, but we’ll want to beat them as bad as we’ll want to beat anybody else.”

  21. ravenution says: Nov 30, 2012 11:11 AM

    The Browns are the youngest while the rest of the AFCN is aging? Delusional!

    The Bengals are on the upswing despite having to deal with an owner that will always hold them back.

    The Ravens and Steelers are gifted at retooling while contending.

    The Browns have a 30 year old rookie QB that stinks.

  22. realitypolice says: Nov 30, 2012 11:14 AM

    Almost every team can go through their record and find 2-3 games they “could” have won.

    If your going to play the “could have” game, they very easily “could have” lost the Chargers game and they “would have” lost the Pittsburgh game if the Steelers hadn’t kept putting the ball on the ground.

    Point is, to paraphrase Bill Parcells, you are what your record says you are.

  23. hrdcorbengalsfan says: Nov 30, 2012 11:15 AM

    So funny to listen to cle fans! Poor things…no one understands what it’s like but them!

  24. agelardi says: Nov 30, 2012 11:16 AM

    Jimmy Haslam is as delusional about this team as Rex Ryan is about his. Jimmy should hire Rex to coach his team after the Jets fire him at the end of the season.

  25. bigtrav425 says: Nov 30, 2012 11:29 AM

    We are close..all we need is a QB,2 wr’s,a right guard and tackle, a CB, 2 LB’s and a new coach away…..lol…i love his Optimism tho! hopefully he comes thru unlike Randy Lerner

  26. cledawg says: Nov 30, 2012 11:33 AM

    ^ Bigdaddybullwhip.

    Interesteing. You are talking about the blackout bengals we split wins with this year..And the Steelers we are 1-0 against this year.
    If any team is going to LA from the AFC north its the Bengals…Like your match.com profile the Bengals have zero interest

  27. yourmomcalled says: Nov 30, 2012 11:50 AM

    mistakeonthelake says:Nov 30, 2012 10:22 AM

    Shurmur doesn’t play to win, he plays to not lose…which is exactly why he loses.
    ————————–

    Sounds like Pete Carroll

  28. mikoltz says: Nov 30, 2012 12:47 PM

    I don’t care about his opinion on playoffs…. Just keep Heckert…. that is all I ask.

  29. grogansheroes says: Nov 30, 2012 3:50 PM

    I’ve been a Pats fan for over forty years. So I know what good ownership means. I do think the Browns are on the right track. Sign a couple of free agent in spots of weakness, and hit on a couple of draft picks. The Steelers and Ravens are getting up there in age, I can see the Browns competing for the division title in the next couple of years.

  30. bengalsstillsuck says: Nov 30, 2012 3:53 PM

    If your not a fan of the Patriots the Steelers the Packers or the Giants then shut up there the only teams who done anything the last decade just wait an see idk whats gonna happen as a Browns fan but its alot better than being a Dallas a Chargers a Jets or a Eagles fan
    GO BROWNS

  31. Dynasty says: Nov 30, 2012 9:00 PM

    John Gruden ……. Browns head coach. Joins T-Rich n makes run!

  32. td40 says: Dec 1, 2012 1:48 PM

    Let’s see… Rookie QB, rookie RB, a rookie WR or two, and a boatload of other first and second year players on the youngest team in the league- coached by a clueless 2nd year coach and an OC and DC who are in their first year with the team. For all those who are ragging on the Browns, gee, you’re right- we should all expect so much more out of this team, right? Sigh…

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