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Lombardi says he needs time to form an opinion of Brandon Weeden

Brandon Weeden AP

As an NFL Network commentator, Mike Lombardi was critical of the Browns’ decision to spend a first-round draft pick on quarterback Brandon Weeden. So now that Lombardi has been hired to run the Browns’ front office, does that mean it’s time to find a new franchise quarterback?

At his introductory press conference as Cleveland’s new vice president of player personnel, Lombardi said he hasn’t made that decision yet. According to Lombardi, when he was evaluating Weeden from the perspective of a member of the media, he went through a different process than he will now go through as he evaluates Weeden from the perspective of the man whose job is to determine whether Weeden has what it takes to lead the team.

“It’s a different evaluation from a media perspective,” Lombardi said. “I think it’s going to take some time to study him. I’ve got to go back through and watch practice tapes. I think when you live in the building, I think you have a better understanding of the player moving forward, have an evaluation and do that. So it’s going to take some time for me to really formulate my final opinions of him. I think when you do media you certainly have commentary of games, but now I think it’s a different set of circumstances.”

Browns CEO Joe Banner declined to give a direct answer to the question of whether Lombardi has final say authority over Weeden or anyone else on the Browns’ roster, saying only that the front office and the coaching staff will be able to arrive at a consensus about any important decisions. Whoever has final say, the most important personnel decision to make will be finding the right quarterback.

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58 Responses to “Lombardi says he needs time to form an opinion of Brandon Weeden”
  1. asusundevils says: Jan 18, 2013 11:59 AM

    Hopefully not too much time, considering he’s almost 30.

  2. Mark Olwick says: Jan 18, 2013 12:01 PM

    I’m confused – is he VP of Player personnel or GM? If not GM, are they still hiring a GM?

  3. nyyjetsknicks says: Jan 18, 2013 12:02 PM

    He has 2 years of guaranteed money coming his way. I think the decision has already been made. It’s not like the Browns are known to spend a ton of money anyway.

  4. baller2 says: Jan 18, 2013 12:06 PM

    There are so many better candidates! Why would this guy get the job!
    I thought the browns were on the right track and this guy will derail it all!

  5. bengalsstillsuck says: Jan 18, 2013 12:09 PM

    Idc what people thinks i like this hire i think Lombardi has grown from years ago an will help make this team better.

  6. David says: Jan 18, 2013 12:10 PM

    BALL DON’T LIE.

  7. Kaz says: Jan 18, 2013 12:11 PM

    Lombardi will have to backtrack a lot of comments he’s said about the Browns over the years. He hasn’t been very…..well…. lets just say kind to them as an analysis over the years (last year).

  8. poet92581 says: Jan 18, 2013 12:14 PM

    Either you love your QB or your looking for one. There is no middle ground. There is no deep evaluation.

  9. jamaltimore says: Jan 18, 2013 12:20 PM

    Browns fans should be happy. Looks like things are moving in the right direction in cleveland. Someday they may finally beat Joe Flacco and the upcoming AFC champions

  10. norcal031 says: Jan 18, 2013 12:21 PM

    What does he mean a different evaluation from a media perspective when his job was to give us information in the eyes of a gm. Everything on tv is fake. For example who saw that Orange with white mold on top claiming to be Bill Parcells on ESPN a few days ago???

  11. mazblast says: Jan 18, 2013 12:21 PM

    It’s a good thing that Lombardi isn’t trying to play cornerback, because that’s a BAD backpedal.

    I think what he’s saying–without admitting it–is that as a member of the media, he can sling all kinds of sh** at people and not suffer any consequences, but as a member of management…

  12. skoobyfl says: Jan 18, 2013 12:21 PM

    He’s starting for them for 2 more years, minimum.

  13. PurpleRaid18 says: Jan 18, 2013 12:21 PM

    There will be no “General Manager” in Cleveland – they will work as a group. At least, that’s essentially how Banner put it at the press conference.

    Based on Lombardi’s relationship with Belichick I think the Browns should trade Weeden to the Patriots for Mallet and a 3rd round pick.

    Patriots get a good ‘developmental’ backup (Weeden) and reasonably fair compensation (third rounder) for a quarterback who is perfect for Browns HC Rob Chudzinski’s offense – the vertical pass. Not to mention, Lombardi was high on Mallet coming out of school.

    I’m not saying Weeden can’t be “the guy”, but he didn’t show a whole hell of a lot last season and even if he did a new regime isn’t going to go with a guy they didn’t draft, not to mention one that’s nearly 30 years old. Weeden would make sense as a backup to Tom Brady.

  14. buddysguys says: Jan 18, 2013 12:25 PM

    this franchise just set them selves back another 10 years……

  15. greg2geez says: Jan 18, 2013 12:26 PM

    Lombardi is a joke.

  16. maybenextyearbrowns says: Jan 18, 2013 12:26 PM

    Lombardi will draft the long snapper from Serbia with 6th pick.You should see him with snowballs.

  17. mojosmagic says: Jan 18, 2013 12:26 PM

    Times up. He stinks.

  18. cmonelisha says: Jan 18, 2013 12:30 PM

    “It’s a different evaluation from a media perspective,” Lombardi said. “I think it’s going to take some time to study him. I’ve got to go back through and watch practice tapes.
    __________________

    so he just pretty much admitted hes ignorant in his opinions of people coming out of college.. doesnt fully do his job in evaluating players and has no idea what weeden is capable or uncapable of doing.. gotcha!

  19. sellout1983 says: Jan 18, 2013 12:32 PM

    Kaz says:
    Jan 18, 2013 12:11 PM
    Lombardi will have to backtrack a lot of comments he’s said about the Browns over the years. He hasn’t been very…..well…. lets just say kind to them as an analysis over the years (last year).
    ————————————————–

    What has there been to say that’s positive? I’m not trying to be pithy, I’m just saying.

  20. coachbeck says: Jan 18, 2013 12:33 PM

    Lol weeden is bad. Wasted pick, when you cheap out you get Weeden instead of RG3. They will be replacing him straight away. 1st rd pick for mallett lol

  21. joemontanawasthegreatest says: Jan 18, 2013 12:35 PM

    Weeden is a serviceable QB but a franchise QB he is not.

  22. brownmud says: Jan 18, 2013 12:36 PM

    PurpleRaid18 says:Jan 18, 2013 12:21 PM

    —-

    Your going to trade a first round QB who played one (decent) season for a third round QB who has not played…..and the first round QB also comes with a 3rd round pick??? Come on Man!

  23. vicnocal says: Jan 18, 2013 12:37 PM

    “Cuz I’m just a Cleveland dirtbag, baby. I’m just a Cleveland dirtbag, baby.” – Brandon Weedus

    btw, this guy’s the same age as Jay Cutler.

  24. thestrategyexpert says: Jan 18, 2013 12:39 PM

    Sounds like Mike Lombardi is overthinking this one. There’s time you need to study a player, but player personnel logic is a quicker test that suggests he is not a valuable strategic play. Granted it isn’t a good idea to be fully candid and start blurting out definitive negative opinions about any players you might want to trade away, but if we take his comments at face value then it concerns me with regard to what direction he is planning on taking this team.

    He should be quick and sharply focused towards obvious targeted positions to redesign w/QB being one of them on his agenda. His posturing is making me nervous on behalf of the Browns’ future interests.

  25. landoverleap says: Jan 18, 2013 12:40 PM

    this is the man who took Marques Tuiasosopo in the 2nd round?

  26. brownspower says: Jan 18, 2013 12:41 PM

    Lombardi was also critical of Josh Gordon.
    It’s like the Browns hired a politician to be GM. He’ll say whatever he needs to say to keep the job.
    Another good example of friends hiring friends.

  27. Kaz says: Jan 18, 2013 12:46 PM

    Brown mud. Don’t look now but they are saying the Browns will trade the 6th overall pick for Mallet. I would post the link but not sure if the site will let me. Lombardi is high on him.

  28. seahawks4alltime says: Jan 18, 2013 12:46 PM

    So, when you are talking about evaluating the QB when does the receiving corps come up? Who is the deep threat on this Browns team? Who is the go to slant guy? Who is the awesome TE that serves as safety valve and pass protector?

    Football is a team sport and as a Seahawks fan I’ve seen what it’s like to go 2 and 14 with a few good players and then turn it around to become a solid team. Seattle still doesn’t have quite as dynamic a receiving corps as one would hope, but what there is has contributed to Russell Wilson’s success.

    Brandon Weeden could flourish with better talent around him.

    If you get rid of Weeden why wouldn’t you do a full rebuild?

  29. schmitty2 says: Jan 18, 2013 12:53 PM

    Lombardi was very critical of the Browns last year. Maybe he should have just took the Gruden approach and professed his adoring love for everyone

  30. cledawg says: Jan 18, 2013 12:58 PM

    Browns drafted a shotgun QB in Weeden to play in Shurmurs 3 step drop quick hit offense. Bringing in Norv Turner as an OC, with his vertical passing approach, I expect Weeden to have a better year.
    I can care less what Lombardi thinks of anyone. I care more about what our coaches think

  31. attyken says: Jan 18, 2013 12:58 PM

    And with the sixth pick in the 2013 NFL draft the Cleveland Browns select Manti T’eo…linebacker…Notre Dame. Clevelands defense is as nonexistent as his girlfriend.

  32. thegreatgabbert says: Jan 18, 2013 1:11 PM

    Lombardi has spent the last ten years or so, sitting on his fat butt forming opinions. Most of which have turned out to be ill thought out, poorly articulated, and completely wrong.

  33. sterilizecromartie says: Jan 18, 2013 1:12 PM

    @purpleraid18

    Weeden as a “developmental backup” to Brady? Weeden is like 30 years old! Brady has gone on record that he plans to play at least 3-4 more years. So, in your eyes, they should groom Weeden so he can take over the starting job at age 34? Good lord….

  34. hoopieguy says: Jan 18, 2013 1:13 PM

    Oh my, we are soooo very screwed. Lombardi and Banner are idiots, Weeded was a mistake, there are no QBs in the draft or free agency……..the pain goes on. And on, and on…………

  35. mhs8031 says: Jan 18, 2013 1:14 PM

    Lombardi has been critical of the Browns, which is probably why they hired him. The Julio Jones trade created picks that should have been used to turn the team around. Instead, a RB and 29-year old backup quality QB. RBs are a dime a dozen, with a few exceptions, and a good back looks average behind an average line and an average back looks great behind a very good line line. I would have grabbed an offensive lineman or WR and a CB.

    Lombardi does not need time to assess Weeden. What he does at Practice is not going to impact his decision. What was Lombardi supposed to say? I think his response tells us what we all knew already…He wants a good QB. This is not the draft to get one, however.

  36. mhs8031 says: Jan 18, 2013 1:16 PM

    Hoopieguy–I hear Derek Anderson wants to return to where it all began. He is better now, and better than Colt Weeden

  37. ijahru says: Jan 18, 2013 1:17 PM

    Cleveland would have been better off starting Colt another year and using the Weeden pick on an offensive weapon like Fleener. Personally I would have taken Blackmon at 3 and a defensive player with their second pick like Harrison Smith

  38. purplekoolaid1 says: Jan 18, 2013 1:33 PM

    Translation: Weeden isn’t my guy, I’m on the search for another option.

  39. raiderlyfe510 says: Jan 18, 2013 1:33 PM

    Browns should have hired Dave Razzano instead of Lombardi. Are you kidding me. Razzano will run circles, squares, and triangles around Lombardi when it comes to scouting.

    The buffoonery in NFL front offices doesn’t cease to amaze me.

  40. slowclyde86 says: Jan 18, 2013 1:33 PM

    Lombardi says “he needs time to form an opinion of Brandon Weeden”. Translation: Banner has not yet told him what to think yet.

  41. trollaikman8 says: Jan 18, 2013 1:34 PM

    Tell him to watch the Eagles game.

  42. stoolerz says: Jan 18, 2013 1:39 PM

    PLEASE, as aBrowns fan, have pity on us and do us a favor. Since it is obvious that Haslam does not give a crap about the fans-Please stop going to any Flying J truckstop for gas if you do already. The only way to get his attention on how he is destroying the little hope we have left is to hit him in the pocketbook.

  43. circuscivics says: Jan 18, 2013 1:39 PM

    The same guy that was destroying Burfict. The same guy that had doubts about Russell Wilson succeeding. Yea, I have a lot of confidence in his eye for talent (sarcasm)

  44. bunkmcnulty says: Jan 18, 2013 1:42 PM

    I was doing a little checking. His last year with the Raiders was 2007. Anyone want to tell me who the Raiders took #1 overall in 2007? (Hint: sounds Remarcus Jussell). And anyone want to discuss the guaranteed money in that deal? ($32 M over 3 years to save the research).

    Mr. Weedon, take a breath. Not sure Mr. Lombardi’s track record with QB’s is harmed by you being in Cleveland.

    Make no mistake, AD called the shots in Oakland. Still, that #1 pick in 2007 is on Lombardi’s resume.

  45. shadowrider2005 says: Jan 18, 2013 1:44 PM

    Translation, “I’m going to give him enough rope to hang himself”

  46. edavidberg says: Jan 18, 2013 1:51 PM

    Lombardi had a plan to trade for I think Bobby Hoyer to build around when he was interviewing for gm jobs a year ago. It’s a shame because while it will be tough for the Browns to do worse, it sure doesn’t look like the new regime is any better.

    Weeden btw showed enough to keep playing next year. He needs to avoid the disastrous turnovers but he made some really nice throws too.

  47. Deb says: Jan 18, 2013 1:54 PM

    Felt so optimistic for the Browns when they hired Norv Turner as their OC. Now all that comes to mind is … I’m so sorry!

    Sure hope Lombardi–coupled with Banner–won’t be the disaster everyone (including me) fears. I may be a Steelers diehard, but good grief, the Browns have suffered enough.

  48. 3yardsndust says: Jan 18, 2013 2:15 PM

    Lombardi isn’t even his real name. He changed it to try to get a gig writing sports, and it worked.

  49. dcollins8 says: Jan 18, 2013 2:21 PM

    He is the genius that said he would go and trade for Hoyer if he was a gm of a team. He is obsessed with NE players.

  50. pmars64 says: Jan 18, 2013 2:37 PM

    Lombardi = Banner’s mouthpiece
    Concensus decision-making = Banner makes all decisions.

    Chudzinski won’t have a chance. Banner will be calling plays.

    1-15 in two years.

  51. budmanjim says: Jan 18, 2013 2:40 PM

    As an old Browns fan I can’t fathom how Haslem can hire Banner & Lombardi to run the club he spent a BILLION to own…As a successful businessman I would certainly think he would do his due diligence better that what he did…. Getting older, can’t take much more stupidity from the Browns…

  52. donmcg2012 says: Jan 18, 2013 2:42 PM

    Organization going in reverse big time imo. We did hire men used to losing though so they won’t be shocked when it continues.

  53. lbcoach34 says: Jan 18, 2013 2:48 PM

    regardless – the move to draft him at #22 was a panic button move

    he has a cannon arms – but he would’ve been there in round 2 or maybe even 3

  54. thebigcaptain2011 says: Jan 18, 2013 3:00 PM

    I’m curious: Did the Browns actually think this was the best man for the job? Was this a situatuion where Lombardi was hired because he was friends with ownership? This was aterrible hire. A young up and coming team needs a young GM to help build. This is going to end poorly and in 5 years (if not sooner) Cleveland fans will have to sit there and hear about how things willbe different with the next regime.

  55. jimmyrhythm says: Jan 18, 2013 4:31 PM

    So….nobody’s willing to wait and see what happens when the team actually takes the field next season? Everyone’s jumping ship without giving the new crew a chance? Everyone figuring that all of a sudden the sharp businessman that built himself a nice little empire shelled out a billion for a team he wants to run into the ground? Paid all that money for a corporation that suddenly he has no idea how to run? I’m going to wait until I see how the team fares on the field before I abandon ship.

  56. ajsjr40 says: Jan 18, 2013 7:52 PM

    Mallet is light years better than Weeden to build a team around. If it weren’t for the character BS he would have gone top ten out of Arkansas. He has learned from the best over the last two years. It would take a lot to pry him from the Pats with Brady turning 36 next year.

  57. coop16 says: Jan 18, 2013 11:01 PM

    Like any Browns fan I’m not jumping ship. I’ve suffered with them for many, many years … it would be silly to give up on them now. Who knows, they might actually be good in ten years or so. But it isn’t going to happen real soon. The new regime has pressed the reset button, fired everybody and tossed out all of the progress that the previous regime had made. But the most important thing in the NFL is the QB position, and the fact is that the Browns just don’t have a decent QB. Yeah, I wish Weeden was The Answer. He seems like a good guy. But he’s terrible. He doesn’t even compare to any of his fellow rookie QBs (Luck, RG3, Wilson, Tannehill, Cousins), much less any half-decent NFL veterans, many of whom are younger than he is. Let’s face it, we just aren’t going anywhere until we get a real NFL QB, and no, we don’t have one now. Can some guy like Lombardi find the QB who can finally take us someplace besides the AFC North’s cellar? Doubtful, but we have no choice but to hope for the best at this point.

  58. jwreck says: Jan 19, 2013 10:22 AM

    I’m not an NFL professional, but here’s the only opinion Lombardi should be coming up with: Weeden is good, but not good enough, spend a second or third rounder on a training camp competition quarterback who can potentially take Weeden’s job, ala Russell Wilson and Matt Flynn, or at very least heat Brandon’s seat enough that he steps his game up to the next level.

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