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Mike Lombardi: Browns looking for sustained success, not giving up on 2013

Mike Lombardi, Joe Banner, Jimmy Haslam AP

Browns General Manager Mike Lombardi was the guest at the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s luncheon club on Monday, which meant that he spent a long period of time in front of a microphone talking and answering questions about his team.

It’s not something Lombardi has done a ton of since getting the job and one of the running themes of his appearance was evaluation. Lombardi talked about evaluating Brandon Weeden to see if he’s the long-term answer at quarterback, evaluating Jabaal Sheard to find out how he fits in the team’s new defensive scheme and evaluating center Alex Mack before deciding whether or not to sign him to a contract extension.

All of that evaluating and the trade of two 2013 draft picks for selections in 2014 led some to wonder if the Browns aren’t pinning all of their hopes on the future while looking past the season right in front of them. Lombardi was asked if that’s what the team was doing after being reminded that every new boss of the Browns has talked about building for futures that have wound up looking exactly like the past.

“I’m not sitting up here saying I’ve got a five-year plan, this is going to work. I’m telling you we’re building something. I’m not saying it’s for the future because I think it’s all going to come down to us making sure we make good decisions and moving forward. And I’m not asking for any more patience than anyone else,” Lombardi said, via Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon-Journal. “I’m just saying we’re going to build this thing the right way so we can sustain success. We’re certainly, by no means, thinking about giving up on the season …We’re going to go in there and compete. We’ve got some pieces to compete with. This team last year was in a lot of close games, had a lot of opportunities in the fourth quarter. I think we can build on that.”

After years and years of talk about building foundations for the future and counseling patience as plans work toward fruition, it’s a tough sell to come back with more of the same. That’s not to say that they’re doing it wrong. Sustained success is obviously the goal of every NFL team and the new group running the Browns has every right to do it the way they believe is best. It’s just all sounds awfully familiar after years of evaluation and planning have left the team in the exact same place it started.

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19 Responses to “Mike Lombardi: Browns looking for sustained success, not giving up on 2013”
  1. xman05 says: May 14, 2013 9:05 AM

    Evaluating center Alex Mack? Mack and Thomas have anchored the O-line for the past few seasons and have been one of the few strengths of this team. Please extend him.

  2. 49erstim says: May 14, 2013 9:16 AM

    That’s a cynical way to look at it. Browns fans are frustrated and deservedly so, but with a new owner and a new front office they cannot expect an overnight success. They are, however, within their rights to see improvement. Solid play in all 3 phases etc. That division is by no means locked up. Obviously Baltimore is the favorite, but they’ve lost a lot and with Pittsburgh going through their purging/salary cap mess this is the perfect time for a young and hungry Browns team to assert itself. Cincinnati is tough as well and they are improving even more. It is an uphill climb for sure….after all this isn’t the AFC South! Lol

  3. raiderlyfe510 says: May 14, 2013 9:20 AM

    How about becoming successful first, then worry about sustaining it.

  4. adm350 says: May 14, 2013 9:29 AM

    Target need a QB to come in and push Weeden and/or take his job. They got got great talent. Just need to shore it up here n there.

  5. whitdog23 says: May 14, 2013 9:32 AM

    5 year plan? LOL not long enough

  6. Joemontanaflacco says: May 14, 2013 9:35 AM

    Good point, 49erstim. Steelers are a huge mess and the FO is a 3-ring circus. Browns can easily sweep this team that doesn’t know whether it’s coming or going. Browns humiliated the Steelers last year and there’s no reason they can’t do it twice this time around.

  7. Steeler's Didn't-but-Will-eventually says: May 14, 2013 9:39 AM

    Brownie fans have good reason to be upbeat. They love their team, they have new ownership with plenty of changes being made, and the start of football is right around the corner.

  8. godofwine330 says: May 14, 2013 9:43 AM

    Sounds like same soup reheated. I have heard it all before, full of sound and fury…signifying nothing. I want a successful team more than almost anything, but I don’t want talking points. These guys are like politicians, talking for half an hour not saying a darned thing.

    I hope this time it is successful, even if this year is 6-10. Can we be constantly competitive is the question.

  9. jjb0811 says: May 14, 2013 9:51 AM

    I’m 40, and barely remember a few classic Browns games from the 80′s, & none from the 90′s till present. At some point the term ‘storied franchise’ has to wear off.

  10. chewingonlightbulbs says: May 14, 2013 9:58 AM

    “I’m not sitting up here saying I’ve got a five-year plan.”

    “I’m also not sitting up here saying I DON’T have a five-year plan. Just like Holmgren did. Just like Mangini did. Just like Phil Savage did. Just like Butch did. Just like…”

  11. realdealsteel says: May 14, 2013 10:10 AM

    Lombardi is doing the right thing but it’s so frustrating to Browns fans…and I get that. But the new front office has to energize that franchise and fan base at some point..and the way to do it is to get a real franchise QB.

    That will give the proper signal to the Browns fans that they are really on the way back.

    If Weeden doesn’t show remarkable improvement over last season, then they have no choice but to get a real QB next off-season by any means necessary.

    Phillip Rivers and Josh Freeman may be on the market.

  12. crownofthehelmet says: May 14, 2013 10:27 AM

    Isn’t Alex Mack one of your few good players? And how about some short-term success before talking sustained success?

  13. oldbrowndawg says: May 14, 2013 11:08 AM

    If you go through this roster position by position, you can’t find one at which this year’s Browns are not better than last year’s. With the group of young, talented offensive players they have and with the beefing up of the defense (not to mention the presence of two of the best coordinators in the league) this team should be head and shoulders above last year’s Browns. I will be very surprised if this team doesn’t reach 8-8 or 9-7 this year and they should then compete strongly next year. Again, rather than deal in platitudes and stale analysis of bygone years, take a look at this roster. It’s coming together as a very good team and these guys just may surprise a lot of people this year — many posters on this board and the PFT writers included.

  14. crownofthehelmet says: May 14, 2013 11:16 AM

    @oldbrowndawg says:

    If you go through this roster position by position, you can’t find one at which this year’s Browns are not better than last year’s.
    ——————————————————-
    Except for that minor position of QB.

  15. soup1282 says: May 14, 2013 11:23 AM

    Just read the whole transcript of what he said. He is a master of saying absolutely nothing when answering questions.

  16. mobuccsfan says: May 14, 2013 12:29 PM

    @soup1282 kind of like a politician. Lol.

    But seriously, will be great to see Cleveland become contenders again, as it will be with the Raiders. I don’t even like the Raiders but there is no denying that the league as a whole is better when these teams are competitive–it definitely makes it a little more exciting. I don’t mind teams going through some down years–it makes them and their fans appreciate it even more when things go good again. My only hope is that the Patriots have their down years fairly soon. I’d like to see Miami, Bills or heck, even the Jets (Not likely anytime soon with the mess they have going on there all the time) be competitive and fight for the division and playoffs for about five to ten years.
    I think Cleveland has some serious pieces in place.

    Also to the commenter about Rivers or Freeman possibly being available–am I the only one who thinks that if they both do end up leaving–they go on to take their next team to the playoffs consistently year-after-year until their careers end? I can just see the dang luck now. Williams left, wins Super Bowl. Young left, wins Super Bowl; sadly, Dilfer left and wins Super Bowl–of course to be fair, his defense really did win that SB and he was still an average QB, which is why I find his commentary on ESPN sometimes laughable and then at the same time maddening. Seems like he understands the position very well, just never translated it to the playing field enough–definitely not while he was in Tampa.

  17. christophershearin says: May 14, 2013 10:07 PM

    The fact that they are going to “evaluate” Mack tells you everything you need to know about this regime. They couldn’t field a winning team if given a pro bowl roster……. Here’s to x number of years of more heartbreak…….

  18. bensstinkyfingers says: May 14, 2013 10:39 PM

    What is wrong with the idea of winning this season? This browns fan is tired of hearing ” we’re building for the future, ist’s a process, etc. etc. Would really like to hear”we want to win this season, we have some holes ,but there is no reason not to go into this season believing we can make the playoffs this year at least as a wildcard. Many teams in the past have had losing records, new systems , coaches, and were able to make the playoffs the very next season. Grow a sack Lombarturd.

  19. mrfrostyj says: May 15, 2013 12:12 AM

    I feel bad for Browns fans. Good team that had terrible ownership who basically fired everyone every couple of years because he thought football worked like an X-box game (as long as I get whomever ESPN says is the best QB and the best coaching candidate I win the superbowl).

    This is probably the most hope that franchise has had in years now that he’s out of the picture and the current owner actually prioritizes the team but many are still skeptical due to the teams recent history. I think Cleveland will surprise people if not this season then next. They have a virtual all star team coaching staff that has a history of developing players based on their skills which is the one thing that keeps the Pats as contenders. After all, how many people said Cam Newton couldn’t function in the NFL and look what Chudzinski did with him and Weeden was a much more NFL ready player out of college than Newton.

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