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Haslam knows that, until things change, the jokes will continue

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The NFL is the ultimate zero-sum game. For every winner, there’s a loser. For every good team, there’s a bad team.

For most of the past generation, the Browns have been among the bad teams in the NFL. Owner Jimmy Haslam knows that, until this changes, the Browns will be the butt of jokes.

“Until we start winning, people are going to make fun of you,” Haslam said this week at the league meetings in Florida, via Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. “So it’s our job to get the right people in place to hopefully turn this thing around like we all want to see, and we’re cautiously optimistic we’ve done that.”

The right people may be in place behind the scenes. But whether the right players are in place is a different issue, especially with receiver Travis Benjamin, safety Tashaun Gipson, center Alex Mack, and tackle Mitchell Schwartz departing via free agency.

“We all knew they were good players,” chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta said in Florida, via Ulrich. “We want to get to that point where we have enough of a critical mass of our core guys that it makes sense to retain them all. . . . That day, I think we all felt like, this is going to be our hardest day, and if we can get past this, then it’s looking up from here, which is good. I think we’ll be in a position going forward to go retain a lot of those guys.”

Haslam had similar views.

“We had a plan in place, and I think you have to look at those situations individually,” Haslam said. “[They’re] good players who made good contributions to the organization, but we have a plan in place, and we’re not going to panic and knee jerk over things.”

So how long will it take to turn things around?

“I think it’s multiple years,” Haslam said. “On the other hand, we have a very competitive head coach who wants to win every game. But the key theme to take away is that we feel really good about the group we have in place. They’re working together extremely well, and we’re going to be very patient with them and give them time to develop the plan we put together.”

The real question is whether Haslam will have the patience to see the current plan through. It’s easy to commit when the record is 0-0. If/when the losses mount, will Haslam lose faith in his latest new-look front office and coaching staff?

The answer won’t be known unless and until the struggles of past years continue into 2016.

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54 Responses to “Haslam knows that, until things change, the jokes will continue”
  1. cross300 says: Mar 26, 2016 7:20 PM

    One main thing that Haslam missed from his great plan. The owner that is in place asking the homeless who to draft and issuing edicts to go get RG3 is a dumpster fire. He is the main thing holding the franchise back. Until he is gone Clevland will fail. Harsh truth but still the truth.

  2. jjb0811 says: Mar 26, 2016 7:31 PM

    Even Cinny came back from death (8o’s and 90’s) to make the playoffs.

  3. phooteballs says: Mar 26, 2016 7:32 PM

    Haslam announced to their ticket holders that there is a rebate system for their season ticket holders until the team turns around. I’m sure it’s honest and not at all complicated.

  4. Underdawgs says: Mar 26, 2016 7:37 PM

    “Dumpster Fire”, “homeless guy”, “factory of sadness”, “owner is cheap”.

    When a comment has one or more of these phrases relating the Browns, its clear the author is incapable of producing an independent thought.

  5. nenlain says: Mar 26, 2016 7:39 PM

    Done what? You ain’t turned the corner yet, you’re not even close to the 50, best not kick this one yet.😛

  6. wyrdawg says: Mar 26, 2016 7:39 PM

    Then, umm… you probably should know, bro:

    Cleveland fans DO NOT want to read your comments. YOU screwed the pooch with the “Johnny Foolsball Homeless Guy” comments. You’re making them look foolish, my man.

    Thought you would’ve figured that out by now: you lost credibility. Good luck, sir.

    They’ll eat your lunch, as they should.

  7. iceracer2015 says: Mar 26, 2016 7:43 PM

    Not hiring/firing coaches & front office guys every seven minutes might be a good idea, too, Jimmy.

  8. wyrdawg says: Mar 26, 2016 7:44 PM

    And until your team’s collective brain-trust produces? Suck it up, brother… and stay off of the message boards.

    – Dumpster fire
    – Homeless guy
    – Factory of sadness
    – Owner is cheap (haven’t seen that one, but since you threw it out there. I’ll disagree)

    Are you paying for tickets, sir? This is nothing new.

    The Cleveland Browns are a joke.

  9. evilglazers666 says: Mar 26, 2016 7:58 PM

    How long before he begins his jail term?

  10. hoosierhandicapper says: Mar 26, 2016 7:58 PM

    jjb0811 says:
    Mar 26, 2016 7:31 PM
    Even Cinny came back from death (8o’s and 90’s) to make the playoffs.

    ——————-

    @jjbo… really? So you’re saying there’s a chance?

    Jeez, the Bungles did it by taking character shortcuts at every single turn and when the moment was at it’s apex in the playoffs, those shortcuts blew up in their face. Deservedly so.

    Browns = Factory Of Sadness and turning over coaches every year or two is going to ensure that it continues. That, plus the Moneyball clowns they brought in.

  11. genericcommenter says: Mar 26, 2016 8:32 PM

    The Bengals were in the Super Bowl at the beginning AND end of the 80s. Nice death there. The Browns have been there just a tad fewer times.

  12. elcapiton says: Mar 26, 2016 8:32 PM

    Perhaps change will come once you are fitted for your orange jump suit Mr Haslam

  13. starrfavrerodgers says: Mar 26, 2016 8:41 PM

    Hue Jackson seems like a good guy and good coach. Hopefully he knew the Browns were implementing and MLB style rebuild. The game plan is to accrue as many draft picks as possible, while pretty much making sure they are picking Top 5 for the next 3 years.

  14. bornahawker says: Mar 26, 2016 8:41 PM

    Cleveland had some of the best fans in the league. The years of continuous losing takes its toll on even the die hards. I do not practice to much empathy for $ cow football teams, but as an exception I really feel for the Dawg Pounds die hards. I sure hope the Browns win 9 games in a season before 2021. 5 years Hue, help them heal man.
    Go Hawks

  15. abninf says: Mar 26, 2016 8:53 PM

    When you choose to change coaches every 1-2 seasons, and cause your team to have to rebuild every 1-2 seasons, you make yourself look like a joke. The Tom Landry’s and Jimmy Johnson’s would have never lasted with an owner like Haslam. They both would have been fired after their first seasons.

  16. mrfrostyj says: Mar 26, 2016 8:54 PM

    I love the answers they gave because let’s face it they’re right. The guys were good players…. The team was 3-13 so obviously they weren’t THAT good.

    Haslam is the best owner the Browns have had in generations. That’s part of the reason people are so critical because just like Browns fans, he has a “win now” mentality and if you’ve ever watched the guy in the owners booth during games he’s not the calmest guy in the world which has lead to some knee/jerk decisions. That’s no different than Browns fans who chant for the backup QB at the first incompletion from the starter and want the coach fired if he’s 0-1. While that’s not good for an owner it’s still better than the “oh yeah I do have a football team” ownership they had with Randy Lerner and the “I can’t afford my players but it’s ok because I can buy a superbowl ring right?” ownership of Art Modell. If he can learn patience it’ll eventually pay off like it did for the Patriots who were the jokes of the league back when the Browns were good and also just needed an ownership change from an absentee owner to a hands on guy that everyone thought was intrusive till they started winning superbowls a few years later.

  17. rcali says: Mar 26, 2016 9:10 PM

    I wonder if they could make some extra money having tours showing off their Analytics Machine room? That money could then go to paying fans to actually show up on Sunday’s. Just a thought.

  18. pacodawg says: Mar 26, 2016 9:31 PM

    No problem with them changing coaches. Def bad hires but u must cut bait and move on. Take ur lumps but u did the right thing. For God sake pettine made bowe a captain against the Chiefs!

  19. hexy27 says: Mar 26, 2016 9:57 PM

    Bengals love is funny. They were garbage in the ’90s and they are still playoff garbage. They may be the best team in Ohio, but who cares?

    I did like Icky spiking the cold cuts though.

  20. chesswhileyouplaycheckers says: Mar 26, 2016 10:00 PM

    mrfrostyj says:
    Mar 26, 2016 8:54 PM
    Haslam is the best owner the Browns have had in generations.
    ____________

    While I’ll give you Randy boy as a lousy owner let’s keep in mind he was equal opportunity. He did an even worse job devastating then selling off the company his father built. Randy Lerner’s sole accomplishment in life was winning the birth lottery. I do take exception to blowing right past his father though. Al Lerner brought football back to Cleveland. He was a self made man that succeeded at everything he ever put his hand to. Had he not been afflicted with brain cancer shortly after buying the franchise rights the whole sorry saga that followed might never have happened.

  21. logicaldawg says: Mar 26, 2016 10:06 PM

    In part, I blame PFT for fueling this. The Browns are one of the iconic franchises of all time. We don’t care if you or your readers respect us but here is some education:

    We may be on an 87-185 run since ’99, but were a solid 421-270 prior to that, for a combined winning percentage just a shade ahead of Pittsburgh. With 8 championships and 16 Hall of Famers (and another first ballot one currently at left tackle), you’d have to admit this is all pretty impressive. But we don’t care if you do and aren’t waiting.

    When we lost our team after ’95, we fought the league to get it back. And won. We the Dawg Pound are far too resilient to concern ourselves with the jokes of the ignorant mob.

    GO BROWNS!

  22. steelcity780 says: Mar 26, 2016 10:12 PM

    Thank you Jimmy, Things are going better than we planned.
    Signed,
    THE STEELERS ORGANIZATION

  23. marshmont says: Mar 26, 2016 10:22 PM

    haslam is a fool..let a top notch exec in charge and stay away for five years..he sees all the money he has (only god knows why) and thinks he is a genius…i.e. peter angelos..I looked up meddeling in the dictionary and there was his pic..

  24. boctavious says: Mar 26, 2016 10:24 PM

    Just win Browns. That’s all I care about. Start winning some damn football games. Sick of the losing.

  25. f1restarter says: Mar 26, 2016 10:32 PM

    One generation? Child’s play. The Minnesota Vikings have been an utter laughingstock for at least three generations, with no end in sight.

  26. bigjeter says: Mar 26, 2016 10:38 PM

    Haslem stole money from thousands of truckers. But he will never have any consequences for that because he is too big to jail. The rich get to do whatever they want, without consequences.

  27. bigjeter says: Mar 26, 2016 10:39 PM

    Haslem just indicated that the plan is to take the team that picks second in the draft, and tear it down and make it worse, so that they can somehow get better later. How?

  28. cantescapekarma says: Mar 26, 2016 11:30 PM

    I really hope Haslam gives Hue Jackson a good 5 years to turn that team around. They need consistency very badly. Hue is a well respected NFL coach who chose to take what is probably his last shot at being a head coach with Cleveland, I huge risk to say the least. He deserves more than 2 years.

  29. justintuckrule says: Mar 26, 2016 11:49 PM

    Coming from the most knee jerk owner in sports.

  30. anusfur says: Mar 27, 2016 12:23 AM

    I still think Jimmy Haslam is going to be indicted. That is why Dee Haslam is now around. But he will never really go away.

    He can’t be patient. He’s the classic micromanager who can’t get out of his own way. He’s now paying 4 different management teams. It’s too bad owning an NFL team has no real financial penalty for being terrible at what you do. The money continues to flow because suckers like us will watch anything NFL.

    You are stuck with Haslam, Cleveland.

  31. rpbags says: Mar 27, 2016 5:36 AM

    Been trying to turn it around since about 1976 but in just a few more years i think the Browns can will 6 games a year but until then i will just hope that they relocate again and never come back!

  32. igornathanhiggers says: Mar 27, 2016 9:01 AM

    I wanted to give the Browns the benefit of the doubt when they hired Hue Jackson…

    Then they went and spent money on QBIII…

    I mean can you get a clue?…PFT ran a story here, Washington media let it be known that the Broncos called various sources–Brian Mitchell for example–to inquire bout QBII.

    A team who knows what they’re doing, has an eye for talent and the resources to develop said talent decided trading for Butt Fumble Sandchez was a better option than signing QBIII. Butt Fumble-rooskie can’t throw an accurate ball with any zip more than 20 yds, this guy defied the laws of peripheral vision and ran into a butt directly in front of him, got dropped like a prom dress and fumbled…quite possibly the most embarrassing play I’ve ever seen!

    Of course it had to be the Browns that signed QBIII!

  33. lukedunphysscienceproject says: Mar 27, 2016 10:26 AM

    People who think Haslem is going to spend much, if any, time in prison understand very little about how our criminal injustice system works.

  34. j0esixpack says: Mar 27, 2016 10:40 AM

    As a football fan first and foremost, it should give no one any pleasure to see one of the all time great football towns be toyed around with so much by the NFL

    Goodell and the owners who pull his strings have let the Browns become a joke

    Before they focus on a team in London they should make sure they have a good team in Cleveland

  35. j huber says: Mar 27, 2016 10:51 AM

    Every new coach says the same thing, that they are still rebuilding after 30 years and how many regime changes ? The mistake by the lake is still the sadness factory.

  36. texansdude says: Mar 27, 2016 11:03 AM

    That title needs a little work.

    “Haslam knows that the joke will continue.”

    There. No charge. Glad to help.

  37. TheBrownsareClowns says: Mar 27, 2016 11:23 AM

    Jimmy Gump you are a joke. And the dumb Browns fans are stupid to keeping their season tickets to watch this garbage excuse for football being played.

    You have no one to blame but yourselves Browns fans that go and pay to go watch this joke of a franchise play. You are the dumb ones. Jimmy Gump is just giving u what u keep showing up for, crappy football

  38. oregonraider says: Mar 27, 2016 12:12 PM

    The beatings will continue until morale improves… Captain Bligh Haslam.

  39. jmc8888 says: Mar 27, 2016 12:38 PM

    “We all knew they were good players,” chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta said in Florida, via Ulrich. “We want to get to that point where we have enough of a critical mass of our core guys that it makes sense to retain them all. . . . That day, I think we all felt like, this is going to be our hardest day, and if we can get past this, then it’s looking up from here, which is good. I think we’ll be in a position going forward to go retain a lot of those guys.”

    You don’t get better by getting rid of your good players. They didn’t just let those guys go. They also released some of their best players.

    They weren’t hampered by the cap. You don’t need 75 percent of your cap open first before you go on a spree. You shouldn’t even want your team to go on a massive wasteful spree.

    They let their players leave, didn’t sign anyone, and THEN DECIDED to RELEASE some of their other best players.

    Seriously?

    They claim to have a plan, and I’m sure they do have one. But it looks like a very bad and insane plan.

    There is no reason to dump all your good players. There is no ‘moneyball’ rationale that says you need to get rid of everyone.

    In fact, you need to meet a minimum salary, and in the NFL, there are no Yankees vs A’s gap. There is a salary cap, and all teams can spend to the salary cap, because they get far more then that just from the TV deals.

    There is no valid rationale for doing what they are doing. The only cheap one would be… we want our coach to have ‘his’ guys. But that’s not what they are saying.

    They even let out that they are looking for critical mass. Well that won’t happen when you get rid of all your good players. You can’t find a critical mass with nothing and trending less.

    Who is moron enough to not only sign RGIII, but sign him after getting rid of some of your best linemen?

    It’s like buying a new car, putting on the donut tire… just because, and then driving 120 mph on the freeway. It just a really dumb thing to do, like pretty much everything these idiots have done since they took over.

    Then again, they didn’t win anything in baseball with their approach, and every team uses advanced stats now anyways.

    The jokes will continue, especially when the new regime looks more incompetent then the old ones.

    Maybe they aren’t, but whatever plan they have, what they’ve done in free agency, and the releases they have done since then, are aside any strategy, and are doing nothing but betraying it.

    Whatever their plan was, no good plan would include what just transpired. Only a fools plan. They just made it that more difficult for them, and sadly for Cleveland fans, what they just voluntarily did to gut the team even more, might have sealed the regimes fate all by itself.

    It takes time to gather talent, and takes skill, luck with that to garner ‘critical mass’. It could take years just to replace the amount of talent they voluntarily let leave or cut. It could be 2018 or 2019 before the Browns can even match talentwise what they had a couple of weeks ago.

    They are going to have to hit on their draft picks better then the best teams to do so, and hit on free agency for the next couple years just to replace those guys.

    There is no guarantee they get anyone in this draft, or sign anyone good next year… or even keep players from leaving. Right now that critical mass, is exodus.

    To build a team needs players. Human beings. You take one, and then your replace one that’s not as good. That’s how you get better. There is no reason beyond salary cap to get rid of your good players, unless there is some sort of malcontent idiot issue. So when your team isn’t anywhere near the cap, there is no reason to get rid of a good player or even great player. If you want to get better, you replace your bad players, or gasp… you find an even better player then your good player.

    But that’s not what they are doing. They are just getting rid of good talent, and saying at the end of the rainbow there is a pot of gold. But it’s just a mirage.

  40. whodat5150 says: Mar 27, 2016 1:07 PM

    Happy Easter everyone! I TRULY am pulling for the Browns to get it together. Any long time Saints fan feels your pain because we were AWFUL for decades. The Bucs and Hawks both entered the NFL in 1976 and made the playoffs before we did. The Bucs, Hawks, Jags and Panthers all won playoff games before my Saints. It took a few decades and it may not happen again but we have a Lombardi Trophy. Keep your heads up Brown fans and I hope that your dedication to your team will be rewarded. Good or bad, ALWAYS cheer for your team!

    GEAUX SAINTS!!!

  41. kissmysandwich says: Mar 27, 2016 1:14 PM

    This guy is such a clown. The best players on the team bail ASAP because they know the Browns are a joke. Then they go and sign an egomaniac who can’t read a defense to save his life. Tough to be a Browns fan. That’s fo sho.

  42. whatjusthapped says: Mar 27, 2016 1:24 PM

    Not winning championships leaves you open to the jokes, just ask any Viking fan.

  43. squared80 says: Mar 27, 2016 1:43 PM

    Hue Jackson and the GM in Cleveland had no part in signing RGIII. The insane owner forced the issue, just as he did with Manziel.

    There’s only one common denominator with their losing ways, folks.

  44. simplec72 says: Mar 27, 2016 1:56 PM

    How will he change the Flying J/ Pilot fraud and the $92 million dollar fine that has also defined him? With a franchise qb?

  45. simplec72 says: Mar 27, 2016 2:05 PM

    The Browns are going to build an entirely new team through the draft… Imagine if they have a bad draft. I would also agree that there are a few college teams in the state of Ohio that could beat the Browns.

  46. laserw says: Mar 27, 2016 2:13 PM

    Cleveland has the dog pound and then they signed the Dog Pile, the Great Gimmick, the one year wonder wherever he plays.

    I hope you Cleveland fans realize what a horrible player the Great Gimmick is. He always talks well, then stabs you and his teammates in the back, and is a sack magnet because he has NO skills that translate into a real professional QB.

    And he’ll always put in a week of offseason dog and pony show work so you think he gives a flying monkey.

    He is a failure and just wait until you meet Daddy Dearest.

  47. Big Ant TV says: Mar 27, 2016 2:17 PM

    change the jerseys back too what they were
    that will help with fan/player morale

  48. squidlips82 says: Mar 27, 2016 2:50 PM

    steelcity780 says:
    Mar 26, 2016 10:12 PM
    Thank you Jimmy, Things are going better than we planned.
    Signed,
    THE STEELERS ORGANIZATION

    LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

    The Amazing Pittsburgh STOOLERS

  49. TheBrownsareClowns says: Mar 27, 2016 2:52 PM

    Until Browns fans stop showing up to watch his farbage team, Jimmy Gump has zero incentive to improve

  50. stoolerz says: Mar 27, 2016 4:35 PM

    Haslam, just stop talking. Everyone knows that you are doing nothing but carpet bagging Browns fans. Cut payroll, while collecting all the profit sharing from the other teams. Money ball came about because the A ‘ s were broke and had no money to spend. That is NOT the case now in Cleveland.

  51. mrfrostyj says: Mar 27, 2016 7:32 PM

    While I’ll give you Randy boy as a lousy owner let’s keep in mind he was equal opportunity. He did an even worse job devastating then selling off the company his father built. Randy Lerner’s sole accomplishment in life was winning the birth lottery. I do take exception to blowing right past his father though. Al Lerner brought football back to Cleveland. He was a self made man that succeeded at everything he ever put his hand to. Had he not been afflicted with brain cancer shortly after buying the franchise rights the whole sorry saga that followed might never have happened.
    ————————————————————-

    Here’s the problem and the reason I left Al Lerner out.

    He only ran the team for 3 seasons (he died during the start of what would have been his 4rth). That is not enough time to judge an ownership which is why judging Haslam right now based on the teams performance is fans being just as if not more knee/jerk than he has been.

    On top of that Haslam and Al Lerners tenures as owners are almost identical. You don’t believe me?

    -Both fired the first coach they hired after one season.

    -The best season both had as owner had a 7-9 record.

    -The QB with the best win-loss record for both was an undrafted free agent journeyman even though they had highly touted draft picks on their roster.

    Give Haslam time. Unlike Jerry Jones and Mike Brown he has no problem telling people that he doesn’t know everything and is learning as fast as he can and unlike those two has no problem trying to find the right people to help him. He’s doing a much better job than Mike Holmgren was.

  52. jacksonvillefoodsafety says: Mar 27, 2016 9:34 PM

    At least we didn’t have to give up 3 1sts and a 2nd for RG3

  53. John Harbaugh Is A Sad, Whiney Middle Aged Woman says: Mar 28, 2016 7:24 AM

    It’s not that they lose; it’s that they lose by so much mismanagement and dysfunction! It’s as if they’re actively attempting to sabotage themselves every single season, with the constant rotation of coaches, key players, and schemes. If they at least looked like they were trying they wouldn’t be the butt of so many jokes, but the way they keystone cop their way through each season is absolutely pathetic. Plus, Cleveland just flat-out sucks anyway.

  54. steelerben says: Mar 28, 2016 10:45 AM

    j huber says:
    Mar 27, 2016 10:51 AM
    Every new coach says the same thing, that they are still rebuilding after 30 years and how many regime changes ? The mistake by the lake is still the sadness factory.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    The problem is that they never finish a rebuild. One or two seasons in, everything gets blown up again. Over and over patience is lost and plans are scrapped. Forever churning a roster to fit new and different schemes is not how you build a winning football team. And the schemes are always different, “Seeing as how it was clearly X’s fault we need to go with the total opposite.”

    You can blame ownership, but that has changed multiple times since the team came back into the league. You can blame coaches, but they are swapped out every three seasons. You can blame QBs, but after a dozen you have to recognize it isn’t all them. Burning high draft selection after high draft selection, trying to make splash moves to reward the fans, and bowing to pressure to win now is what has gotten the Browns into this mess. Win or lose, they need to commit to a coach and a scheme and stick with it until they have the time to turn over the entire roster to build a team that can compete. Everything else is just bailing from the front of the boat into the back.

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