Shakeup in Cleveland could be coming after 2012 season


There’s a new sheriff in Cleveland.  And his name sounds a little like Reggie Hammond.

It’s Jimmy Haslam, truck-stop magnate and new owner of the Browns.  Last week, he told Peter King of that Haslam plans to apply a Steelers-style stability to the franchise.

“They’ve averaged a new coach once every 2.8 years [since the franchise returned to Cleveland in 1999], and that’s just not a good recipe,” Haslam told King.

So an owner who despises turnover is good news for the current coaching staff and front office, right?  Probably not, since Haslam didn’t hire the latest iteration of the football operation in Cleveland.

King now includes in his latest Monday Morning Quarterback an ominous observation for Messrs. Holmgren, Heckert, and Shurmur, the trio currently calling the shots in the Factory of Sadness.  “I’m hearing that no one in the Cleveland front office or coaching staff should feel secure beyond December,” King writes in an amazingly comprehensive look at the last seven days in the NFL.  “Prospective new owner wants to judge everyone fresh.”

While King prefaces that potential bombshell by claiming that he has “no inside information,” he’s surely not “hearing” these things from the guy or gal who whipped up his latest triple grande whole milk hazelnut latte.  (Yeah, I’ve been around him enough to know his standard Starbucks order; although on particularly long days of having to deal with the likes of, well, me it’s a quad venti.)

If it made it onto the page, there’s merit.  And it makes sense.  Because even though Haslam won’t want to change out General Managers and team presidents and head coaches, he’ll first want to get people in place that he believes in.  The fact that Holmgren and Heckert and Shurmur were holding the spots when Haslam got the keys is nothing more than coincidental to the fact that the Browns are the team Haslam was able to buy.

“One thing I took from the Steelers, is if you’ve got a great leader, G.M. and coach — which they do — you’ve filled the three most important boxes, and you’re off to a great start,” Haslam told King last week.

It’s hard to call the current leader, G.M., and coach in Cleveland “great.”  Shurmur has won four games in one season.  Holmgren and Heckert can boast nine victories in two years.  Barring a dramatic turnaround in 2012, Haslam surely will want to assemble his own crew.

It’s already believed that former Eagles president Joe Banner will be part of the new regime, presumably playing the role of leader.  If Banner is hired, Haslam and Banner then will have to decide on a head coach and a G.M., along with determining the respective power to be held by those two positions.

And so while there may not be much change beyond 2013, significant adjustments could be coming to Cleveland after the coming season — unless the current regime carves out an unlikely path to the playoffs.

51 responses to “Shakeup in Cleveland could be coming after 2012 season

  1. CUT IT OUT HASLAM. stop saying you’re going to do the “steelers way” of anything when it comes to the browns. you’re putting a knife in the side of every browns fan when you say stuff like that.

  2. Unless the browns show some real improvement this year they really do need to clean house. Holmgren was a good coach, he’s pretty much failed at being more than a coach.

    At a time when most teams are drafting their franchise QB as 21-22 year olds Holmgren went with a 29 year old rookie and a running back with bad knees. Good luck cleveland.

  3. Pwndabeer,

    So if he says he wants success like the steelers have had (which is why he wants the stability he believes has led to some of that success), thats a bad thing?

    Never thought modeling your team after a more successful one was a bad thing, regardless of who it was. Do you like consistent losing?

  4. Bottom line is Peter King hasn’t heard or been told anything. It’s his own speculation Kind did however, trash Holmgren and Heckert for not making Brady Quinn the starting QB and Marty Morninwheg the Head Coach – so consider the source.

    If Haslam moves Holmgren and Heckert out, he better bring in someone qualified to make football decisions, because he and Banner are not and never have.

  5. i would be surprised is Haslam is NOT looking for replacements NOW.

    Historical data: Holmgren, QTY 1 as in One Superbowl with a great QB – Brett Favre. None at Seattle but a loss to the Steelers in that appearance.
    Holmgren: Brings in Jake Delhomme for outrageous money when no one else wanted him.
    Results: Interceptions worse than TDs. Holmgren- drafts Colt – now discards him.
    Holmgren brings in Shurmur, OC at Rams, no other team interviews him as head coach. Merely during his old Def Coord of Packers a favor by hiring his nephew.

    Results: Adios ..sooner the better. And for that Browns fan comment above about modeling after the Steelers… I sure hope he doesn’t model the team after the ‘Browns’. (Data: Loss to Steelers 22 out of last 24 times

    Wake up Browns fans.. this is finally what your team needs.. take your medicine.. or would you constantly rather say: wait till next year

  6. Some teams are just meant to be perrenial losers and only exists just to get beat up on. That team is the Browns. A new owner isn’t going to change the fact that the team will never chake it’s image as a second class team playing in a second class city.

  7. I knew this would happen. The walrus is a good play caller “coach” but he’s not an evaluator of talent. In GB Ron Wolf was the shot caller. In Seattle it was Ted Thompson that did all the personal evaluations. The walrus has an ego issue. Maybe this will humble his fat a$$.

  8. If the first preseason game gives any clues they look like they could have the #1 overall pick.
    Do they take the Barkley kid showing a commitment to truly starting over?

  9. mjtn might be joking about Andy Reid but I would not be surprised especially with Reid’s agent mouthing off yesterday. This could all be a dance that allows Big Red to walk away from Philly at the end of the year (to the delight of the drunken masses) and walk into be the head cheese in Cleveland. Reid could use a change of scenery and that would be a fan base that understands that it has no chance of winning a championship, unlike the fan base in Philly. It is a match made in football Heaven.

    I hope it does not happen because it is better for the NFC East if he is the Eagles coach since he cannot win the big one. Eagles fans can get mad at me but they know I am right.

  10. @Pwndabeer…get your head out of your arse!! No other team has won more championships than the Steelers. To model your franchise against a proven winner is not a “knife in the side”, it’s smart and shows a commitment to winning. I suppose you’d be upset if he was to hire Bill Cowher or hires personnel that installs a dominating defense, hard-nosed running game and actually WINS GAMES. Just because you bleed orange and brown, doesn’t mean everything black and gold is bad thing. I am a die-hard Browns fan but I don’t turn a blind eye to the fact that the Steelers have dominated us and much of the league over the past several seasons. I don’t care where the ideas and schemes come from, just get them in place in Cleveland….and the sooner the better.

  11. Hey its not my ONE BILLION DOLLARS being spent to buy the Browns. But Mr. Haslam, if you really want to do it “The Steelers Way” you keep the current leadership in place for two more years. You let the players develop and see if Heckertt and Shurmur have done it right.

    The Browns have committed to a 4-3 defense and a west coast offense with a strong element in Richardson. To guy the front office now means the last two drafts, really three have been wasted.

    While everyone should be held accountable–even Andy Reid, it makes no sense to gut the front office in 2012.

  12. As a proud fan of the Cleveland Browns, if a guy mentions Pittsburgh or New England – I’m listening. Those teams have found ways to win, year after year. Pittsburgh used to be Cleveland’s biggest rival, but the series has turned into a joke. Cleveland was leading the head-to-head series until they were moved to Baltimore. Since coming back in 1999, the Steelers have won 23 of 27 meetings.

  13. But the funny thing in all this was back in 03-04, Randy Lerner “studied” the Patriots franchise and tried to model the discipline they had and bring it to the Browns. He even reached out to Shapiro, then GM of the Indians, since Shapiro was the brother-in-law to Eric Mangini and close friends of Scott Pioli, both who were with the Patriots at that time. A lot of good that did.

    Bring in new people now and last years draft was a complete and utter waste. I’ve always said that, for the NFL, building a winning team is done through the draft; you need good assets. Other than Joe Thomas, I dare anyone to go back and look how the Browns drafted. Even further than 99. They never ever had an eye for talent. With a new regime, we add another year to this claim.

    Either way you go, keep them or get rid of them, you lose.

  14. Yes, stability is good. Yes, the top 3 spots are all critical.

    But I find it hard to believe former Browns ownership did not also think it was important. They just whiffed. It happens. And if it were so easy to do, every team in the League would have done it. Being a successful truck stop owner does not mean you are going to hire the right guy to be GM. No matter how good a buysinessman you are, there’s always an element of crap shoot.

    On a related point, his comments sound like tampering with the Steelers FO, right PFT? I mean, he practically said he wanted to sneak those guys out of Pittsburgh on a midnight plane.

  15. It doesn’t matter a whole lot whom you have in control of the organization if your QB sucks. The only organizations with top shelf management earned it on the backs of their top 10 QB.

  16. I am not a fan of Holmgren or Shurmer. I wasn’t excited about either hire. I don’t know what goes on behind the scenes, but my guess is Heckert is good and would like to keep him, but not sure if Holmgren overrides him during the draft.

    The question though is who is out there that we would want? We can’t keep changing bad for bad. Sadly, Mangini is starting to look like the best coach we have had since ’99. At least he beat good opponents and making teams take notice of us.

    Haslam contradicts himself when saying consistency is good, but then it is believed he is going to make changes. This year is not looking good for anyone in the Browns organization, especially with all the injuries, new ownership and how difficult our schedule will be.

  17. Excellent. Another massive overhaul and another plea for patience. We’ve been through more reboots than a 20 year old Mac full of viruses.

    The law of averages says our team ought to accidentally matter one of these years, but we defy even those.

  18. I’d like to knock the teeth out of the next person that tells me Browns fans need to remain “patient”.

  19. No need to hold off on Holmgren. Haslam already knows what he has(n’t) done. He can go now and give Banner a good start on evaluating the FO staff, scouting and draft situation. Shumur and Heckert can wait until Dec. Besides, Banner knows those guys some and that probably helps them at least make it through the season with their jobs intact.

  20. New regime and new results. Reggie Hammond wants his own people and style even though he has to take a page from the Steeler way and incorporate it in Cleveland. Its a great model to pattern your franchise after, the Steelers win Super Bowls, never change coaches and stay out of the press, even though with this season and the changes they made, we’ll see. If he doesnt up and become a celebrity owner or completely clean house and get rid of the fresh draftees Brandon Weeden and Trent Richardson, I dont care what he does, Holmgren and Shurmur need to go anyway, some owners dont want leftovers, this isnt Thanksgiving.

  21. Cleveland: Loser city with losing teams. Most players would take their talents to South Beach (along with most other NFL cities) if they could.

  22. Jimmy’s new in town.
    Jimmy’s got the money.
    Jimmy doesn’t like the direction of Jimmy’s team.
    Jimmy’s gonna fire everyone!

    And Jimmy’s hot for Elaine.

    Jeez, you’d think a successful guy would drop the “Jimmy” by third grade and go with Jim or James?

  23. All you “Cowher to Cleveland” people are missing the whole point.

    If he truly is going to model the Steelers he’ll go out and hire a young coordinator that’s on the rise. The Steelers don’t hire big name coaches trying to recreate another team’s success. The Steelers hire guys nobody’s heard of and create their own success.

    Who outside of Cleveland and Philadelphia knew who Bill Cowher was until the Steelers gave him a shot? Who outside of Minnesota and Tampa heard of Tomlin?

    It’s all about the fit. Remember Belichick’s utter failure in Cleveland?

  24. if Haslam wants to build his team the steelers way he must know that it starts with the line of scrimage. dominate both sides of that line and you will win baby… therefore i suggest you hire former HOG and pittsburg line coach Russ Grimm to be your head coach, Bill Cowher as your G.M. and Ron wolf as your talent evaluator

  25. I don’t see this team winning a game.

    They’re going to fight it out with Miami for the #1 pick and Holmgren is toast…

  26. I say go ahead and blow it all up and rebuild again.

    Some people think a team will never go anywhere without some stability (i.e. hanging on to the same GM/HC for years until their plan comes to fruition) and I don’t disagree with that. But what’s even more important is getting the right damn people in place to provide that stability. I’ve begun to realize that Mike Holmgren isn’t “it” and anyone with half a brain knows for SURE that Pat Shurmur ain’t “it” by a long shot.

    The problem in Cleveland hasn’t been the fact that no staff has been given enough time- instead, the problem has been that the wrong groups of people have been hired over and over again in the first place. You can give someone like Pat Shurmur TEN years if you want to- and in 10 years, the Browns will still suck because it’s obvious this guy is clueless about common sense and football fundamentals. Shurmur is a lunkheaded ex-offensive lineman and seems to think like one.

    Case in point: Of the last 5 Cleveland HCs, NONE of them had previous NFL HC experience. Of their last 6 GMs (going back to Dwight Clark), only two had previous NFL GM experience. Tom Heckert (who really had more of a puppet role while Andy Reid made the decisions) and Dwight Clark who had one season of GM experience before coming to the Browns. This is what the Lerner ownership brought: Hiring one clueless, inexperienced GM and coach after another. Maybe that works in some cities, but it doesn’t seem to work in Cleveland.

    So if Haslam wants to model the Browns front office and coaching staff after the Steelers, have at it. Maybe we’ll finally have an owner that will require some tangible accomplishments and the ability to really inspire players in the people he chooses to run his team.

  27. As I said before, Lerner screwed us again. If he had sold the team BEFORE Mangini was fired then we would be on the new regime now and not about to start our umpteenth regime in almost as many years. Now, the new owner wants to start all over again. New coach (probably), new GM (probably), new way of looking at things. While I love the Steelers way of doing things mentality (I am a life-long Browns fans, I respect the steelers though I hate them), I am not looking forward to doing this yet again.

    Oh well.

  28. Stability is nice and all — but that is a result of good hiring that works out well.

    You don’t keep someone in place in the name of stability when things aren’t working out.

    What coach have the Browns had since 1999 that anyone would argue ought to still be in place? Chris Palmer? Butch? Romeo? Mangini?

    Yeah, not so much.

    At the same time, The Steelers probably kept Cowher much longer than most other teams would have after his Steelers laid an egg against the Cowboys in Super Bowl XXX. It was ten years before Cowher got the Steelers back to the Super Bowl. If he hadn’t have done it, the story would have been, those stupid Steelers kept that guy for 10+ years after he lost the Super Bowl. So, yeah, in hind sight, it looks brilliant. But only in hind sight. Till he did it, it looked like mindless consistency.

    Point is, it isn’t about whether you are consistent for consistency’s sake. It is about whether you get a good coach, and if you do, that justifies sticking with him.

  29. Just wondering, did anyone read the King article? Including me–(slaps myself in the head).

    The line quoted from MMQB is a throw away—its number four in his Ten Things I Think. He went to the Browns-Lion game and only reported on the Lions.

    Hell, as I mentioned earlier everyone is accountable, if they dont produce they should lose their job.

    Lets see how the team handles the injuries, the young players, a linebackers suspension, a drug suspension, then judge the leadership.

    But this entire thread is much ado about nothing. (slaps myself in the head again).

  30. I Love how the Cleveland Browns fans don’t want anything mentioned about the way The Steelers do things. I mean, The Steelers only have 6 Super Bowl wins. Compare that to what the Browns have done and … well… anything is better then what the Browns have done as they have never even BEEN to a Super Bowl. Pure jealousy.

  31. you don’t have to look very far to see the results of overhauls…have a look at what mckenzie /davis (with a large supporting crew) have done with the raiders since january 5. the results are yet to be seen but things can change very quickly in this league. from a football fan’s perspective, i think the more relevant all teams are, the better the collective experience.

  32. blantoncollier says: “But this entire thread is much ado about nothing.”

    It’s also about a worried fan of the downward-moving Steelers attempting to goad Haslam into blowing up the upward-moving Browns and starting all over again.

  33. Florio’s smear campaign continues!!! I can’t wait to see what he writes when the Browns beat his Steelers twice this year. Were your school years that rough?? You wreak of class nerd..

  34. There is no doubt that Banner/Haslam will clean house in January. Holmgren is done. We will see on Heckert. Shurmur has this season to make something happen or he will be on the bus to Manginiville.

  35. Hopefully they are modeling the Steelers organization from 5 years ago and earlier. I would not be proud of what the steelers have become past few years, Embarrasing off field issues (Pig Ben) overlooked by mgmt. repeatedly , declining value, team on the downward spiral. etc. Just start your own brwons model taking a few best ideas from several successfull orgainzations. And yeah browns fans, one more cleaning of the house start over is in order unfortunately. Haslam is a smart businessman, and I promise he will not keep hold overs from previous unsuccessfull regime to hold key positions for his new billion dollar investment. Shurmer is a gap filler this year. Holmy is good as gone, Heckert stands the best chance of hanging around, but unlikely.

  36. Please, please dump this entire regime. I’ve never understood the fascination with Holmgren as a front office guy when the only time he had success in Seattle was after he was stripped of those duties. Shurmur is about as nondescript a coach you can get, you can replace him with a tackling dummy and I doubt anyone would notice a difference in game strategy. Blow up this whole front office, Jimmy! We Browns fans deserve the stability you say you’re going to bring.

  37. So Haslam has figured out that the turnover of coaches and front office personnel has hurt the Browns since their return in 99…that’s good, right?

    NO, THAT IS NOT GOOD…and here is why…

    Haslam about to do exactly what he has identified as a major reason the Browns have not succeeded?

    If Haslam rips everything up after the 2012 season and starts all over, he will be doing exactly what he identified as a major reason the Browns have not succeeded since their return…CHANGING AGAIN.

    When Holmgren came to the Browns, he and Heckert started a 5 yr plan to rebuild the Browns via the draft. They just finished the 3rd draft with could be 5 rookie starters on the offense this season.

    The Browns have been getting younger with each draft as the older free agents and veterans are replaced.

    Given the fact the Browns will be playing one of the toughest schedules in the NFL this season and with a rookie QB, RB, 2 WRs and a RT…don’t look for miracles from the Browns this season.

    Next season, after the Browns rebuild further with Heckert’s 4th draft class and with the young offensive players having one year of experience…that is when I expect the Browns to break out as the rebuilding via the draft begins to pay dividends.

    If Haslam steps in a rips it up after this season, he will set the program back at least two years.

    BTW…THERE IS “NO” Factory of Sadness in Cleveland…we have “one weenie fan” who likes to cry about everything then put himself on the internet…the real Browns fans do not claim him.

    Question…why was Joe Banner fired by his best friend, Jeff Lurie, owner of the Eagles?

    Banner is not a personnel guy…he is a salary cap and contract negotiator…Haslam should not let him anywhere close to the “personnel department”.

    Word out of Philly is Banner wanted more control over personnel matters and he lost that power struggle to Andy Reid.

    The Browns do not need Joe Banner…

  38. “Doing things the Steelers way”

    Wouldn’t that mean NOT firing anyone and letting them build a team their way? The Steelers have only had 3 head coaches since 1969 (despite huge gaps in Superbowl wins prior to the last decade). Bringing in your own people when you take charge despite how long the people in place have been there is “The Browns way” which would mean he’s no better than Lerner (or Holmgren and Modell for that matter).

  39. @jjackwagon

    IDK if your going to see this but it is because he doesn’t officially take over ownership until December.

    Why get rid of Heckert? He has done an amazing job getting players in. If he wants to swap out the coach that is fine. Although I am aware heckert left philly because of Joe Banner.

  40. Hey folks….Mr. Haslam paid a billion dollars for the Browns. It’s “his” team now. He has every right to bring in the people he wants to run this team. Yes, that may cause a delay in the turnaround but, if it puts us on a long term pattern of progress then it’s all worth it.
    I’m not thrilled with the leadership of Holmgren, Heckert, and Shurmur. This is year 3 and many are already righting off this season.

  41. The Browns have struggled mainly because Al Lerner passed away… His son inherited a team he did not know what to with. The Steelers have been winners and the Rooneys have owned the team for about 1,000 years true but the new owner of the Browns comes from the Steeler organization….. He’s right about stability to a point but he will soon learn many things if he intends to win in this league…it’s always easy to say negative things when a teams not winning but this last 10 years are the longest losing streak for us not 40 years like the Great Steelers organization. It seems to me that the nay Sayers should know a little more about our story before making those obnoxious statements.

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