Mike Holmgren on the way out, Joe Banner in for the Browns


Jimmy Haslam is officially the owner of the Browns, and that means things are changing in the front office.

Browns President Mike Holmgren will retire at the end of this season, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports. That’s no surprise: Given the lack of success the Browns have had under Holmgren, it would have been much more surprising if a new owner had kept Holmgren in town. Although this is being termed a retirement, it’s unlikely that Haslam would have given Holmgren the option of staying to run the draft and free agency in 2013.

And as expected, former Eagles President Joe Banner is the Browns’ new CEO effective immediately. That means Banner is the new boss of both General Manager Tom Heckert and head coach Pat Shurmur. Barring a major turnaround this season, it would seem highly likely that Banner and Haslam will bring in their own guys after the season, and that Heckert and Shurmur will be on the way out as well. Heckert and Shurmur have the advantage that they were with Banner in Philadelphia, but it may be a tough sell for a new owner to keep a coach and G.M. who went 4-12 last year and have started 1-5 this year.

The reality in the NFL is that owners don’t spend a billion dollars so they can let someone else’s choice run their football teams. As soon as Haslam made the deal to buy the team, the writing was on the wall for the men running the team. Big changes are coming in Cleveland.

88 responses to “Mike Holmgren on the way out, Joe Banner in for the Browns

  1. Holmgren was a doomed and uninspired hire from the start. He has never shown himself to be anything more than a good X’s and O’s coach. He was a train wreck as GM in Seattle, and they only became good when he was stripped of the GM title.

    So, yeah, this move was inevitable.

  2. Well, congrats Cleveland fans. You’ve had to put up with enough B.S. hopefully the new regime will get things headed in the right direction for you guys.

  3. Interesting. And a good NFL story on a Tuesday when its typically slow. Does Holmgren retire for real? Would he go back to coaching? Cowboys maybe? nahh!

  4. Firing Holmgren: almost as exciting as Robert Griffin. Cleveland is on the upswing. Ditch Weeden for Barkley/Smith, and the Browns have got themselves a team.

  5. Hit the road fat man don’t ya waddle back here no more no more .

    everybody sing it

    Hit the road fat man don’t ya waddle back here no more no more .

    better days are ahead for us long suffering Browns fans

    dump Shurmur at the by week .

    Heckert has been hit & miss on his draft picks . he can be replaced IMHO .

  6. I dont see Banner booting Heckert. They were a good tandem in Philadelphia together… When the Eagles fire Andy Reid the good ‘ol boys can have a reunion in Cleveland.

  7. Both Heckert & Shurmur were formerly with the Eagles, so it’s not a guarantee that Banner will get rid of them. Unless, of course Haslam definitely doesn’t want them.

  8. Um, Heckert is a Banner guy. Shurmur was on the staff there too. Shurmur may not be totally a Banner guy, but Heckert definitely is. Gotta do research there MDS. Reid will not be head coach of the Browns. He and Banner seemed to be on different pages towards the end of the Banner era in Philly. I can see Reid out in San Diego or perhaps Cincy.

  9. Don’t care about Holmgren leaving or Shurmur either. I only hope they at least consider keeping Heckert as GM. Considering with what they started with, Heckert has dramatically improved the talent level. No, not every draft pick has been a good one (Marecic, Hardesty), but if someone is being objectionable, they can’t look at the roster and not say its improved. He appears to have found some gems in the lower rounds (Winn) and some decent undrafted FA’s. Plus, word is Heckert didn’t want to take Colt and Holmgren made that call. We see how that worked out. No matter what happens, I’m excited with Haslam taking over. I just ask that he not touch the helmets or the colors! Jazz up the uni’s if you must but the vast majority of Cleveland fans love those colors and helmets!

  10. Banner lost a power struggle with Reid in Philly and was forced out. No way is he going to bring Reid to Cleveland if Reid gets fired this offseason.

  11. Attm: Browns
    You will never win if you keep restarting your franchise every two years (coaches in the last ten years: Butch Davis; Robiskie; Romeo; Mangini; Shurmur QBS: Couch; Holcomb; Garcia; Luke McCown; Dilfer; Frye; Anderson; Quinn; Gradkowski; Dorsey; McCoy; Delhomme; Wallace; and Weeden). What a disaster.

  12. I again blame the irrelevant billionaire. If he would have sold the team a couple of years ago then we could be 2 years into a coach without having to start over YET AGAIN with yet another head coach.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am not a Shurmur fan, nor am I sticking up for him, but it seems we as Cleveland Browns fans are always going back to square one. With 5 coaches in 14 years, that is less than 3 years per coach. Shurmur always seemed clueless as a game manager and as a strategist. I wonder what he did to sell himself on the job. He just seems weak, and being clueless on top of that is a bad combo for a coach.

    I’m tired of losing. Hopefully, Banner has a clue and picks someone to head this lead with a pair with talent and game managerial ability to go along with a name.

  13. What an awful run for Holmgren. Heckert will be soon to follow him out the door. Both of them have totally botched the future of that franchise. They had Julio Jones in their lap and actually traded away from him even though WR was a huge need at the time, and still is. There other biggest need (QB) was filled with a 29 year old instead of forking up enough picks to get RG3. Ask the Redskins if they regret giving up all those picks for Griffin.

    With all the “rebuilding” Holmgren and Heckert have been doing their team is still widely regarded as the worst in the NFL. That says it all about the job they have done. Of course, the final F-U would be for this squad they put together to be just good enough to win 4 games thus giving them a pick outside the top 2 and missing out on stud QBs like Geno Smith and Barkley. It would be fitting.

  14. I don’t understand those saying Holmgren wasn’t a good GM. He put almost every core player into place for Seattle’s Super Bowl run.

    He’s hardly to blame for the state of the Browns – pin that on a revolving door of regimes for the last decade. Holmgren actually has put together a good young crop of guys in Cleveland. What has anyone else done?

  15. @lippy: this isn’t a comic book w/ heroes and villains and “power struggles.” It’s real life.

    Banner left because he wanted to be a part of an ownership group that built a team, not because Andy Reid sat in his lair, chomping on cigars and plotting his demise.

    The power struggle angle was a fictive scenario made up by the sensationalizing, Andy-hating, Angelo Cataldi’s of the world.

  16. I know, I know … the officials caused Holmgren to lose his job in Cleveland just like the officials caused the Steelers to beat the Seahawks in the Super Bowl.

    Isn’t ironic that Holmgren got the boot from an owner with Steeler ties??? LOL

  17. Heres my choice of HC
    Nick Saban
    John Grudon
    Bill Coward
    Rob Ryan

    Get rid of the whole coaching staff hirer a HC an let him bring in his own staff time to make a statement my beloved BROWNS

  18. nickles banner got rid of dawkins, and the eagles got rid of him. no way reid coaches for banner anytime soon

  19. Andy Reid will be coaching the browns next year. He’ll benefit from some of Holmgren’s work. Weeden, Gordon, Little, Richardson are a dangerous set of weapons. Not to mention that one guy, Cribbs. Their defense is above average, and if they can get the right mentality going, I think they’ll be alright.

  20. For those that don’t know Randy Lerner could not sell the team until this year. It was in his father’s, Al Lerner, will that the team had to stay in the family for at least 10 years after his death. Hence why the sale moved so fast this year.

    Also being reported that Holmgren approached Randy before the sale started to inform him he would have a lesser role with the team going forward. He was already looking for a way out.

    And finally being reported that Heckert does not expect to survive the change in ownership. This kind of sucks b/c he has done a nice, not perfect, job of the complete train wreck that he took over. Thanks Eric Mangini.

  21. maddenisfordorks says:
    Oct 16, 2012 12:36 PM
    “I don’t understand how a former coach could be that bad at GM.”

    Well, technically, Heckert was/is the GM, but the head front office position calls for a different set of skills from that required of a coach.

  22. birdobeamen says:Oct 16, 2012 12:31 PM

    Ladies and Gentlemen, your 2013 Cleveland Browns Head Coach………Andy Reid.


    Yeah, that makes alot of sense. Banner left the Eagles because he lost a power struggle against Reid. Makes complete sense that he would bring Reid to Cleveland…..NOT!

  23. I have a strategy for haslam – mail bill cowher stacks of $100 bills every single day until he returns your phone calls.

    I will accept no other candidate to coach the browns.

  24. This just in from Vegas,the Browns are a big favorite to win the salary cap bowl next season with Banner at the helm….ive seen this movie before in Philly

  25. For those crediting the Seahawks Superbowl team personnel with Holmgren, that is purely revisionist history. I will give you that Holmgren could coach, GM duty-wise, he sucked.

  26. I can’t stand the constant rebuilding (I mean just plain building) but Holmgren wasn’t cutting it. Kudos to bringing in Heckert, but other than that he got us Jake Delhomme, Seneca Wallace, Colt McCoy, Pat Shurmur and not much else. Waited one year too long to boot Mangini, too. Good luck Haslam & Banner, your decisions need to be of the blockbuster variety . . .

  27. It was expected, but this probably means another QB change. Hate to be drafted as a QB to the Browns at this point, revolving door at that position. At least Richardson if he stays healthy is solid. I will be interested to see what changes occur next season.

  28. Any team in the league would be counted as lucky to have him as a quarterbacks coach. Coaching up QB’s is his strength and there aren’t many in the game that can do it as well as him.

    It’s too bad he’s been behind a desk.

  29. godofwine330 says:
    Oct 16, 2012 12:44 PM

    Don’t get me wrong, I am not a Shurmur fan, nor am I sticking up for him, but it seems we as Cleveland Browns fans are always going back to square one. With 5 coaches in 14 years, that is less than 3 years per coach. Shurmur always seemed clueless as a game manager and as a strategist. I wonder what he did to sell himself on the job. He just seems weak, and being clueless on top of that is a bad combo for a coach.


    He didn’t have to sell himself as a coach, he just had to have King Bob for his agent.

  30. “The reality in the NFL is that owners don’t spend a billion dollars so they can let someone else’s choice run their football teams.”

    Unless your name is Shad Khan and the GM is Gene Smith…and you’re seeing how that’s turning out!

    Fire Gene! Maybe the Browns will hire him.

  31. Ravens and Steelers are organizations that are run too well for them to BOTH ever be down long enough for the Browns to build into anything great. 3rd fiddle at best.

  32. bengalsstillsuck says:
    Oct 16, 2012 12:59 PM
    Heres my choice of HC
    Nick Saban
    John Grudon
    Bill Coward
    Rob Ryan

    Get rid of the whole coaching staff hirer a HC an let him bring in his own staff time to make a statement my beloved BROWNS

    Is this for real?

  33. I loved Holmgren as a head coach, probably one of the best that there will be. He had such great football knowledge and could inspire players. But as a GM was he ever poor at evaluating talent with the Hawks and now Browns. Listen to this Seahawk first rounders Koren Robinson, Lamar King, Jeramey Stevens and don’t know much about what he did with the Browns but flexing muscle to get McCoy and missing out on Jones and RG3. Trent Richardson looks legit but I don’t know about any 28 year old rookies in the first round even if they are playing ok.

  34. Please don’t bring in another rookie HC, unless it’s Rod Chudzinski. He had a great Offense when he was here with Cleveland in 2007, he has done well in the past with San Diego, and now in Carolina.

    Other than he, please hire a reputable HC, that doesn’t look lost on Sundays!

  35. I will accept no other candidate to coach the browns
    I hate to be the one to tell you this, but you don’t get a vote unless you’re the owner or GM.
    bengalsstillsuck says:

    Heres my choice of HC
    Nick Saban
    John Grudon
    Bill Coward
    Rob Ryan
    It’s “Gruden”, not Grudon, and Bill Cowher is anything but a coward. Gruden won’t take the job, as there’s not enough glamor in it. Saban finally seems content where he is, and I can’t blame him for that (“Contend for a national championship every year, or spend my life in Cleveland, hmmmmm…”). Ryan is overrated and overbearing, just like his brother but fatter.

    Cowher is a possibility, given his ties to the Browns, but it seems to me that it would take a heck of a lot to get him out of retirement. His first return to Pittsburgh as an opposing coach would be like Pitino’s first return to Lexington–epic.

  36. As a Seahawks fan, I always felt Holmgren was overrated as a coach and GM. This is great addition by subtraction for Cleveland. Holmgren failed to have backup plans in place. In Seattle when the older players like Jones, Alexander, and Hasselbeck started their respective inevitable declines.

    For some reason I can’t explain, I see Holmgren ruining San Diego as HC next year.

    Fortunately, my Seahawks moved on and were able to quickly rebuild a team that looks to be set for the next several seasons.

  37. I submit that Holmgren is one of the most overrated coaches in history. Look at the talent he had (and not because he assembled it) in both Green Bay and Seattle.

    I said this when we were on our way to the Super Bowl too so it’s not after the fact. For years all I saw was him screaming at players, particularly at Matt Hasselbeck, all the while not letting them go for it on the field.

    All that talent and one super bowl win. One! Worse he forces his way to being president, GM an coach and completely ruined the Hawks. My opinion but how do you have Farve and Hasselbeck in their prime, not to mention Shawn Alexander in his prime and have 1 ring to show for it.

  38. The Walrus killed all the progress Mangini made with the team. I feel sorry for Browns fans having to start over again, so soon.

  39. Its about time great move by the Browns. Holmgren accomplished little in Seattle and won one super bowl in Green bay and Lost one he is nothing without a great Gm like Ron Wolf.

  40. rhf123 says: Oct 16, 2012 1:48 PM

    Andy Reid will be the coach of the Browns next year. You heard it here first.


    you’re like the 5th one to mention it on this thread alone.

  41. Heckert is the guy to likely stick. Given the talent available, his drafts have been pretty good thus far & more than 70% of his draftees are developing very nicely.

    My guess, Rex Ryan out in NY will take over as HC in Cleveland bringing Mike Pettine with him as DC. Ron Rivera will be out in Carolina, which will allow the Browns to re-hire OC Rob Chudzinski or Jason Garrett. Cowboys STs Coach Joe DeCamillis will be best available, I would assume they will look to pluck him.

    Heckert & Banner are most familiar with guys out of the NFC East, making half those hires highly likely.

  42. Browns fans are incredible. You thinking Super Bowl teams come together instantly. Building a championship team for the long term doesn’t happen over night. It takes 3 or 4 years. How many playoff appearances have the Browns made since they came back into the league? 2? The Browns fans have no idea what it takes to win.

  43. Cleveland, say good-bye to Ray Rhodes, the man who nicknamed Banner “Rat Man”.

    Good luck, you got yourself a good money-manager who thinks he can evaluate football talent.

  44. @ footballace

    What is your point? Holmgren has had 3 years with this team. And the team is still awful. Absolutely no progress. If anything, they have regressed since he took over.

  45. Assuming Reid and Vick are both on the way out of Philly after this year, we might actually see Mike Vick playing in the Dawg Pound. Please let this happen.

  46. The more things change the more they remain the same. In Cleveland, that is inconsistency and upheaval in their coaching and gm positions. How they expect a winner when they change front offices every other year is beyond me. And as good as Trent Richardson looks, in retrospect they should have ponied up for rg3. That kid is the real deal. You only get a shot at a difference maker like that once in a blue moon. And in this case the browns screwed the pooch big time. As much as I hate the foreskins, the have one of the best young abs in the game. I don’t know that I would take luck over rg3 at this point given what we have seen from this young man. Shanty may be the first hc in nfl history to win sb’s with 2 different teams because of this young man. He is the real deal.

  47. Everyone forgets, Ron Wolf was GM when Holmgren won in Green Bay, and then Ted Thompson was GM for Seattle when they were good. When Thompson left, Seattle fell apart. Great coach but not a GM.

  48. I think Browns were tired of hearing the Holmgren story of how he was cheated in the Super Bowl. Good move Brown’s Mike was not the answer!!!!

  49. mazblast says:
    Oct 16, 2012 2:34 PM
    “… Ryan is overrated and overbearing, just like his brother but fatter.”
    You talking about the Rex that took two mediocre jets teams to the AFC title game back to back?
    The guy that nearly made Sanchez a Superbowl winning QB ?
    The guy who’s defense beat Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in back to back playoff games?

    and people claiming Mike Holmgren is overrated, smh… Dude made Seattle relevant, took a couple average (at best) teams to the playoffs… made Favre/Hasselback/Brunell into probowlers…

  50. Holmgren is a good coach. He’s not a good team exec or player personnel guy–and never has been. I get that he is deluded about his own abilities in these areas. But I don’t get how he deludes team owners. The best news for the Browns is that their new owner knows better.

  51. Maybe I read a different story (and have been for the past few years) but last I checked Holmgren is not the Browns GM he was their president and liaison to the (now former) owner which means his “GMing” skills mean absolutely nothing since he mostly ran the business end of the franchise. The GM would be Tom Heckart (who has done a great job in my opinion).

    Then from at least how I read it Holmgren didn’t get fired he is WORKING WITH Joe Banner this year before stepping down from his position. Anyone with knowledge of Holmgrens job in Cleveland (which obviously very little people do if you read the comments) knows that he WAS the acting Browns owner as their actual owner had him doing everything including taking his seats at meetings. If Haslam plans on being a hands on owner there is no need for Holmgren as his job no longer even exists.

    Holmgren brought the the Browns what they hadn’t had since Al Lerner died and thats a stable front office (if only temporary once again thanks to Randy Lerner). It was Holmgren who hired a front office that isn’t making headlines for being dysfunctional like the last 3 the Browns had. How many fan incidents, locker room fights QB controversy’s etc have you read about when it comes to Cleveland since he took over (answer is none by the way). People seem to overlook that the inmates were running the asylum before he got there and it happend yearly until Lerner would fly in from England, fire the whole crew and bring in new inmates to do the same thing.

    Thanks to Mike Holmgren, Jimmy Haslam is inheriting a GREAT young team that should be a playoff contender soon enough. Maybe fans who are so down on Holmgren’s time in Cleveland should be forced to watch the 2012 Kansas City Chiefs play on a constant loop as a reminder of what the last couple of regimes “stars” looked like when playing in actual NFL games.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!