Haslam tries to manage expectations


It’s always important for football teams to manage the expectations of their fan bases.  In Cleveland, where 14 seasons since the return of the Browns have largely featured failure, the glass continuously is perceived as half empty.

New owner Jimmy Haslam wants to keep it that way, at least for a little while.

“We’ve won 23 games in the last five years, won 14 games in the last three, so we’re not going to go 13-3 next year,” Haslam said at the league meetings in Arizona, via Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal.

As a result, the goals for 2013 are modest.

“I think only to improve,” Haslam said of his hopes for the franchise.  “What’s the definition of improve?  I think we’ll all know.  I think it’s a little dangerous to [set a goal for] wins and losses because injuries, breaks happen.  But I think by Dec. 30 or 31 we’ll all know if we’re a better football team.  We’ll probably know long before then.  I expect us to be better, but this is a process, and it’s going to take a little bit of time.”

Still, there’s a chance improvement can be sudden — and dramatic.  We saw it with the Colts, Vikings, and Redskins last year.  Three of the six worst teams in the league from 2011 made it to the playoffs in 2012.

In 2012, the Browns were the sixth worst team in the league.  And the Steelers and Ravens have, by all appearances, gotten worse than they were last season.

So the door is open for a quick turnaround.  Haslam, however, wisely isn’t predicting it.

Of course, if it happens, it’ll be hard to keep the expectations under control for 2014.

14 responses to “Haslam tries to manage expectations

  1. Same old sorry line that we keep getting here in Cleveland. Whether it be owners (when they actually speak), presidents or GMs, its always “a process”. It is interesting that they all say that we will know when we see progress, and it is not tied to wins – but we never hear what will happen if we don’t see progress. So, we are left with the following: whatever happens next year will be spun as progress – it has already been mandated before any results actually occur – and we’ll keep getting the same until a new regime steps in to “improve” on past failures, and begins once again to tell us it is a process and we will know it when we see it.

  2. Let’s face reality, the only thing that connects the “new” Browns, to the old Browns, is the city they both played in. With the “new” Browns there simply hasn’t been any consistency; frequent coaching changes, player changes, game changes. Its like the heiress that had one decent husband early on, let him go, and now runs from man to man trying to find the magic she once knew.

    Personally I hope Chudzinski & Co, get it right, and that Haslam, gives him the time and resources, to get the job done.

  3. My optimistic expectation is to win 7 games. Such is the life of a Brown’s fan. I just hope they can stick to a plan before tearing everything up and starting over again in two years.

  4. The problem is that the Browns have never gotten over the hump of a poor expansion draft and poor early drafting. This has had a ripple effect that continues today.

    When the league finally selected Al Lerner as the owner in late 1998, by the time he brought in Carmen Policy and then hired Chris Palmer to coach (which Policy couldn’t do until after the 98 season was over), there simply wasn’t time to scout players. The Jaguars, Panthers, and Texans all had an extra year to set up.

    So, the Browns picked poorly in the expansion draft, then wasted all those extra picks in the 1999 draft. They’ve been in the hole ever since. Not only for these reasons, but it starts there.

    This is why turning around the Browns is not the same as turning around the Colts or some other team that has had years of solid foundation prior to having to rebuild.

    I blame the league. Cleveland didn’t get a team. Cleveland got a settlement.

    And that all said, 8-8 would be pretty decent season, given everything the team is up against.

  5. This franchise blew it big time by firing Eric Mangini. An organization cannot change coaches every three years and expect to be successful. Stability is of the utmost importance. Mangini, I thought, was on to something.

  6. Why do people say Cleveland passed on RGlll? They tried to trade up to the second spot to select him and couldnt make it happen. And Cleveland picked AFTER RGlll was picked. How is that passing?

  7. logicalvoicesays says:
    Mar 24, 2013 3:50 PM
    It’s incredible how this franchise passed on the football equivalent of Mike Jordan in RGIII. Unbelieveable.

    more like the football equivalent of greg oden. lets try n keep that knee intact shall we?

  8. robstang236 says:
    Mar 24, 2013 11:48 PM

    Why do people say Cleveland passed on RGlll? They tried to trade up to the second spot to select him and couldnt make it happen. And Cleveland picked AFTER RGlll was picked. How is that passing?

    I wouldn’t even bother posting responses like this. The original poster is well aware of what happened between RGIII, the Browns, and the Redskins. if you hang around PFT long enough, you start realizing that some people go out of their way to yank other peoples’ chains. logicalvoicesays knows damn well that the Browns didn’t “pass” on RGIII. He just posts comments like that to illicit responses from Browns fans who don’t see trollery for what it is and want to fly off the handle. And he loves it. Best thing you can do when you see comments like that are totally ignore them. Don’t even thumbs-down it. When they finally realize no one gives a crap about posts meant for nothing but trying to yank chains, they give up.

  9. “This franchise blew it big time by firing Eric Mangini.”

    Mangini? The guy who gave away the #5 overall pick in 2009 for a bunch of backups? Who drafted Mohamed Massaquoi (#50) and David Veikune (#52) instead of Andy Levitre (#51), LeSean McCoy (#53), William Moore (#55), Paul Kruger (#57), or Sebastian Vollmer (#58)? The guy who PFT reported was nitpicking his players and fining them for stupid things in camp? The guy who traded Kellen Winslow for complaining, rightly, that the conditions of the Browns’ facilities gave him a staph infection? The guy who traded away a bunch of talented players who didn’t fit “his system” so he could go 5-11 with “his guys”?

    If I were a Browns fan I’d be optimistic. Lerner was a terrible owner who hired terrible football people. I don’t know if the new management team will be better, but Shurmur was probably the worst head coach in the league, and Holmgren has a very long history of bad personnel decisions, so at least Haslam had the sense to recognize that and change them right away.

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