Haslam says Browns don’t know who quarterback will be

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The Browns quickly fell in love with quarterback Johnny Manziel last year. They may be falling out of love with him.

Despite investing a first-round pick in Manziel, owner Jimmy Haslam won’t proclaim Manziel or anyone else the answer at the position.

“[W]e don’t know who our quarterback is going to be next year and what I would say to our fans is, we’re going to continue to work really hard to find that quarterback who can make us a championship team,” Haslam said at the 15th annual Greater Cleveland Sports Awards, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

“We’re going to work until we find the right person, and I’m not slighting Connor [Shaw] or Johnny, we have two quarterbacks, or Brian [Hoyer], if he were to come back, I’m not slighting any of them.  We’re going to work hard until we get a quarterback who can help us win and win consistently, which we’ve stated since Day One is our goal.  And it’s not easy, but we understand it’s the mission and we’re going to work hard at it.”

Asked about whether Hoyer could indeed return, Haslam said, “I think every option is open on the table for us in terms of who’s going to play next year.”

Haslam described the team’s quarterback situation as “still muddy,” and he pointed out that the best teams have good quarterbacks.

It’s the latest example of the quick-fix mentality that has plagued Haslam’s tenure as an NFL owner.  Obsessed with winning and clearly frustrated by the many factors that fall beyond long hours, hard work, and a strong will, Haslam seems to believe that the best way to succeed in football is to keep changing out the pieces until he happens to find the right ones.

What he overlooks is the potential for growth by the people he has.  With time and experience, an average quarterback can become a good quarterback.  And a young, immature quarterback who demonstrated enough potential in college to become a Heisman winner and a first-round pick can develop into a star.

But Haslam doesn’t seem to be content to wait.  Instead, he seems to constantly want to hit the “reset” button, whether with players, coaches, or executives.  That attitude eventually will make it harder to attract the kind of employees with the skills to find and to develop the franchise quarterback Haslam so desperately wants.

79 responses to “Haslam says Browns don’t know who quarterback will be

  1. Florio, you really think Johnny can become a “star”? He doesn’t have the physical tools or the desire to grow up. All his team mates are wasting their careers waiting to see if he really wants to play. Haslam owes it to them to cut his losses and try again, reset sounds like a good option in this case.

  2. If I was Cleveland, Buffalo, or the Jets I would look into acquiring the backup to Cam Newton down in Carolina ( Derek Anderson )

    Anderson did a really nice job this year subbing for Cam while he was out and I don’t know of a better QB who could step right in to run a team; sure as hell wouldn’t be Cutler

  3. Run it like a business. If a guy can’t get it done, let him go and bring someone else in who can…and he’s done that. Same thing with the QBs, keep looking until you find one. This owner obviously isn’t hung up on people. He canned coaches and GMs alike after one year, traded off a starting RB and released another, hired a normal guy to coach and waved goodbye to a sorry offensive coordinator. I doubt drafting or signing another QB is going to bother him, especially if teams keep giving him first round picks to play with.

  4. I wonder why he bothers paying a GM at all. Between his analysis of his current QB’s and the free input he gets from the homeless, he seems set.

  5. Interesting. So a guy who won a Heisman & was a 1st round pick could develop into a star? What if he won a playoff game in his 15th start after only getting 3rd team reps in training camp? Would we chastise Elway for lack of patience for falling for the fool’s gold that is Peyton Manning? Would we laugh that Rex Ryan refused to play that “star”, lost his job, & now has an even worse quarterback? & would we laugh while that star still had a passer rating a few points below Andrew Luck (playoffs included)? Luck got to keep his job after tanking on the road in a NE playoff game, our divisive star did not. But thank god we have stars like Ryan Lindley, Andy Dalton, & Jay Cutler to watch. The NFL, the most arrogant stupid people in the world behind the overtly religious.

  6. What he overlooks is the potential for growth by the people he has. With time and experience, an average quarterback can become a good quarterback. And a young, immature quarterback who demonstrated enough potential in college to become a Heisman winner and a first-round pick can develop into a star.

    What the hell? Haslam isn’t the GM. Haslam hasn’t said anything here that Pettine or Farmer hasn’t said. Are they all wrong? Are you crowning Hoyer, Manziel or Shaw the future of the franchise? With 2 1st rounders and $50Mill of cap space, the Browns are going to do what every other team will do — get the best roster money can buy.

    Haslam hasn’t made the QB situation “muddy” in Cleveland, Manziel has. By not studying or anticipating that maybe being a professional quarterback is hard. Or maybe he thinks he’s just that good. In both cases, his estimates appear to be off. THAT’s why the situation is muddy.

    We know you don’t like Haslam. You don’t sound informed by making his truthful, appropriate statement sound like a guy who’s confused. I think you’re confused.

  7. This from a lifelong (frustrated beyond belief) Browns fan. How can it be that regular fans like myself, from our armchairs, can sense that a charletan like Manziel is not the guy that’s going to lead the Browns to the promised land. How on earth did Haslam, and maybe Farmer too, get sucked into whatever act JF was selling ? Surely Pettine had nothing to do with it. I’m not even sure Farmer wasn’t given the order to draft JF (b text, or in person…lol). Millions of football fans across north america have clearer vision about this than the guys running the show. It would be great if JF magically worked out, lived up to his vaunted advance billing and all that. Personally, I just don’t see it happening. Hoyer’s likely gone. Is Conor Shaw going to work out far better than any of the other 21 or 22 QBs who’ve rented that locker in the dressing room. I’m withing angstroms of being out of patience altogether, and I consider myself to have been a very loyal fan, since 1964. If I ever turn my back on this franchise, however, I’ll never be back. Sort it the hell out, people.

  8. I lost you when you opined that Manziel could one day “grow” into a star.

    Perhaps, but boy does he have a long (and expensive investment along the way) road ahead.

  9. What so called “Potential” did manziel show in college??? The potential to run when his first read is covered, or is it the potential to heave passes and pray the wr(evans) catches it. He definitely showed the potential that he will be out of the nfl in 2 yrs based upon his on field play, and constant partying/ being an alcoholic. Basically he showed nothing in college except for the flashy runs,mike evans bailing him out and because the offense hid his deficiencies . He cannot read any defense and if the first read is gone he gets hapoy feet. I love my browns but gdamn did they really f this up by drafting him. I pray they can get hoyer (at a decent price), find some fool to take jf and draft a QB to learn from hoyer or starting. I can’t handle watching johnny anymore he had 14weeks to learn the playbook and he didn’t, those 7qtrs he played were horrendous. I dont wanna know how terrible it would’ve been if he started week one lmfao cause week 14 was Torturous

  10. I wouldn’t give up on Hoyer yet. The season went bust when Mack broke his leg. Even Manzeil didn’t get a fair shake. A QB can’t be successful without a line to block for him.

  11. If the brownies keep this up, they’ll be wishing they’d just let Hoyer have the team for 2 or 3 year while they stockpile talent. Hoyer might not be Tom Brady, but he can get the Browns into the playoffs if they just build around him and oh yeah… have faith in him for more than 1/2 season.

  12. It’s not often you spend a first round pick on someone, let alone a QB, and thn essentially give up on them after about 2 games. Browns fans don’t deserve this kind of stupidity, Manziel should never have been drafted.

  13. “And a young, immature quarterback who demonstrated enough potential in college to become a Heisman winner and a first-round pick can develop into a star.”

    Young, immature Michigan backup quarterbacks have enough potential to be a star too, you just have to pick the right one – that’s the hard part.

  14. Perfect reason why owners belong in the press boxes with the likes of Christies, and Mitt Romny’s and leave the football up to the people who coach and play. Hoyer got absolutely screwed

  15. So now this is a referendum on Haslams impatience?!?!? I think it’s more of a reality check in realizing that “Johnny PartyBoy” is more interested in drinking than he is learning and being prepared to be a QB in the NFL. The fact that Haslam (and Farmer and Pettine) have acknowledged the fact that “Johnny ImmatureBrat” may NOT be the answer even though they used a 1st round pick on him is a GOOD sign. It shows the team that talent, desire, and dedication are more important than draft position and status.
    Has Haslam been impatient and made wrong decisions? Without a doubt! It’s been extremely frustrating being a Browns fan, esp. during his tenure. But I am happy to see that they will own up to his mistake (s) (Flying J…wha? I don’t know what you’re talking about….). They have not written off “Johnny NotGonnaPutInTheTimeAndEffort” yet, but are actually going to make him accountable for his actions or inactions (possibly for the first time in his life)!
    Am I happy about it? No. But it’s better than losing the team by sticking your head in the sand and saying “Johnny LetsGetDrunk” is the starter for next year. And speaking of that, as a life-long Browns fan, all I can say is “There’s always next year!”.

  16. Instead of Manziel stepping up and being sober, the Browns have this. Boyziel is his new name. Got boatloads of money tho. Who’s buying his jersey?

  17. Florio – as a Steelers fan, I can see why you would want the Browns to stick with Johnny Manziel as long as possible!

  18. That “reset button” mentality has been going on in Cleveland for years before Haslam even got there

  19. As a die-hard Browns fan, I expect this same nonsense every year. But, there’s finally a solution, Jimmy. Let a team of coaches and coordinators grow together and leave them alone for 3-5 years.
    Also, if you’re ready to hit the reset button on the QB position (again), and you think or guy is Mariota or Winston? Then admit your mistake and try and trade Manziel. Here’s how: Offer up JFF and Josh Effing Gordon TOGETHER for one first round pick. Take your three (3!) first round picks, and go get him.
    If you don’t feel that “our guy” is in this draft, trade Manziel for whatever you can get, and bring back Hoyer. Start him, have him be a mentor to Shaw, and let it play out until next year’s draft. (Again)
    (*sigh*) Go Browns….

  20. wow.. you’d think spending a first round on a QB would be a sign as your starter. rather you think he’s good or not.. you have to start him at this point.

  21. “What he overlooks is the potential for growth by the people he has. With time and experience, an average quarterback can become a good quarterback. And a young, immature quarterback who demonstrated enough potential in college to become a Heisman winner and a first-round pick can develop into a star.”

    So first, Manziel is a piece of crap that will never work out, immature, etc. Now you’re saying give him a chance and that he’s a star in the making with patience. I swear, this is what’s so screwed up with the media, you don’t want it both ways, you want it all ways. Danged if you do and danged if you don’t. One day, you’ll realize you’re part of the problem, not the solution.

  22. I’ve told my parents that when they get old, I am going to put them in the crappiest, most rat infested retirement home I can find. It’s their penance for ripping me out of a warm weather, good sports environment state as a child, moving me to Ohio, and indoctrinating me into local sports before I knew what was happening.

    Revenge is a dish best served cold.

  23. The reset button hit last year actually worked. They just need to build on it this year. Coach Mike Pettine has been a pleasant surprise.

  24. Of the QBs on the Brown’s roster currently, Shaw has the most upside. While he didn’t set the world on fire in his only start, he played better than Manziel. It speaks volumes that, as an undrafted rookie FA, his work ethic and dedication landed him on the a practice squad, and eventually onto the roster.

    As for Manziel, if he doesn’t turn over a new leaf this off-season, he’ll be riding the bench again in 2015.

  25. Has Haslam morphed into a Jerry Jones clone?

    Given the troubles of his trucking business, he should consider leaving the fine tuning of the Browns to those who know football.

  26. The Browns are the worst team in NFL history and this is coming from a die-hard Jags fan.

  27. Wow, this seems like a real issue after you spent a ‘high number 1’ for Manziel last year….Would you have an interest in Jay Cutler?

  28. Dirty Sanchez will complete the circle of life by coming to Cleveland, the team that traded their pick to the Jets to select him. #whyme? (Browns fans in Nancy Kerrigan screaming voice)

  29. This idiot paid $100,000 to a consulting firm to determine which QB to take, and it said Bridgewater. Since he ignored it and took ManzElf, I don’t think he should hold his breath waiting for a rebate on that fee.

  30. As a Browns fan, I’ll side with Haslam on this one. Sticking with a young kid who has potential is fine. Being patient with him and developing him is fine. But if you actually watched Manziel and Shaw perform this past season, you ought to know that neither one of them is going to be the answer at quarterback. Manziel is too small, he had no idea what he was doing, he bolted from the pocket every time a defensive player came anywhere near him, and his passes were mostly high and off target. Shaw is a gutty kid but he just doesn’t have an NFL arm. The Browns need to keep looking. The QB who is going to turn them into contenders is not on the roster yet. I wish that was not the case; I wish they had a young guy on the roster who could be developed into a stud QB down the road. But that’s not reality, so let’s not waste more time, and endure more losing seasons, pretending that Johnny Manziel is anything other than a party-boy college quarterback. We need a big pocket passer with a strong arm. Ben Roethlisberger. Joe Flacco. Those are the guys who succeed in the AFC North. We don’t have one, and until we get one, we aren’t going anywhere.

  31. A great article… very astute opinions at the end.

    As for Jimmy… I agree with everyone who’s saying he needs to butt out of football operations. Just write the checks – leave the drafting and coaching and roster to decisions to Ray Farmer and coach Pettine.

    We Browns fans are firmly convinced that Johnny isn’t the answer… hopefully they come to the same conclusion. I’d re-sign Hoyer… see what he can do without the Johnny circus around him. Tell him he’s the starter, get him some offensive weapons and a new right tackle in this year’s draft, and see what happens.

  32. 2 first round picks, next years 1st and a third can sway some high 1st round pickers in this draft. How many players out of draft actually play- maybe 2 or 3, I say go for it !

  33. count up the number of NFL champioships the Browns have then count up the number of NFL championships the Jags have and get back to us. (hint: one of those numbers is zero).

  34. “Wow, this seems like a real issue after you spent a ‘high number 1′ for Manziel last year….Would you have an interest in Jay Cutler?”

    Cutler is not going anywhere next year, which means he is not going anywhere for the next two years. 2015 guarantees 2016 in his contract language. Despite the Bears struggles, Cutler had a career high in completion percentage and passer rating last year. Couple that with his contract, and their lack of options, and he is not going anywhere.

  35. The Browns management team is under the gun to produce a winner in Cleveland and the clock is indeed ticking.

    Needing a QB and getting the right one are further complicated by:
    1. The large number of teams who are also looking and need to invest in a starting QB this winter.

    2. The 2015 draft will not yield a deep field.

    Let’s see just how good Farmer, Haslam and Pettin are.

  36. I think that they are sending a message to Johnny. He didn’t win the starting job last year, and when given the opportunity to start he was underwhelming at best. I think that they want Johnny to be the quarterback but he has to earn it. When next training camp starts we’ll have an established veteran and Johnny. Hopefully Johnny will rise to the occasion and not be just another name on a long list of Cleveland QB futility.

  37. Finding a franchise QB is just about luck…Seattle paid big bucks to Matt Flynn and got lucky with Russell Wilson in the third. New England drafted Bledsoe in the first, and got lucky with Brady in the sixth. San Diego got Drew Brees in the second round, and gave up on him and let him go as a free agent to New Orleans. Kurt Warner bagging groceries. Stop drafting Brady Quinns and Weedens and ManzElfs with high picks and use those to build the rest of team and use your mid and late picks on QB’s as if they were PowerBall tickets, because your chances of hitting the QB jackpot are the same no matter how much you spend.

  38. There’s no answer in this years draft or FA. Might as well roll with what you got in Manziel to see if there’s any hope for him, at least try to increase trade value for him. Draft a QB next year if he still looks hopeless. Fans are too fickle. Lead a TD drive against prevent defense in garbage time at Buffalo and he’s a superstar. Play 7 quarters against tough defenses and he’s a bust. Which is it?

  39. I make no excuses for the Browns. These SOBs have been ruining my Sundays for several decades. But I disagree with the contention that the Browns regime has not put in hard. In retrospect, even though the first round picks have not panned out thus far, they hit the next four picks out of the park (Bitonio, Kirksey, West and Desir). And they picked up another 1st rounder for 2015. Point being, they did a good job in evaluating talent – which I take to be a sign of hard work.

    This year, the team was much better than anyone thought. Not one media pundit had the Browns coming close to sniffing a .500 record. And yet they realistically could have been well over .500 (Cundiff’s missed chip shots alone sunk their record below .500).

    As to the QB, Manziel is a punk and everyone knows it. It’s not that hard to see why Browns mgmt are out on him.

    Every fan now knows the QB position is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. No one knows who will pan out and who won’t. Might as well cast a wide net.

  40. Some like it cold; some like it hot. Clevelanders like what they have not.

    The Browns have a free-agent QB already on its roster. What other FA QB is heads and shoulders above Hoyer? Hoyer is as good as Locker, better than Cousins, and I would rather have him on my team than Cutler.

  41. Still way too early to tell with Johnny Football. I don’t think it is necessarily a bad thing at this point in the offseason to make absolute comments about who next year’s starting QB is.

  42. The owner really insults my intelligence. He has said nothing that we loyal fans don’t already know. Where is the consistancy in the organization as promised when he bought the team? Fire the whole coaching staff after one year then the offensive coordinator resigns after the second year over yet another poor draft decision. We need a strong organization and my fear is that the Haslam regime isn’t the answer. I’ve been a loyal fan since 1960 but I find it harder each year to support the orange and brown. Absolutely disgusting!!

  43. Manziel is a flake and will be a huge bust for Cleveland and will be out of the league in three years.

  44. dawgpoundjedi says: Jan 23, 2015 9:30 AM
    A great article… very astute opinions at the end.

    We Browns fans are firmly convinced that Johnny isn’t the answer… hopefully they come to the same conclusion. I’d re-sign Hoyer’

    Are you kidding? PFT and the other Browns talkboards blew up with glee when Hoyer was benched for Boyziel. Browns fans were super excited, even pointing to the 80 yard drive for a…. field goal. Don’t act as if you knew Boyziel wasn’t the answer all along. You were celebrity awestruck by the whole Johnny Football brand and his Heisman trophy.

  45. NoWearMan says: Jan 23, 2015 9:31 AM

    count up the number of NFL champioships the Browns have then count up the number of NFL championships the Jags have and get back to us. (hint: one of those numbers is zero).
    Uh, you mean the real Browns that moved to Baltimore? You’re rooting for an expansion team up there in Berea, pal.

  46. Maybe DeFilippo brings in a QB like Matt McGloin from Oakland to help the other QB’s learn the system he wants to run. McGloin is a decent QB who will not embarass your team, and if he’s still under contract with the Raiders, the Browns could probably get him at a very cheap price. People have been doubting this guy (just like Hoyer) his whole career and he’s got some swagger about him. Until Alex Mack is back, I don’t care who the QB is… they will not succeed. We need our O-Line to be ready.

  47. It’s amazing that Haslam created a vast empire and was able to buy the Browns. In Negotiation 101 class you NEVER tip your hand on what you need or where you lack depth. You keep this information close to the vest. Divulging this information cripples your leverage and other teams realizing you need something results in driving up the price to move up. Look lips sink ships is the old adage. The fact that the owner doesn’t know this is troubling. No wonder Cleveland can’t get ahead. Too many folks expressing their opinions. They need to keep quiet.

  48. When the competition begins say which ever qb wins the job will have a truckstop named after him . I bet they fight like starved animals !

  49. I dont get it you have TWO 1st round draft picks and you miss on Teddy twice and now you crying about a QB. Should have picked up a vet to show those younger guys hows its done. Problem with alot of team is there looking for a get good quick plan and miss out!

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