By Vic Carucci, Senior Editor
You’ve got questions and comments that you submit to the Browns’ official Facebook and Twitter pages. Here’s what I have to say about what you have to say:
CHUCK – What would new ownership under Jimmy Haslam mean for the Browns this season?
Way too early to give you anything resembling a comprehensive response, Chuck.
I have no idea on what the timing would be for if/when Jimmy Haslam would have an ownership stake in the Browns, and, therefore, I couldn’t say what sort of impact would be noticeable this season.
From the standpoint of the on-field product, the primary shaping of the team has already been done by the player-personnel department and the coaching staff. Systems and plays already have been installed, and through the offseason and so far in training camp, players are doing things as they’ve been structured by Pat Shurmur and his assistants.
Regardless of who owns the club, when you’re starting the season with a football plan that has been put in place, it would seem to make sense to give it a chance to work and look for the best result.
Now, if there are struggles before, during or after an ownership change that takes place before or during the season, you might wonder if there would be a different reaction. But I think that still would be the case with the same ownership. The expectation for success, the demand for that, would be no different regardless of who owns the team. Think about the multiple changes at the coaching and general manager levels that have been made under Randy Lerner’s ownership in a continual effort to find success.
BRIAN – Is there a chance the Browns are leaving Cleveland?
Brian, team president Mike Holmgren is on record as saying that the Browns remaining in Cleveland was a key stipulation in Randy Lerner’s dealings with any prospective new owner.
And that comes as no surprise. Randy Lerner is a Cleveland guy and knows as well as anyone what the franchise means to the entire community. He has always seen his role as that of a caretaker – that even though the club belongs to his family in a business sense, he sees it as belonging to the fans of Cleveland.
And he includes himself among that group, and, I firmly believe, always will.
Although I have not had any personal dealings with Jimmy Haslam and although he is from Tennessee, everything I have heard about him speaks to someone who clearly understands what the Browns mean to Cleveland and the franchise’s rich history.
To that extent, I feel confident in believing that he views this as a community investment as well as an investment in the National Football League. And I would go as far as to say that he sees as much value in Cleveland’s long-standing love affair with its football team as anything else the Browns have to offer.
CHRIS – So how do you feel about the Browns becoming serious contenders now with a new owner that will go investing into free agency?
I think you’re getting a little bit ahead of yourself, Chris.
Until the deal is done and we’ve had a chance to hear about whatever philosophical approach Jimmy Haslam would take to ownership, any thoughts regarding his football or business plan would be pure guessing.
For what it’s worth, the NFL team in which he has a minority interest is the Pittsburgh Steelers. The last I checked, the Steelers believed, as the Browns believe, that you primarily build your team through the draft and use free agency selectively.
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