The email Jimmy Haslam should have sent.

Jimmy Haslam’s emails to season ticket holders have famously missed the mark thus far.  It got me thinking whether there was anything he could have said to ease fans’ worries.  I think there is.  A little humility, contrition, and honesty would go a long way.

HASLAM_HEADER_600C_123013

Dear Browns fans:

It’s been a little over a year since I assumed an active role as the owner of your favorite football team.   It has been a humbling experience and I have learned much about being an owner.

I’ve said on many occasions that we intend to build an winning organization and to instill a greater sense of accountability.  This includes me.  I am accountable to you.

With the in mind, let me share with you the view from here and perhaps allay some of your concerns.  Candidly.  (Lol.)

1.  The team’s performance on-field.

I was expecting better.  I say this fully cognizant of the flags (draft and cap space) that said we were more interested in building for 2014 and beyond.  Even though we traded out of this years draft, traded our starting running back, did not spend to the cap ceiling on free agents… even in consideration of those factors, I expected more progress on offense and more “identity” on defense.  I’d also like to remind you that my viewpoint has been consistent on this point — here is a clip from last July where I said it is more important how we play in the last three games of the season than the first three games.  (Go to 2:30.)  We may disagree on the extent that mitigating factors contributed, but I hope we can agree that the last three games reflected a trend in the wrong direction.

2. Firing Chud versus continuity.

Given that our internal expectations were not met on the field, our management team reached consensus internally that we wanted to scrap our coaching staff and start fresh.  I won’t outline here precisely the basis for this conclusion but I raise this point to assure you that there was indeed a process of careful consideration and we felt confident in our decision at the time.  In retrospect, I now wonder whether it was the wisest move.  But the ship has sailed and now we are focused on moving forward.

3.  The new coach.

We are looking for a coach who is a strong personality and who will put his stamp on his team.   I realize these are touchy-feely qualifications and they are mainly identified in the interview process.  The good news, in my opinion, is that this opens up the field of candidates somewhat and thus the superficial appearance of “being late” with the hire is just that, superficial.  One need only look at the two Super Bowl winning coaches in our own division to recognize that a long list of credentials is less important that the je ne sais quoi that a Mike Tomlin or John Harbaugh bring to their teams.  Fear not fans, we will hire a great coach.

4.  Our free agents.

Wouldn’t you know it?  We sit with plenty of cap space entering 2013, with only two significant UFAs, and they both make All-Pro.  I assure you we didn’t see this coming (in spite of warnings from Cleveland’s astute blogging community) and I’ve let the appropriate people in the organization know that I view this as a significant miss by them in their roles.  But again.. it does no good now to look backward so let me first congratulate Alex and TJ on their great years.  Looking forward:  we want very much to retain both.  I don’t care if saying so publicly affects our negotiations.  We have said that it’s better to build sustainable success by growing our own talent and clearly Mack and Ward are key parts of the rich talent base that the prior regime left to us.  They represent exactly the sort of continuity we want to build here

4a.  Other teams’ free agents.

We’ve got a shit-pot full of cash heading into next year and I have instructed Joe to spend it.

5.  The draft.

First off, Chuck Klosterman will be back again to chronicle the excitement that is the Berea War Room.  (Lol, j/k.)  But seriously, last year’s draft class obviously didn’t provide an impact for last year’s season; we view this as a miss; accountability has been assigned internally.  That said, we’re confident that several players from last year’s draft will contribute to the team in the years to come.  As pertains to this year, we’re excited to have extra picks coming into what is rated as a strong draft class.  I’m confident in the team assembled in creating our draft evaluations, I hope when I write this letter next year the player eval team will have earned your confidence too.

In closing, our goal for 2014 is the playoffs.  We will have built-in excuses due to the uncertain quarterback situation and a new coaching staff.  We will not be using those excuses.  One need only look at this year’s playoffs to see that a new coach and a new starting QB can get you to the playoffs.  See Chip Kelly1 and Nick Foles; Andy Reid and Alex Smith.

We are not planning on another three year rebuild.  We think we have a core of players who can win and we will be going all in for next year to augment that core with players whose skills match best our needs.

I repeat:  we’re all in for 2014.

Thank you for your patience.  No hard feelings on this side, we know last year was a disaster.  Know that we are energized for 2014 and will earn your business and reward your support.

Con molta candore,

HASLAM_SIG_123013

  1. DICK!! [back]

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  • HitTheHorns

    Anyone watching the Royal Rumble tomorrow?

    • had to google it here.. so..

      but ive been told by one who knows:
      “Senior Bowl 5,000 star smacker is under 41”

      so there’s that.

      • actovegin1armstrong

        I thought the Royal Rumble happened July 14th many years ago.
        Someone got to eat cake.

  • bupalos

    I think it will take about 3 games for all the “Chud was the bestest, woe is me what a joke this FO is” folks to realize all the discombobulation was well worth it.

    • Dan

      So Ray Farmer took his name out of the running for the Miami GM job. Miami still does not have a GM! Nobody wants to go to Miami. Reports are that Miami is toxic.

      • bupalos

        I heard radioactive.

    • Dan

      Granted, the front office might have fallen back asswards into this hire (especially considering the rumors from last night of Schiano being interviewed, Yikes!).

      Nonetheless, I think it is a great hire. A guy that has shown he can run a top notch defense for longer than 1 year. And a guy who has shown that he can turn a disappointing defense with talent around. There is not much to not like about this.

      • bupalos

        Come on. Admit it. You like this guy better than Chud already…you know you do.

        Bannardi are now going to be chastened and semi-neutered just because of how this went down. I think Haslem’s brainless “failure is not an option” flailings actually will fumble this thing into a success.

        O-Line, WR, and LB help on the way, simple defensive transition…maybe even using Mingo as something other than a pre-announced safety blitz every play….I’m seeing 8-8 as the floor.

        • You’re completely incurable.

          • bupalos

            I’ve got the fever
            And the only prescription is…
            …. more cowbell.

            Klong klong klong klong.

  • Pingback: While We’re Waiting… Sizemore signs (!) and to trash talk or not | WaitingForNextYear()

  • Dan

    And on that note, who wants Manziel at 4?

    • not all-in on manziel at four yet… but pretty locked in as against a trade-up for him.

      • Dan

        Trading up would be a disaster. I am glad we can agree on that at least.

        I read an article reviewing the passing stats re: Bortles, Bridgewater, and Manziel. I will have to look for it and put it in another comment, but it was comparing their short v. long passes in re: to frequency and accuracy, especially under pressure. The results were that Manziel came off as an accurate down field passer even under pressure (they adjusted the numbers for his crazy throw the ball up and hope someone catches it plays). Bortles threw a bunch of short passes and was not accurate even when not pressured. Bridgewater was basically middle of the road. It made me feel alot better about potentially drafting J. Football.

      • actovegin1armstrong

        I am against a trade up for Manziel too.
        However I am certain the Browns should package their 2 first round picks this year and next year’s 1st and 2nd round picks and their 1st round pick in 2016 to move up one place to take that running back from Altered State University. (The one with no ligaments in his knees.)
        Or use all of those picks to get Washington to part with RGINJURY.
        RGINJURY is a cannot miss FRANCHISE Quarterback that will lead his team to victory in the next 17 SuperBowls!!

    • bupalos

      I’d give the 4 and maybe as much as the Steelers 3rd for Manziel or Bridgewater, they are the only two I’m interested in up there. Bortles as high as 12. I wouldn’t take Carr with even a 3rd rounder.

      • actovegin1armstrong

        Do you mean David Carr? Derek Carr is a different player.
        Please remember the Andrew Ruth story. Andrew Ruth played one year of Major League Baseball, he only got in 103 at bats and his average was .151, with no home runs.
        However his little brother George Herman (Babe) Ruth did much better.
        You may have heard of him.

        • bupalos

          I think Derek Carr is a dum-dum and system symptom ala the Weedy one. But if YOU’RE suggesting spending a 4th rounder on a QB, that makes me sit up and take notice because it probably means you think he’s the best one to come out in the last several decades.

          • actovegin1armstrong

            No, am not a Carr fan, just a 4th round flyer.

      • actovegin1armstrong

        I would pick up Carr with a 4th round pick.
        If Johnny Football drops to the Browns’ 2nd first rounder they should take him, or if they can get Bortles with a 3rd rounder.
        If not, it is time to pick up a re-tread, or test Hoyer’s knee and go from there.
        I prefer Hoyer to wasting another high pick on a risky position, we may get the 2nd coming of Peyton Manning, or the next Ryan Leaf.
        By the way, did anyone ever look up what happened to the mid-3rd round guy, Russell Wilson that I really liked? Is he playing in the CFL, or did he hang on with an NFL team?

        • bupalos

          It’s well established that you are special in all ways acto, not least in draft acumen.

          Give it to us. I want to hear the whole spread, 1,1,2,3,3,4 and all the way out.

          • actovegin1armstrong

            I did that a few weeks ago.
            4th pick Jake Matthews
            2nd first rounder, Justin Gilbert, Jason Verrett,
            2nd round, Jordan Matthews
            3rd round Cyrill Richardson
            I forget the rest, but we should all do this as the draft unfolds, so we know who is left. It would be fun.
            Shall we all head to The Map Room again, for the REAL Browns’ Superbowl?

          • actovegin1armstrong

            “special in all ways acto,” Thank you for saying “special” instead of the Tim Duncan version.

  • Dan

    I would argue that the letter from Haslam was very necessary given the impatience of the media (and those who listen to the media). I would also ask if there is an alternative to the long drawn out process that people would like instead. You want them to throw the job at anyone (Lerner), or make a nepotism/cronyism hire (Holmgren)? Gase and McDaniels turning us down should be see as a blessing, as this job is going to need someone completely invested in it, My money is on Pettine 1. because he has done the DC thing for longer than one year; and 2. he seems to really want the job.

    The perception that this is a toxic atmosphere is probably born exclusively from the media. Since the Browns did not hire someone after one week, it has to be toxic, right? It is sad that the front office can’t take their time to hire someone without people having a conniption about it.

    • i think pettine (or any hire) can be a good hire and a successful coach.

      i agree the shurmur hire was ridiculous and would have been fine canning him mid-season. he was way out of his depth. i just don’t think that can be said for chud.

      but i don’t think the toxic berea narrative is a media creation. chud (and norv and horton) are known personally by many people in their industry. to a lesser degree (at least among coaches/players), so are banner/lombardi. the ‘toxic’ talk seems to be coming from the industry and the press is just reporting it.

      and yes, it was good jimmy wrote a letter. it was just an ineffective communication lacking sincerity and saying nothing. here it is again (just bypass the reply at the top)… it’s a cross between a corporate press release and belichick injury report. my point is/was that a different approach would have been the way to go.

      • Dan

        – Well Chud didn’t really do much to warrant a return. Though there were highlights in the season, there wasn’t much that stood out and screamed “long-term success.” My concern with him was his reaction to blatant calls that went against us. He showed no hint of being upset by it. I am of the mind that the only way to get those calls to start turning your way is to make a big stink of the ones that don’t. There just was no emotion.

        – I am not surprised that Chud/Horton/Norv would be upset for being fired. They should have done more to not get fired then. And while I agree they could have an impact on the perception of the front office, I am just unsure what “Toxic” means in this instance. Is it that the front office is disorganized? Because I highly doubt Banner is incapable of keeping the front office organized (you can call him alot of things (robot, small, etc.) but disorganized doesn’t seem to be one of them. Is it that Banner and Lombardi want control over the team? Because I am pretty sure you will see that a lot of places, and based on the evidence we have right now, that has not had a negative effect on this coaching search (the only 2 coaches to turn us down have unbelievably cushy jobs riding the coattails of HOF QB’s), If it is that people just do not like Banner or Lombardi (and judging by the Senior Bowl rumors this seems to be the likely case) then name calling and bad mouthing them is just as petty as Banner and Lombardi are perceived to be.

        – Were you really expecting anything other than a corporate press release? Last I checked the Browns are a highly visible entity, and any statement coming out of a place like that is bound to have been reviewed by a slue of media personnel and vanilla.

        • Dan

          Sorry for the snarkiness. I am not trying to be confrontational, I just get testy when I argue points.

          • lol.. appreciate the concern and didn’t take it that way. pre-emptive forgive my return snark if it reads that way.

            (i actually went back and toned down my peevish rant to bup below because my intended jocular tone was completely lost in translation.)

        • we’ll have to disagree on point 1.

          and strenuously disagree on point 2. i find jim harbaugh’s act grating. noll, shula, landry — paul brown — were successful without sideline theatrics.. add john wooden and bear bryant to the list and i’m sure many more that i haven;t thought of.

          on the third bullet, no of course i wasn’t expecting humble or honest or reflective. that what would have made it special.

          • Dan

            Re: point 2
            – I also find Harbaugh incredibly annoying. I am not asking for a temper tantrum every time something doesn’t go our way. I am saying, when it is incredibly blatant that they screwed up the call (like the PI against the Patriots), that should have elicited some emotion from him on the sideline and at least a comment in the press conference. We got nothing. I think there can be a happy medium between Harbaugh’s antics and Chud’s complete disinterest. Also, you mention noll, shula, landry, and paul brown – all which coached a long time ago, in a time that, I would argue, the role of the referee on the game was not as prevalent. When judgment calls like PI penalties are put in the hands of refs and we have the benefit of review and they still get it wrong. Those coaches really didn’t have to deal with that. Also, those coaches didn’t have to coach today’s browns, who suffer from the perception of the perennial whipping boy. Also, you don’t think Bear Bryant ever chewed out a ref?

          • Toddyus

            I am the kind of person who reacts to these sorts of things emotionally, and I have to disagree with this approach. The fact is, he needs to let it go and focus on the next play. He only has so much time to get it in. Marty Schottenheimer preached that approach and did quite well with it.

          • bupalos

            I admit I’m amazed Harbaugh can spend the energy he does on these antics and still seemingly make all the right calls all the time. But he does. He really does. I think he’s the best game day coach in the NFL.

            I’ve known this type–I’ve hired this type– enough to know that being a great detail freak and going crybaby ballistic about every little thing are very very often opposite sides of the same coin. Honestly, the only people I’ve known who relentlessly cover all the bases and are sticklers for making the “correct” call all have had this trait. Harbaugh isn’t “working the refs.” Harbaugh is just incredibly personally offended when people turn his world upside down by screwing up the rules.

            It makes perfect rational sense to prefer the “move on to the next play” approach, but in reality, the guy who is really able to move on to the next play without some kind of wrenching internal conflict generally doesn’t have the same level of commitment to getting the details right. It’s just a human personality thing.

          • Petefranklin

            Can’t put Noll or Landry in there, they were two of the absolute luckiest coaches of all time. All game calls could go against them but when the game was on the line it was like they sold their soul to the devil.

          • actovegin1armstrong

            Agree on both, especially Noll, great, he is from Cleveland and everything, but with these guys on defense during his tenure, he would have to be a Schurmur not to be thought of as a terrific coach. L. C. Greenwood, Carnell Lake, Rod Woodson, Jack Ham, Jack Lambert, Joe Green and The Amazing Mel Blount.

  • Bluedog93

    You know, I’ve been hearing for three weeks now this mantra that the team wasn’t better in the last three games of the season than it was in the first three games, and nobody ever has challenged it, and I think it’s a close enough question that it should at least be discussed. Of course, there was one win in those first three games and none in the last three, but that was against the Vikings, clearly the worst of the six teams played during these two periods. Here are the relevant games, team records, final scores, and a brief summary of each game —

    Week 1: Home v. Miami (8-8) L 10-23. The Browns took a 7-6 lead into halftime thanks to a last-minute touchdown by Jordan Cameron, but Miami dominated the second half, especially the 4th quarter.

    Week 2: at Baltimore (8-8) L 6-14. Again, the Browns led at halftime, but the offense was pretty bad all game. The defense allowed the Ravens to convert fully half of their 3rd down tries.

    Week 3: at Minnesota (5-10-1) W 31-27. A win. The Browns led 24-17 at the half, then the offense sputtered until Brian Hoyer led a nice drive at the end of the game to reclaim the lead. Hoyer also threw three interceptions, which is a large reason for the number of points surrendered — AP was held to under 100 yards and Christian Ponder was 25 of 42 for 228 yards, no touchdowns and one interception.

    Week 15: Home v. Chicago (8-8) L 31-38. This one was actually going well until the fourth quarter, when the Bears scored 21 points. Chicago converted 64% of their third down attempts.

    Week 16: at New York Jets (8-8) L 13-24. The game was tied until the beginning of the fourth quarter, and it was only tied thanks in part to a terrible last two minutes of the first half that accounted for all 10 of the Jets’ first half points. Fun fact (well, unfun fact): The Jets’ two second half touchdowns came on consecutive 14 play drives.

    Week 17: at Pittsburgh (8-8) L 7-20. If you don’t know how season-ending games against the Steelers go, I don’t see why I should tell you. The Browns’ touchdown came during junk time; this really could have been a shutout.

    So okay, maybe looking at the games we should conclude that the team didn’t get any better. Still, the best game on the list was the only one against a sub-.500 team (weird, isn’t it, that the other five teams all finished 8-8?). Given the quality of opposition, I might argue that the best game of the first three plus last three was the Chicago game in week 15. Overall, you’re looking at a combined score of 47-64 in the first three games and 51-82 in the last three games, against tougher opponents — certainly better offenses. I’m not sure how you avoid the conclusion that this was a team that was bad throughout, with insufficient talent to compete, rather than being a team where the coaching staff failed to develop the talent they had into a better performing team at the end of the season.

    So I’ll conclude that Haslam’s claim that the team didn’t improve in the last three games as compared to the first three games as being generally proven, although a more faithful believer in Brian Hoyer than I could argue that it was Hoyer’s injury, and not the failures of the coaching staff, that accounts for this.

    • oh absolutely. i think the premise in itself is faulty when applied so superficially. ie, of course the team is playing worse in pittsburgh, they have six starters inactive and four wins. i’m trying/straining to give haslam a plausible explanation for a firing that is wholly un-defend-able.

      regarding the canard about the browns D fading in the 4thQ: this is what happens when you build out your defense and ignore your offense. eventually your D gets worn down or simply demoralized by the impotent offense. browns 2014 cap spend was 43M offense, 60M defense and that offense number includes 7M for richardson. draft picks? gotta go to pick #227 to find the sole offense draft pick. the veteran acquisitions were bess, barnidge, and mcgahee. so of course it’s b.s. to criticize the defense and of course the firing itself was b.s.

      what’s been surprising disappointing is the number of browns fans who suddenly now think chud sucked, deserved to be canned. i don’t know what berea has done to earn their trust but so so many line up lock step and are down with calling the chud hire a mistake. i mean.. i know what to expect from berea and from the team and from media coverage. but the resigned acceptance of this spew and the spin-accepting of so many fans provides air cover for more of the same.

      • bupalos

        browns 2014 cap spend was 43M offense, 60M defense>>>

        In other nearly balanced except for not having the kind of QB you have to pay.

        • no.

          adjusting for richardson, the ‘declining browns’ were 60Mdef/36Moff. (33M when you deduct ‘excused absence, personal’ davone bess.)

          wake me up when we sign our 17M/yr qb.

          • bupalos

            Why would we “adjust” for Richardson when they went into season with him and he’s still on the books now and later?

            And since I presume signing Cutler was at least in the mix, I’m not sure why that’s insane. Or since it seems presumed they are incredibly stupid, Mark Sanchez would cost us 12. The point being, it’s not that fair to compare the offense that isn’t paying it’s highest position (not by choice) to the defense that does have it’s highest paid positions filled with vets.

            As comparison, I’m pretty sure SF’s cap numbers offense and defense will be similarly skewed, because Kappy doesn’t get paid. Would this be evidence of a bad approach?

            update —
            SF caps offense, defense, specials–
            $49,520,673
            $69,266,456
            $2,820,000

          • you mean the we-invested-4-first-rounders-on-the-o-line niners, those niners?
            careful, you’re about to support a ‘priority’ of mine.

          • bupalos

            No I mean the 49ers of November 10 that got scrunched by a great front 7 and my 2012 draft-crush KUECHLY!!!

            That can be back-and-forthed all you want, the point is there is more than one way to skin a cat and cap imbalance is determined by where the rookie-vet balance tilts and other vagaries. It isn’t indicative of a bad approach.

            And 2012 reminds me we don’t really disagree on football as much as you want to think. I wanted Kuechly (and an extra 2nd or 3rd prob.) and Decastro. So you’d have your 3 studs (except Decastro isn’t) and a great lower cost LB.

          • jury’s still out on decastro. even with his blown acl and meh start this year, he finished the season strong and we can agree that he has more upside than the guy we took two slots before him.

            re: LBs.,. jamie collins and kiko alonzo in second round. do want.

    • bupalos

      I put both the first two losses mostly on Weeden. You can’t really compare Weeden games to non-Weeden games in the W-L or score column. The entire team, especially the defense, played winning, motivated ball up to the cinci game. On the first 3, with either of the mediocre QB’s in there I think we likely win them both– Flacco pulled out some incredible throws under pressure in that first meeting.

      I watched the entire season including most games on coaches film. I feel there was a definite drop-off practically the entire year, especially from the defense, that was really near championship level early on.

  • whosevelt

    Honestly, I think the letter and the Browns’ general demeanor is just window dressing. It doesn’t really matter. The Browns ripped out our hearts again by being terrible, by being the Browns, not by communicating poorly. Would it have been nice if they hadn’t fired Chud? It would have taken us two thirds of next season to gradually give up hope; firing him now was like ripping off a band-aid. Would it be great if Josh McDaniels hadn’t snubbed us? I guess it would have been nice to feel that our team was not hopeless but we would have ended up with Josh McDaniels as the head coach and again, we would have figured out halfway through next season that we were a hopeless team with a know it all prick for a coach. In the end, things are as they were meant to be and as they have always been: we suck and have no hope.

    • as you know i share most of this sentiment.

      but yet..
      1. while i actually was becoming a chud fan, it’s still plausible that a good/great coach can be found because they’re often found in unexpected placed;
      2. as grim as losing two all pros in free agency would be, it’s still possible that a combo of dollars and org change and maybe personal flattery could persuade ward/mack to stay;
      3. the most only grievous miss in the draft, imo, was mcfadden. mingo might still be a star, gilkey and bryant were nice late round finds… in short if you’re looking for goodness on the draft-talent_eval side, you can find it;
      4. while the veteran signings (kruger, dbryant, bess) grade out at C- in the aggregate… it’s possible lessons were learned and that a more practical ‘hole-filling’ free agent signing strategy will be pursued this year.
      5. and brian hoyer.

      just please let them not fall in love with a guy and do the trade-up in the draft thing.

  • bupalos

    Hmmm…

    You probably could have shortened this to “Sorry I’m a dumb dick that didn’t have the wisdom to listen to the internet clairvoyance of Jim Kanicki, so I’m now resolved to do that in the future.”

    This take would be a little more credible itself if you allowed Puppet-Haslem to take organizational credit where credit is due (eg. cutting bait on a 100% worthless NFL player in return for a 26 pick) instead of acting like that somehow goes in the “even though we…” category. You’re right that Haslem et al didn’t push all the chips into the pot this year, and chose to invest some instead– But excepting the non-rollover cap, that is no where near the screaming sin you take it to be. I hope they consider doing a bit of that every year– the good organizations generally do.

    Likewise the reason and consistency you give with one hand in the “first 3 games versus last 3 games” portion is taken away by the other hand with “I wonder now if this was the wisest move.” I know you’re not going for any kind of serious realism here, but that’s a little much.

    • wow. i thought i was pretty charitable to haslam here. i take it this is working for you?
      “As we communicated in our press conference, there is an urgency for success. There is an urgency to create a winning football team not only next year blah blah blah..”

      to paraphrase lucille bluth: i don’t understand your hostility and i’m not going to respond to it.

      • bupalos

        I think the mistake here is in seeing some hostility. I’m just pointing out that while the post is ostensibly about how Haslem could have successfully communicated and fought his corner, it’s really more about how he could write a crypto-admission that bloggers could run the team much better than he can. I’m not saying bloggers couldn’t run the team (and the world) much better than he can. I agree with about half the football points you make there. I’m saying you are not giving a realistic take on how Haslem could or should communicate successfully about what he’s done and is doing, you’re saying he needs to write a letter that is at heart an admission of error and adoption of your priorities.

        • i understand that realistically jimmy haslam won’t write a letter that combines humility, contrition, honesty, and accountability to the fans. but i think he would be wise to do so.

          as far as the suggestion that these are -my- priorities.. what i’ve put forward are sound moves. e.g., it’s not like i have some irrational love of line-of-scrimmage domination; it’s completely that LOS domination has been proven to lead to football success. not my fault that i’m the only one to write posts on it; doesn’t make it my priority. it makes it was it has been from the start: a fact.

          • bupalos

            >>>it’s completely that LOS domination has been proven to lead to football success.>>>

            And yet when they build a deep and dominant defensive line… they spent too much there and should have been filling other holes. I’ll accept that there are some basic rules that generally work. I don’t accept that there is only one way to skin a cat.

            I also don’t accept that it’s a great idea to push all your chips to the center when you’re holding the weeden card.

          • omg.

            let’s draft #6 overall to backup our best OLB, then use 80% of our FA spend on another OLB and a guy who plays same position as rubin and taylor and hughes and winn.

            and then let’s start sean lauvao at guard.

            yes there are many ways to skin cats. there’s the can’t-have-too-many-pass-rushers way and the hope-we-win-the-qb-lottery way and the make-alex-mack-prove-it way. the question becomes what are the odds of success of the alternate ways.

          • bupalos

            Mingo as Sheard clone–if that was the plan– is a mistake. But for all we know, the guys that drafted Mingo may see him in his proper light, as a hybrid cover-blitz guy with unique traits that meet current challenges and needs perfectly. IF USED THAT WAY. And if not used in a creative way… well, that could be a big strike against the coaching regime.

            The flaw in this “guy who plays the same position” stuff is that the proof was in the pudding. That front was near championship level deadly early on. I understand you favor a balanced team, but being unbalanced and having a real overweighted strength has been proven valid as well.

          • Warburton MacKinnon

            We needed an impact player at 6,what we got was Mingo. There should be no more discussion on that,it matters little IF he develops/improves/or learns some techniques….what he is and was is not worthy of a 6th pick in the first round for someone you don’t expect to start nor play every down(which we were told whe he was drafted). That might work for a QB but not a defensive player. Let’s just end with the fact every person our front office wants to hire has taken themselves out of contention for the job. Bup I know you are a glass haf full kind of guy but,like wow.

          • actovegin1armstrong

            Warb, Not ready to write off Barky. His unusual talent must be used in in-ordinary ways. He has a terrific to good 40 speed, but it is an easy proposition to start NFL plays in motion. His top end speed is phenomenal. He is faster than almost everyone the Browns have. I would love to use him as an end rusher occasionally, but drop him in coverage more frequently, have him be the roverback/spy on “read option” QB’s and “Rob Ryan” his talent all over the place. There is not a new style QB who can out run Mr Mingo and I doubt that anyone could keep their confidence in their pitchout if it is grabbed by a blazingly fast defender.
            The Browns have 4 fantastic players on offence and 3 on defense, the key for any coach is maximizing their strengths.

          • bupalos

            This is exactly right. And the reverse is true too, without being used creatively Mingo is a pretty low value asset. I wonder the extent to which they just lined him up and shot him around the backside of the play out of the action bothered the people who drafted him. And then there was talk at the end of the year about trying to beef him up. If I drafted a Mingo and someone charged with his development started talking about loading weight on him I might flip out too.

          • actovegin1armstrong

            You hit the nail somewhere! Good job.

          • bupalos

            I really do wonder if Lombardi isn’t a kind of Iago character. I don’t discount that he may be doing a lot of damage and I wouldn’t have anyone like him anywhere near my team.

            But it’s hard for me to ignore the actual football moves, which I mostly agree with. I really didn’t like what Chud and company did, so it’s hard to disagree with that move. Or with the Richardson thing, which practically nobody would have done but which was an absolute slam dunk. I think they can get the football side right. But the character and personality stuff is scary.

          • actovegin1armstrong

            Bupa, please do no harm to any members of our feline world.

          • Warburton MacKinnon

            What dominant line are you thinking of? This years team didn’t build nor have one,we would have had similar or better production without any of this years investment.

          • bupalos

            First third of the year that line was dominating. Great pressure on the QB and absolutely stoning the run. Easily the best line on either side of the ball Cleveland has had since the return. Definitely tailed off as the year went on, but early on that line looked to me like the first time we’ve had a significant football weapon in a decade.

            >>>we would have had similar or better production without any of this years investment.>>>

            Not sure what to say to that, but it seems as bonky a counterfactual as I’ve heard in a while.

            If Weeden hadn’t hurt his thumb we would have won the superbowl.

    • i’m circling back to this. apart from your completely missing the tone of this post id like to know what part of my ‘internet clairvoyence’ has been a problem for you? what is bugging you about:

      1. the goodness of targeting keenan lewis, dannell ellerbe, andy levitre in free agency? were not CB2, ILB, and OG notable weaknesses on the 2013 browns?
      2. the three stud oline rule? did not three of the four championship game teams get there on their run games? is not the ‘it’s a passing league now’ c.w. able to be challenged?
      3. alec ogletree at #6? would not an athletic seam-covering ILB have been useful in this year’s 3-4?
      3a. did the research demonstrating that for top 10 draft picks, LBs washout at 7% while DEs bust at a 32% rate annoy?
      4. the mingo draft questioning? was not jabaal sheard the best pass rusher again this year?
      5. the observations regarding cap rollover non-spend?
      6. kerry rhodes? he wouldn’t have been an upgrade at FS? i know i know berea has info that i don’t have so they can make better calls on personnel moves and so i should be deferential. **cough** BESS **cough**
      7. the concern about the secondary? the jpg is the browns defense ranked by their pass cover grades. i mean i’m sorry that i was so god-damn right.
      8. statistical weirdness of the browns short d-back?
      9. ive got pieces on josh gordon, quentin groves, tj ward, greg little, and alex mack.. the only one i’d say was miss was with little. are you upset that i expected him to bloom and was wrong?

      10. on non browns stuff i was right on andrew luck and tavon austin. easy calls you say? bill barnwell tripped up on luck and if i had a dime for every ‘let’s draft austin’ tweet.

      i dont know what i’m supposed to do with all these posts if not defend myself with them. shit i even said the iron bowl was where bama was most likely to fall and said so six weeks before it. i had a good year.

      so.. sorry if my clairvoyence is bugging you. you want somebody to tell you that the browns shouldve taken alfred morris in 2012, there’s jim nantz for that. you want someone to write about coaching candidates who might have interviews.. MKC has got you covered. i’m trying to take this in a different direction.

      anyways… when ahtyba rubin gets cut this off-season you be sure to tell your friends that kanick raised that flag on 4/10/2013, ok?