Rethinking the Banner era.

So #brownstwitter is getting frothy over this pass…

Ok, I’m sold!  All we need to do is call the four-steps-up-into-the-pocket play and we should be good.  Who knew?  Why didn’t Shanny call that play?  Why didn’t Dowell Loggains coach him up?  Sure, it’s the fourth quarter of an August game and you’ve got a cut-line strong safety trying to play corner and yeah even with four steps the 22 yd TD pass was under-thrown but,,, Manziel should start over McCown!


In more a serious vein, I saw nothing last night to cause a rethink on the “Soulless Husk” appraisal.  Heavy on paycheck picker-uppers; bereft of inspirational play.  The only soulful player on the team, the only baller, Marlon Moore, was out and it showed.

That is one lethargic team.  It’s like they know they’re a 4-12 team and — unlike past years — there’s not even an upside to tanking the season for the draft because shit:  Weeden-Richardson-Mingo-Gilbert-Manziel.  They’re a 4-12 team and even the hope for improvement next year feels foolish.  Which is what got me thinking this heresy:

Was I wrong about Joe Banner?


The Banner Plan, revisited.

140821_05_keelhauling

Keelhauling, at least, is a plan.

Say one thing for Banner:  he had a plan and there was never a question there.  Now then, it’s been my contention that his ‘plan’ included a lot of season tanking, not-my-guy cutting, and self-serving/time-buying/contract-extending tactics.  But his team was moving and moving upward.  True, the first part of his plan seemed designed to plumb the absolute, murky, slimy bed of the Cuyahoga bottom of the NFL.  But hey, once you hit rock bottom you almost have to trend up, no?

It was a grotesquely cynical plan, but it does feed (and manipulate) (and exploit) the bottomless resource that is common to all Browns fans:  hope.

Somehow the current regime has stripped hope away; from me at least.  I don’t know how they did it because I actually love the head coach and love the fact of three first round picks and a second spent on the offensive line.  And it’s not the uniforms or the generic stadium or the mascot overkill or the lame in-game third down music or the lusting-after-Columbus/dying-to-get-out-of-Cleveland or the sin tax raising or the twerpy Sloan School lawyer needing to be coached up by the brown-nosey rookie GM… although these things in the aggregate contribute to a sour disposition toward the 2015 Browns.

16657009-mmmain

Farmer lost me with the socks. And the scarf. And the cap.

I think my lack of hope stems from the fact that tanking seasons via all number of means — bad coach hirings, good coach firings, bad coach firings, shitty lazy credible football men, hands off owner selling, hands on hillbilly buying — this unbelievable string of piss poor management, this flawless execution of the tank plan, actually succeeded in yielding a genuine bounty of the lifeblood for NFL teams — first round draft picks.  And they’ve all been squandered.

So if playing uninspired, losing football resulting in high draft picks doesn’t have a payoff… how does one sustain hope?

This brings me back to Banner.  I’ve been thinking that there might be plausible explanations to many of the problems I expressed with his stewardship of the Browns.  If I can lay the Mingo pick at the feet of Jimmy Haslam (and I do), that opens up the possibility that everything we saw in 2013 had an explanation we weren’t privy to.

Here’s the questions I’d like to get Joe Banner’s honest answers on.  Since I haven’t heard from Banner, I’ve gone ahead and inserted my most charitable read on his prospective and candid answers.1


Q&A with Candid Joe Banner.

Me:  What really happened with Chip Kelly?

browns03cut-2

Refused the offer he couldn’t refuse.

Candid Joe Banner (CJB):  We flew out to see him with the intention of throwing unprecedented dollars at him.  We were confident we could get him.  It turned out he wanted more control, specifically over personnel, than I wanted to yield.  Also other teams had the same thoughts regarding overpaying him.  Also I think Jimmy turned him off with his TypeA-HandsOn style.  He’d been king in Eugene, didn’t have to leave, so does he really want to deal with rookie billionaire hillbilly owner?

Me:  What the hell happened with the Mingo pick in particular and that 2013 draft in general?

CJB:  Jimmy was enthralled with pass rush.  He was actually pretty child-like in his wanting an attacking defense — whatever that means.  I mean they’re just words, every defense attacks, the difference is getting the right personnel at the right price.  Welp, Jimmy though, he wanted a pass rusher, he watched one — ONE — game of Mingo’s and that was the Peach Bowl against Clemson.  So Jimmy wanted pass rush, Jimmy knew Mingo’s name, my whole staff was still finding their footing and the entire scouting crew was getting sacked, Chud didn’t really know his roster or have a vision or identity he wanted to create… so we deferred to Jimmy.  Who would we have taken if Jimmy weren’t in the room?  Probably Star Lotulelei.

Replace with a Gilbert jersey and it’s 2015!

Me:  What about the rest of that draft?  McFadden?  The trade outs?

CJB:  McFadden was a miss, what can I say?  We had a good scouting report on him… he was supposed to be tough as shit so we overlooked his small size and — yes Mike — we knew we had the smallest secondary in the NFL.  The trade outs?  On the first one I know we freaked out when Ryan Nassib went right before us.  Same thing on the next one, we really liked Tharold Simon.  I need to point out Armonty Bryant remains a nice pick and I liked the Gilkey pick too.  We were very optimistic about the 2014 draft had we gotten there.

banner-chud-2013draft-jkjpg-a60be1fa109dbc61

Pretty sure full confidence in Chud’s ability and future was expressed in this presser.

Me:  Speaking of Chud, what happened at the end with Chud?

CJB:  Lookit, Haslam is a results guy, quite impatient, and not in a good way.  Rich guys are accustomed to having their way and I have to say Jimmy suffers from some arrested development in this area.  So he’s climbing up my ass about the level of performance in meaningless December games (and that toady Scheiner is of course egging him on) so I go down and ride herd on Chud and he pushes back (pretty sure he had Norv Turner telling him not to take any shit) (Norv hated getting play calling help from the hillbilly.) and things between Chud and me just disintegrated past the point of no return.  So someone has to go, and I wasn’t going, so I fired him.

Me:  So the harassment of coaches from the owner’s box goes back to 2013?

CJB:  Oh sure.  You gotta remember that Jimmy’s dad played for Robert Neyland and won a couple NCAA Championships in Knoxville.  That makes Jimmy a football genius.  Try to keep up, Mike.

Me:  Serious biz, after trading out of the draft and then trading Richardson and the rumored shopping of Gordon — were you tanking 2013?

trich-sens

Milli Vanilli fumble.

CJB:  Hey, that Richardson trade is the best trade I’ve ever made and the best trade in Browns history.  He was such a shitty pick and that was a large part of why I didn’t keep Heckert around.  I suspect Holgrem wanted Richardson but a GM’s job is to save idiot management from idiot draft picks.  So we knew he was a stiff on the field and found out when we got here that he was a d-bag off the field.  We wanted him gone.  So we orchestrated a whole featured player on the NFL Fantasy advertising — I think he was getting drafted in the first or second round in fantasy that year — and we found someone desperate to bite.  NOW THEN,, yes the Colts were trying to make the playoffs and we knew we weren’t.  Is that tanking or realism?  I say realism.  But in any case, you’re not going to get the CEO of an NFL team to say, “We’re not trying to make the playoffs.”  You simply do not say that.  But yeah sure, we were *building for the future* if you will.  And the Richardson trade reflected that.  Same with Gordon, which — if I may point out — was also the correct impulse from my office.  Jimmy wouldn’t let me trade Gordon.  Obviously, I was right there.  And the draft?  No the draft was not part of a tanking plan.  The free agent non-participation was, but we knew we wanted to be active in 2014 and knew our cap space would rollover.

PH-820009999

The moment ‘majoring in the minor’ entered our lexicon.

Me:  What the hell was going on with your dabbling in interior design and walking the press around Berea like you’re a damn real estate agent (complete with the scruffy half-beard, christ)?  Didn’t you know that your merchandise/ticket buying supporters for 50 years without a championship in the heart of the rust belt don’t want to know about your spiffy new and expensive office furniture?

CJB:  Yeah, I’d handle that differently.  But you know what’s funny?  After buying all that orange furniture in a custom fabric that matched our helmets?  All that furniture doesn’t match the Browns’ colors now!  Lololololol… and you know who hates that:  Mr. “Wordmark.”

Me:  Can’t stand Scheiner can you?  Insufferable twerp, right?

CJB:  Backstabbing, self-promoting twerp.  Never should have let him in the building.  Knows nothing about football.  Doesn’t let that stop him trying to influence issues outside his job responsibility.  I mean, hey, I didn’t know anything about football when I started but I paid a lot of dues and now I honestly have to tell you that I am as good as anyone who ‘played the game’ at evaluating talent.  I say that with confidence because I know hundreds of professional football talent evaluators and I know I’m better at than most.

Me:  Why did it take so long to find Chud’s replacement?  I like Pettine a lot but it looked like he was your 20th choice.

review-whisenhunt-960

Trolled the shit out of Banner, Haslam, Browns.

CJB:  We — Lombardi and me — got a lot of shit from NFL lifers for firing Chud.  We were basically blackballed.  Whisenhunt, that cocksucker just took the interview to shit on me in front of Haslam.  Prick.  And it’s not like I can throw the hillbilly billionaire under the bus so I have to take the hit and eat a lot of shit.  But I did and do like Pettine and was very very excited to have found him.   He’s going to be great.

Me:  Farmer stab you in the back?

CJB:  Well,, yeah.  But Jimmy made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.  He’s definitely over his skis.  This year’s draft looks like it’s all Farmer and no Jimmy.  I think if he hasn’t hit a home run with Shelton or Irving he’ll be whacked and Pettine will pick the next GM.

Mike-Lombardi-and-Joe-Banner-Getty

Like Tessio, Lombardi made the smart play with the same result.

Me:  What was going on with Lombardi?  Why didn’t he speak?  Why did Grossi have such a bug up his ass on Lombardi?  How did you two fall out?

CJB:  Cleveland has the shittiest, laziest, most talentless writers in the NFL and Grossi is the king.  Grossi is why you got Homgrum; Grossi’s been pounding the drum for new uniforms; Grossi’s spouts bromides like ‘playmaker’ and ‘quarterback.’  I mean, hey Tony, if signing a QB were easy everyone would have Andrew Luck and the Bengals wouldn’t have Dalton signed through 2020, amirite?  I don’t know what was going with Grossi and Lombardi, if I had to guess it’s simple jealousy because Lombardi got national exposure through Simmons and NFL.com while Grossi is getting fired from the Plain Dealer.  The Plain Dealer!  Lombardi isn’t great thinking on his feet and I didn’t want him to become the story so I didn’t put him in front of that pack of hyenas.  We fell out when I found out he was feeding Jimmy info on how coaching candidates were blackballing us:  he was trying to get Jimmy to fire me and promote him.  So I was about to fire him.  Then Jimmy fired us both.

Me:  Ok, last subject, you said this regarding uniforms:  

We promise that the helmet won’t change. We promise the new look will respect the history. We’re going to do a lot of focus groups. We’re not going to put something out there that we haven’t done a lot of research on. It’s not going to be anything radical, I can guarantee that. But it will be new, forward looking and energetic. It will reflect what we want the franchise to be.

Screen Shot 2015-08-20 at 8.07.21 PM

New Browns uniforms are but part of Nike’s plan to wrest the BGSU contract away from adidas.

Did you have anyone over the age of 12 on these focus groups of yours?  In terms of reflecting what you “want the franchise to be,” did you want the franchise to be Bowling Green State University?

CJB:  First off, the whole ‘maximizing revenue streams’ thing was a mandate of Jimmy’s.  He still has to come up with 300-odd million dollars to pay of Lerner I think this year and his business is leveraged to the hilt.  One more downgrade and he might be selling the team.  So the pimping of all things Browns is a real imperative for him.  So yeah, you get these pointy headed geek consultants in a conference room and they tell you you need the video game players because they buy jerseys not once every 20 years (or never like you Mike), but will buy this year’s model because their friends have this year’s model and they want to be part of the cool crowd.  In that sense, the Manziel draft pick was genius because they sold the shit out of his jersey last year and this year you wouldn’t be caught dead in it,,, so you better buy a new jersey with a NEW DESIGN.  As for the uniform itself, of course it’s hideous but what do you expect with a hillbilly and a yuppie and a focus group of 12 year olds and of course the Nike designers with an agenda to push some boundaries influence the entire dialogue in those conference rooms.  OF COURSE it’s hideous.

Me:  Speaking of Manziel, would you have taken Manziel?  

CJB:  Pfft.  Lol.

Me:  Who would you have taken with the two picks in 2014?

CJB: Mike Evans at 4; Derek Carr at 26.

Me:  Thanks Joe.  You signing up for Cheddar Bay this year?

CJB:  I’m waiting to see if that punk Ken Carman joins.  If he does, I will just to school him.


  1. They’re a lot different from the last pretend interview I did with him. [back]
  • nj0

    So the only way that Banner isn’t a complete idiot is if all the people around Banner were even bigger idiots? I guess it’s possible, especially with the Browns.

    Of course, you didn’t address how he didn’t resign Mack.

    • Oversight.
      Q: Joe, from my desk chair here in NH it looks like you were on a mission to low-ball Alex Mack in his contract year, complete with a whisper campaign questioning his toughness and even his durability. From here, it looked like Farmer’s first act as GM was to clean up the mess leading to Mack’s current, hideous, player option expiration this year or else franchise him and give him left tackle dough. What was up with all that?
      A: Kanick, do you mind if I call you Kanick? Kanick, I know your feelings on o-line and I disagree. I thought and I think that you cannot pay – I mean, PAY – more than one lineman and in Cleveland it’s Thomas. I know the Mack saga looked ugly but I must point out that Farmer just drafted another center. If the Browns ever find a QB they’ll have to pay him and then you’ll see that spending top 5 dollars on a center becomes an impossibility.

  • maxfnmloans

    An interesting exercise. i know you dont believe all of that so I wont go about disagreeing with things, but one thing I know for sure: Lombardi and Banner had their eye on Mingo from the day they set foot in Cleveland (before things were official). IIRC, Mingo was one of the first players Lombardi was out scouting when it was rumored Banner was going to hire him.

    Im sure JIMMMAAAY(copyright Ray Liotta) wanted to improve the pass rush since he came from the Steelers, but I remember Joe Banner speaking at length about the importance of the pass rush, and while I may have the chronology of things conflated, I swear he was doing it before that draft.

    Also, while I dont necessarily think we will improve on the 7-9 of 2014, I very much dont think that this team is going to be 4-12 and ripe for another tear down. If they can just keep a good foundation until they find a better than mediocre QB, that’s fine. Unless you have one of about 10 guys, your realistic ceiling in the NFL is 9 wins. Thats why I dont think a step back in the win column this year means we need to overhaul the front office. If you can build a team solid enough to be around .500 every year with average (thats being generous) quarterbacking, then I dont see a need to make changes.

    Furthermore, I think Farmers record in later rounds of the draft and with UDFAs mitigates the 1st round follies to a degree. In reality, a good GM might hit on 60% of is first round picks. Now, if there were no Bitonio’s and Desir’s and Kirksey’s to even that out, then Id be on board for a regime change. BUT since he has had other success, suggesting he might need to go because the first round hasn’t gone according to Hoyle seems a bit harsh to me. Also, Richardson-Weeden-Mingo was not on Ray’s watch.

    Last- Banner would’ve wanted Teddy at 26, and Haslam wanted no part of him. I think that was an underlying factor in his ouster, especially when you remember they paid $100k for that “report” that said Teddy was the best prospect. Banner wanted to go with it, Haslam wanted Jhonny. Now, whether Haslam made Farmer agree to be more “elastic” in regards to the prospect of selecting Jhonny as a precondition to offering him the GM gig, thats a good question. Not to say Haslam explicitly said he HAD to draft him, but made him agree that if they were in position later in the first to be open to the idea, if it could be managed without costing too much.

    Oh yeah- WOOOO football. hallelujah! Great post.

    • carr >> bridgewater. you’ll see.

  • actovegin1armstrong

    I have got the itch and withdrawals MB. When do we get to start Cheddaring? Thank you for the player/draft/personal referral. I really enjoyed writing that stuff, even though my pseudonym did not receive the credit.

  • humboldt

    This is a really interesting premise, Mike. Since I am a Bernie Sanders liberal but live near Gettysburg and have a deep interest in Civil War history, I found this summer’s debate over the Confederate Flag to be highly problematic. The tone, intensity, and – frankly – sanctimony of the rhetoric from the left on this issue really disturbed me, and gave me pause about the way I may be similarly strident and dogmatic on certain issues. All of which is to say that I congratulate you for considering the other side of the Banner debate, even if it’s just a straw man to test the strong and reasoned arguments you’ve made in the past.

    The main question that I think defines Banner’s tenure is whether tanking is ever justifiable in the modern NFL. I remain agnostic about that issue but tend towards the belief that it isn’t. Players, front offices, and fans put too much into 16 games to trivialize their considerable physical and material sacrifices. On the other hand, the siren call of the next Andrew Luck is always in the ear of a GM, and I don’t find it unreasonable to make that bet if the circumstances are dramatically in your favor. Tough call.

    As for Manziel’s arm, I think it’s plenty strong – just seems as though his elbow inflammation has been affecting him more than he’s let on. Hope they are preemptively careful w/ the injury.

    I remain encouraged by his progress – speaking almost totally on the personal side. I work in the medical world in central PA and learned through a colleague (through guarded, HIPAA-compliant language) that Johnny was dealing with some very serious addiction issues (read: beyond alcohol). Staying clean for 4 months and putting up the proper safety nets (ie. new home, having trusted family friends living him, etc) is no small achievement.

    • hah! i KNEW i liked ya

      if my cat sitters weren’t away i was thinking to roadtrip to civil war battlefields this week. was thinking to bang out overland and valley campaigns in virginia. i shit you not.

      want to save gettysburg until i have more time and maybe plan the visit during their ‘sacred trust’ lecture series since i know all the speakers having watched everyone of these youtube talks. lately, i found shelby foote’s civil war a narrative on an audiobook and have been binge listening to it for a week (which is what made me think the Shenandoah should be on the agenda).

      btw, the confederate flag debate obfuscates (or obliterates?) so much important history not the least of which is that stonewall jackson was maybe our greatest general and his stonewall brigade our greatest soldiers.* submitted: the most bad ass depiction of american military ever.

      the shit of running away from unpleasant times and places has helped create our current immaturity on any number of human behaviors.

      (and dont get me started in the threat to national security manifested in Song of the South. thank god netflix and disney have protected us from Zippity Doo Dah.)

      *with nathan bedford forrest and his cavalry a worthy second place but much better to DIG HIM UP instead. christ.

      • Petefranklin

        Manassas(Bull Run 1 & 2) is a must see along with Antietam if you go to Virginia.
        Don’t bother with the Missouri battlefield, I forget what it’s called, it is pretty boring.
        A weekend trip to Gettysburg should suffice, when I went the Audio tour was pretty in depth and painted a good picture in my mind. You can really visualize Picket’s charge from atop Little Round Top.

      • humboldt

        Well said. When I think of Jackson, the word that always comes to mind is “redoubtable”. I need to read more about him, but I love that, as a professor, he was regarded as a bit awkward and aloof by his students. But put him on a battlefield and men would follow him into the valley of death.

        I visited Chancellorsville with my dad two years ago and loved it. Was during the government shutdown, so we walked around all-day, unimpeded by other tourists, and got to spend ample time exploring the “lonely old road” Jackson rode down before being shot by his own troops. If you ever make it out to Gettysburg let me know. I’ve been doing a bit of side research/writing about the battle with my dad (who knows vastly more than me) and we’ve been fortunate to get a couple articles published in some journals. Never need an excuse to hear down to Gettysburg, and, from there, Antietam and Harpers Ferry are also close by and well worth visiting.

        The debate about the flag seems to have cooled off a bit, but it really felt like a witch hunt this summer. The most absurd moment was when people demanded that Confederate re-enactors at Gettysburg not display the stars-and-bars. Good grief.

        • I want to root for a sports team who adopts for their slogan my second favorite civil war quote “Sir, we will give them the bayonet.” Or the favorite from your local battlefield “Come on boys, give em the cold steel.”

          What were your articles on and have you thought to take on an hour lecture at Gettysburg?

          Speaking of dad’s I shared this link with my dad. You and yours will like it too (if you havent already found it).

    • the addiction thing will be a lifetime struggle and not limited to substance abuse. support structures are key.

      all that said — still havent seen the quarterbacking skills needed in the nfl.

    • mgbode

      “whether tanking is ever justifiable in the modern NFL”

      if you have a halfway decent team, but lose your older QB to injury and there happens to be a surefire QB in the draft who you can build your halfway decent team around moving forward, then sure. see: Colts.

      • humboldt

        Do you think the 2013 Browns were facing such a scenario when Banner traded Richardson? I suppose it depends on how they were evaluating Bortles/Manziel/Bridgewater/Carr at the time. None appear to be transformative franchise QBs, though of course it’s still early to say.

        • mgbode

          oh no, I think he was getting word that Richardson was terrible and that if he could get anything of value for him to take it. Of all the things I will question, I will never ever ever question the trading of Trent Richardson (even though at the time it felt like a gigantic white flag raising).

          • humboldt

            “it felt like a gigantic white flag raising”

            Yes, particularly because Richardson’s rookie numbers were actually somewhat promising (11 TDs). Because of the way trade deadlines are setup in the NBA/MLB teams are generally well-delineated as buyers or sellers. That has never been the case in the NFL, as tanking seems to not be an acceptable approach (excepting the rare scenario you laid out above).

          • mgbode

            one reason the NFL wants to move the trade deadline further into the season. a 3-6 team might not want to trade away an impending FA, but a 4-9 team might.

  • GRRustlers

    Tell me more about the chance to run up the Cheddar Bay score on that punk Ken Carman.

  • The thing with Chip Kelly is, if he had come to Cleveland Banner and Lombardi would still be out. Kelly wants total control over absolutely everything and if he got it in Philly he sure would have gotten it in Cleveland. Which isn’t necessarily a good thing.

  • Tron

    Sorry Kanick. I love your site and always look forward to reading your latest post but I can’t let you fly on this one.

    First off, the uni’s aren’t hideous. You may prefer the older one’s and I’m not going to tell you you’re wrong. But they’re not hideous.

    Next, it seems as if you’re just projecting what you wish would of happened under Banners reign and acting as if Joe would have accommodated exactly if it wasn’t for Haslam screwing EVERYTHING up. Yeah, Evans and Carr sound great now and I know you were high on Evans, but you can’t tell me that Evans and Carr would have been Banners choice if not for Haslam. I thought Banner was high on Manziel but I could be wrong.

    Also, Haslam gets the blame for Mingo? Do you have any sources for that assumption other than hillbilly=SEC?

    I think Banner is a smart guy and could have been successful but his first draft was pretty bad and i lay that squarely at his feet.

    But the main reason I believe he deserved to have been fired is the Chud fiasco. From what I remember Banner was responsible for pulling the trigger on hiring Chud. He’s the man that found Andy Reid and it was his responsibility to find an equally competent leader for The Cleveland Browns. He picked Chud only to fire him after one season. From what I remember it was Banner with Lombardi who prematurely lost faith in his own hand-picked coach and urged Jimmy Haslam to ax Chud. They had a plan to trade for Harbaugh but the plan fell through. They fired a coach after only one season and were left with no coach at all. For that they lost all respect within NFL circles. Haslam made the right call and fired them both.

    • I think you might have missed my point which might be on me. The point of this whole post is, what if I were wrong in the -TWENTYONE- other tagged posts I’ve written about Banner and ragged him mercilessly? I mean click this, http://603brown.com/tag/joe-banner/ . That’s the point — no one has ripped Banner more comprehensively. And I’m checking the other side out today. As for the rest:

      1. They’re hideous, the worst uniforms in the league. When juxtaposed against the best uniforms in the league that they replaced, they’re even worse. When the factoring in the reason for the change is the unbounded greed of a state sanctioned monopoly preying regional tribalism, those jerseys and all who purchase them are rightfully the objects of scorn and derision.

      2. Right. I was putting on my charitable hat when preparing the fake Q&A. “Since I haven’t heard from Banner, I’ve gone ahead and inserted my most charitable read on his prospective and candid answers.” It’s a pretend Q&A until Joe agrees to be interviewed.

      3. I am positive there was a press conference where Jimmah was super excited about having a pass rush like the Steelers. I am positive I heard it, I have never found the transcript.

      4. The point of the whole post is to extend him the benefit of the like I have for, say, Heckert who I dont blame for Richardson or Weeden.. I think he got steamrolled by Homgrum on both.

      5. What I remember and what I heard was that Jimmah was ripshit after a December game in Pittsburgh and was good to fire Chud on the spot. Maybe Banner/Lombardi fed that, don’t know. But -again- the point of this post is to explore an alternate universe where my first take on Banner was off. BTW, as classless as firing Chud was; the unforgiveable part, management-wise, was not having a replacement lined up before whacking him.

      • Tron

        Yea, I’ve known that you’ve been no fan of Banners.

        I think that rethinking Heckert is easier as it is much more likely that Holmgren influenced draft choices, if not outright decided them, then Haslam has. What else was his fat ass going to do?

        I’m not a big fan of Farmer so far as I think he’s a little cocky but I’d take him over Banner. I want a person who’s played in the league and came up as a scout given the final say on personnel decisions.

        Anyways, keep up the good work and look forward to your latest.

    • The uniforms may or may not be hideous (they are, by the way) but there is no doubt they are amateurish.

      • Tron

        It’s easy to rip a bad team on their uni’s. New England has unquestionably the ugliest uni’s in the league and nobody notices. Their old ones (remember when they were bad?) were super classic and I guarantee you no Boston fan would go back. That’s what winning does.

        Baltimore has cartoon numbering and 2 Lombardi trophies.

        • humboldt

          The main problem w/ the Browns jerseys is that they have taken a standard-bearer uniform and made it into a pastiche of trendy elements. Just to name a few:

          -The loud quasi-neon orange echoing the sharp yellows in Seahawks jerseys
          -Drop-shadows on the numbers recalling the 49ers jerseys of the 90s
          -9 combinations of jerseys to make us the “Oregon of the NFL”

          Mashing together all these elements creates a Frankenstein-like uniform that neither looks nor feels like anything resembling what we have known as a classic “Browns uniform”. It is simply a marketing gimmick aimed at extracting dollars from a different type of “consumer”.

          • actovegin1armstrong

            Terrific points for pastiche! I used that word in a conversation a few years ago and a little guy made a comment that endangered his safety. However, I really like the most basic version of The Brown’s kit. Certainly no brown pants. Why did they decide to fix a terrific thing that was obviously not broken?

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