Monday, July 30, 2012

Thinking out loud
A little of this and a little of that . . .

Now is not the time of the season to be gnashing teeth over what the Browns are trying to accomplish.

Chill, people. This is training camp, for goodness sake, that time of the year when things go wrong and not much is done correctly. That’s why training camp is held. To identify and then correct those mistakes.

So what if Brandon Weeden throws a couple of interceptions? Or fumbles a snap? Or misses a wide-open receiver? Or parts his hair on the wrong side?

So what if Mo Massaquoi runs the wrong route that leads to one of those interceptions? Or drops a perfect pass? Or parts his hair on the wrong side?

So what if Trent Richardson misses a block? Or has trouble holding on to swing passes? Or fails to hit the right hole? Or parts his hair . . .

Get a grip, guys and gals. No need to get bent out of shape. This is training camp (not spelled out in capital letters deliberately, although the urge to do so is increasingly difficult to control). It’s the time of season dedicated to the learning process.

Now if this all spills over into the regular season, that’s an entirely different matter.

Weeden, who seems to be an intelligent man, is a rookie. And rookies make mistakes. Some are corrected immediately. Others take time.  And time will tell whether he’s the real deal.

So cool it with the daily scorecard. Don’t scrutinize and dissect every play in training camp as though it will have a meaningful bearing on what eventually takes place during the regular season.

Instead, watch the learning curve as it unfolds along the way. Are Weeden, Richardson and all the other young pieces and parts improving on a daily basis? Rather than carping on the mistakes of today, concentrate and judge on a comparative basis.

This is a young football team on offense. Be patient with its growth. . . .

Even though it’s not a complete addition by subtraction, the fact that Randy Lerner will eventually slink into the background once the sale of the club to Jimmy Haslam III is complete is a very good sign.

Reportedly, Lerner will retain a 30% stake in the following Haslam’s (reported) $920 million purchase of 70% of the club. That brings the club’s worth to $1.315 billion, far greater than Forbes Magazine’s $977 million estimate.

Given his previous aversion to the spotlight, Lerner’s eventual removal from the every-day operation of the team will make him the quintessential silent partner, a role for which he was born. Remaining in the background is what he does best, anyway. . . .

When the Haslam deal is finally approved and Joe Banner, as strongly rumored, takes over as team president, don’t look for any immediate shakeup on or off the field.

There is worry in some quarters that the new regime will blow the team up again and start over. That will not be the case. If anything, it will be changed slowly because there is a decent-sized core of significant players.

If anything, the Ivory Tower might be blown up sooner and that’s not a bad thing. Haslam and his people will want to create a different culture and atmosphere, which means new faces will take up residence at 76 Lou Groza Blvd. in Berea. . . .

Look for conspiracy theorists to come out in full force once Haslam takes over. Here’s the latest scenario being bounced around the Internet:

Haslam is a huge Tennessee guy. Lives there. He’s a big booster of the Volunteers. His brother is governor there. And was rebuffed in his attempt to purchase the National Football League Titans from Bud Adams.

Factor in now that the league desperately wants to get back into the Los Angeles market, which has been vacant since the Rams left for St. Louis following the 1994 season. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wants a team in the nation’s second-largest market as soon as possible.

OK, here’s where the conspiracy theory kicks in.

Adams moves his Titans to the Los Angeles market, leaving Nashville to Haslam. It makes good sense from an NFL standpoint. Haslam the billionaire, even though he promised never to move the Browns, would have no trouble breaking the Cleveland stadium lease (which ends in 2029) because he can more than afford to pay it off.

Not saying it’s going to happen. But it certainly has at least a small degree of plausibility.


  1. How bout the fact that the league got a black eye for allowing Modell to move the Browns the first and last time. Do you really think the league would allow that to happen again?

  2. Anon,

    I wouldn't say the league got a black eye the last time the Browns moved. Bruised maybe. But it turned out OK since the Ravens went on to win a Super Bowl within five years and the franchise in Baltimore has prospered.

    And no, I don't think it will happen again in Cleveland because if it does, that previously mentioned eye will be black. It won't happen because the team will get better and Cleveland will become one of the model franchises in the league.

    Pls identify yourself in the future even if it's signing your name or handle at the end of your comment. Tnx.