Monday, September 24, 2012

Cleaning house

It’s time to get rid of Mike Holmgren and the stench he has brought to Cleveland.

If the Browns’ president is a believer in the buck-stops-here mantra, then he has to know there is no question he has outlived his stay in Cleveland.

When he arrived a few years ago, everyone was thrilled that a real football man finally was coming to Cleveland. Finally, a real football guy was going to right the wrongs that had been committed over the years.

He had all the credentials. He knew how to put together winning football teams. He had done so in Green Bay and Seattle. Of course, he had a lot of help in Green Bay with Ron Wolf, but he was a major factor in the Packers’ return to glory.

Finally, the 4-12 and 5-11 seasons in Cleveland would disappear, replaced with seasons that would recapture the glory this once-proud franchise enjoyed.

Finally, the name Cleveland Browns and winning football would be synonymous. Finally, finally, finally,

So what do we get in the last two seasons and three games? The same old, same old that preceded Holmgren. In 35 games under Holmgren, the Browns stagger in at 9-26, a winning percentage of .257.

Only the faces change when it comes to professional football in Cleveland.

But now that there’s a new sheriff in town in the person of new owner Jimmy Haslam III, that is going to change. The question is when.

If Haslam is smart, and we have to assume he is, that change can’t come any quicker than when he’s approved as the new Browns owner by the National Football League sometime next month.

If Holmgren is not booted out of his office and sent packing back to his beloved Seattle within days of Haslam’s takeover, it should raise more than a few eyebrows. Pay the man off and be done with him.

It wouldn’t be a knee-jerk reaction, either. Haslam knows football. He knows when bad football is played. All he has to do is watch the team he purchased a couple of months ago.

He didn’t drop a billion bucks into Randy Lerner’s coffers to watch bad football. He will do something about the current situation.

Here’s one vote to start right now. Don’t wait for the fans to stop caring. Apathy is the worst thing that can happen to any professional franchise.

If Sunday’s dismal performance by the Browns against the Buffalo Bills isn’t enough to put Haslam over the edge and spur some sort of change, then nothing will. How much longer can the fans put up with timid coaching?

That’s what they are getting with Pat Shurmur, who should have never been hired in the first place. Ex-Arizona Cardinals coach Dennis Green once said following a bitter loss, “We knew who they were.” That applies to Shurmur.

We knew who he was before he showed up in Cleveland and anointed the newest head coach before the 2011 season: A journeyman assistant coach with no proven track record about which to get excited.

And he has proven it. He has taken a bad team and made it worse, if that’s possible. The word progress does not appear in his vocabulary. He has managed to take a potentially exciting game like football and make it dull.

Fans pay a lot of money to watch the Browns. They are faithful, almost to a fault, and have been rewarded with this crap.

It’s time for the Browns to finally become a solid franchise once again. But it’s going to take a whole lot of work and Haslam seems like the kind of guy who won’t stop until he achieves that goal.

The fans do not deserve what they’ve been served thus far this season. Time to reward them with a product of which they can be proud.

Haslam can start by expelling Holmgren and the coach he brought with him. That, in some circles, would be called addition by subtraction.

In Cleveland, it would be called progress.


  1. Speak for yourself, not EVERYONE was thrilled with Holmgrens arrival. I called him a snakeoil salesman from the get...go...Holmgren is the only guy who gets fired as a GM and hired as a President. Again, the only solace is the Haslam Hammer.
    Mike, Dover

  2. I do speak for myself. That's what's called an opinion you just read. OK, so maybe not everyone was thrilled when Holmgren arrived. I should have written everyone but you. Is that better?

    And how sure are you Holmgren is the only guy who gets fired as GM and is hired as a president by another team? Are you absolutely certain that's the case? I'm not. Here's why.

    Holmgren wasn't the GM when he was let go by the Seahawks. He was removed as GM in 2002, but remained as coach. That was long before he arrived in Cleveland. He was strictly the coach when he was cashiered.

    Do your homework, Mike, before jerking your knees and embarrassing yourself.

    Other than that, have a nice day.

  3. Name one other person who was stripped of his GM duties and later became president of a team? name one...that's my point...good grief you always this cantakerous?
    mike, dover

  4. Mike,

    I'm going to make this short and not so sweet. I don't buy what you're trying to sell as much as you don't buy what I'm trying to sell. I welcomed Holmgren because he was a solid football man and the front office needed someone like him.

    He is not a snake oil salesman. Carmen Policy was a snake oil salesman of the first order. Holmgren is nothing like him. The reason Holmgren came to Cleveland was because Randy Lerner offered him a deal he could not refuse. I did not quarrel with the choice at the time.

    Holmgren's only problem was he surrounded himself with the wrong people. Keeping Eric Mangini on as coach was his first big mistake. When he did that, severe doubts creeeped into my head and I began criticizing him. Hiring Pat Shurmur was the capper.

    As for being cantankerous, obviously you haven't followed me or else you wouldn't ask that question. I was born cantankerous. Deal with it. If you don't like it, sayonara.