Just spent some time re-reading the transcript of the news conference with Joe Banner and Jimmy Haslam, and a couple things did not come through on the transcript.
First, the pairing of Haslam and Banner is … well … what’s the right word … don’t want to be negative … quirky. It’s just a unique pairing. That doesn’t mean it can’t work, but it sure is unique.
Second is that the transcript did not convey the expression on Haslam’s face, which seemed at times full of fury. Hard to say if he really was angry, if he’s that intense or if it’s just his expression, but there were times once questions started that he simply did not look at all happy with anything that was taking place.
The reason? Who knows. It’s just an observation.
Among other observations:
–When Haslam offered that the Browns would hire a coach first and a “GM/player-personnel type” second, it sort of hinted at the strength of the role of the future GM. This seems like it will be a coach/CEO driven organization.
–Haslam made this significant statement: “There are only two people who know who the candidates are and you’re looking at both of them.” At the time I was looking at Les Levine and Terry Pluto, but I guess we get the point.
–Banner said firing Tom Heckert and Pat Shurmur was a difficult and emotional decision. As he spoke, though, he did not wipe away a tear.
–Banner basically said that the change was made to start fresh, which is more than reasonable given the new owner is clearly entitled to hire his own guys. “Sometimes something new, even if it’s not any better, can create that kind of momentum and energy, so I think it was things like that,” Banner said. Which sounds like, in part at least, change for the sake of change.
–As for the Browns job being a very attractive job … well no kidding. It’s one of only 32, and there are guys who will fall all over themselves to get it because they’d like a chance to be an NFL head coach. There should be no need to “sell” this opening in any way, shape or form.