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Business as usual
February 11, 2014 - Mike McLain
CLEVELAND -- Normally it would be considered a big a day when a professional sports team announces the departures of its general manager and CEO.
Not to downplay what took place Tuesday when Browns owner James Haslam announced that GM Michael Lombardi and CEO Joe Banner are leaving the organization, but it all seems so normal in Cleveland. In less than seven weeks the Browns have moved coach Rob Chudzinski, Lombardi and Banner.
Haslam had no other choice but to move Lombardi and Banner. They had become a distraction with disagreements on personnel decisions and the recent coaching search. It was time to streamline the organization and have new GM Ray Farmer and president in charge of business matters Alec Scheiner answer directly to Haslam.
The moves will undoubtedly continue the Browns' reputation as being dysfunctional in the short term, but it was a good long-term play. Farmer is highly regarded for his football knowledge. He played the game in college at Duke and for three seasons in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Lombardi has always been an agenda guy. He'll do whatever possible to get where he wants to be in the hierarchy, all of which means he'll struggle to get along with others.
Fans can only hope these are the last major moves the Browns will make for a long time. Farmer is expected to hire a support staff and Haslam said he will "tinker" some more with the organization, but there could be some calm waters ahead.
They say you have to hit bottom before you start to improve. Maybe the Browns are finally in the improvement stage.
The days of hastily-called press conferencec need to stop.
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