Time for a fresh one.
Time for a fresh one.
The roster has been gutted and is loaded with young players. Is it time to add some veteran free agents?
Banner: It depends on what your goal is. I think you have to do things at the right time. If you sign a bunch of veteran free agents to balance the team too early in the maturation of the team, you’re probably using up a year or two of their still-good years before you’re going to be good enough to really benefit from their presence. So I think kind of the analysis we’re doing right now is a self-evaluation of where the team’s really at. Is it ready to take a big leap forward with a good draft and maybe some free agents? Does it need one more year of pure maturation and development in the draft and then it’s the right time to start to take a big step forward with free agents?
So we will participate in the free agent market. We’re not going to lead the league in free agents. We’re going to have a team that’s overwhelmingly built through the draft and re-signing our own guys. I’ve seen teams that were really two or three years away from being really good, they invested a ton of money in free agents, and by the time they got to really good that 28-year-old player they signed is 31 and he wasn’t even helping that much. So I think the first step is a really objective analysis of where is the team, how close is it to getting really good, who’s available in the marketplace and is this the right time to do it?
Who’s doing that analysis?
Banner: The people here write up reports every single week on where the team is at, both the coaches and player personnel department. I have relationships around the league at which it’s helpful on getting perspectives from the outside as well as what people think of the team. So I think if you put that all together, you’ll at least have a number of well thought-out, should be good, insightful, honest opinions. And it’s also good to have a new look at it because when you’re invested in the players here, you see them with the strengths that caused you to bring them in. If you’re an opponent, you’re writing up our players and grading them. If you’re able to put the minformation of those two sources together, you should have a pretty good picture as to what the consensus is as to where the team is at.
The other thing, and this is where I’ll be very aggressive myself, I think one of the mistakes that teams make is just adding good players as opposed to understanding how to build a team. So part of the analysis of where the team is at is how strong are you at the positions that actually make the biggest difference in who wins and who loses. So it may be that we have a lot of good players, but we’re missing players at the most important positions, at which case we may be farther away from winning than it looks on the surface. It could also be the opposite – we may have some of the most important spots filled and be actually closer to winning. That’s where I’ll be very engaged and forcing the organization to be disciplined about that now and stay disciplined as we build the team to not merely be adding more good players but to be adding more players most likely to make an impact.
In Philadelphia, several popular players were forced to leave after they reached a certain age. What are your thoughts about two popular, older Browns whose contracts are up after this year – Phil Dawson and Josh Cribbs?
Banner: I’ll never speak about a specific player. But we’re beginning an internal process of starting to look at where we’re at next year. It’s not just restricted to who’s a free agent this year. Who do we have coming up in the next year or two as we’re building a core that we want to hold onto, that is either free now or will be in a year or two? We’ve started to have some meetings and discussions about that. I don’t envision any of that happening in the next few weeks. It’s a process we’ve begun. You want to have that done certainly no later than the end of the season.
Dawson has been franchised two years in a row. Doing it a third time would be cost-prohibitive. Is he gone?
Banner: I don’t want to get into specifics. Any player that wants to be here and we want to have here, my experience is we usually end up with a deal done at the appropriate time. So he’ll be part of the group that we’ll evaluate and at the right time figure out if we should be reaching out to him and then we’ll figure out what we’ll do.
Will you redo any contracts before the end of the season?
Banner: I think before the end of the season is probably a stretch just because we have so much to do in such a short time. I think before we get into next league year (in March), if we haven’t, that means we’ve decided not to because if we’re going to we will have done it in that timeframe. Even if we were going to take somebody who had a year or two left in a deal and felt this was the right timeframe for it to happen that would probably happen before we get into the next league year.
Grossi Interview with Banner. Just some interesting points I thought to share. I don't see Cribbs or Dawson back next year IMO. Dawson should be let go and be able to go to a contender to try winning before his career is over. If Cribbs does comeback it will have to be on a very cheap ST deal as after this year he should no longer even be thought of as a WR.
I would cry if Dawson left.
Finally, when pressed to answer a question more elaborately about Weeden, Shurmur said what the media already knew.
“We’ll be out of here soon, I’m not going to be very long winded on (my answers).”
Maybe it is the stress of his record, maybe it is the NFL Films crew following and recording his every move, or maybe Starbucks was out of his favorite muffin, but whatever it was Shurmur was not a happy camper.
I know Jimmy said he wasn't going to make changes during the season but after comments like this taken out of text or not, this is just ridiculous. Jimmy you have a guy that knows apperantly he is DMW, what is he really going to do for the players moving forward.
Oh, Pat :laugh2:
#Browns coach Pat Shurmur said he sees a lot of similarities between Dez Bryant and Josh Gordon
You have to have a “ready list” of prospective candidates for general manager and coach, right?
Banner: It’s a little more nebulous than that. I’ve been in the league a long time. I feel I know who the good and smart people are, so I wouldn’t be starting from scratch. But I’m not literally sitting with a pad of paper and here are my five names here and five names there.
Really? No list yet? I mean, just in case you have to make a change at either spot?
Banner: I have in my mind who I know are kind of the top people in the marketplace who I’ve met. It’s a little premature to get into the list research. I’m not disagreeing with what you’re saying because it’s certainly a thought process you can’t help but go through.
In Philadelphia, your organization chart had football operations report directly to the owner. With the Browns, you’ve set it up so that football ops reports to you. Why the change?
Banner: Functionally this isn’t that different from what we did in Philadelphia, although if you look at the organization chart it is. But there we created that structure after we had a head coach that we knew would be all of the above, kind of head honcho, and everybody else was going to kind of influence him, persuade him, gather information for him, but in the end it was going to be his show. But we worked hand in hand, which is what I hope will happen here regardless of who is reporting to who. I think as we go into this, and we don’t know if we already have, or we’re going to have different names filling in those boxes, that’s the right way to start, and then we’ll see what the best long-term structure will be.
Doesn’t that structure eliminate a potential hiring pool? A big-name GM or coach would not want to report to a CEO and an owner both.
Banner: They’ll report to me and I’ll report to the owner. That doesn’t mean they won’t interface and deal with the owner.
But doesn’t that set-up eliminate a big-name hire who simply doesn’t want to deal with the CEO?
Banner: No, listen, if we got to the point where there was somebody we felt that this was the right answer and we need to find a way to get this guy, we’re going to be open to doing what we need to do to make it work.
So, you haven’t eliminated big-name coaches as candidates?
Banner: No, I don’t think we have. Again, part of that answer is if we need to adapt the structure to get the right people, we will.
Part 2 of Tony Grossi's interview with Banner. This is about GM and Coaching Jobs including Heckert and Shurmur. Full link is http://espncleveland.com/common/more...9&post_id=8101Quote:
At which point will you and Jimmy Haslam make your decision about Heckert and Shurmur?
Banner: I think we would hope to make that decision right around the end of the season. Maybe we’ll make it in the days leading up to the last game and then deal with it after that. We’d like to get to the point where everybody here knows how we’re going forward as quickly as we can.
Your most famous and successful hiring was Andy Reid, an unknown assistant coach who wasn’t even a coordinator at the time. Do you favor going that route again?
Banner: I wouldn’t say there’s a favoring of it. Listen, I don’t fly by the seat of my pants. So if there’s research to be done – for example, how many head coaches have come back and done well a second time vs. not? -- I promise you I either have or will do that research before I make a decision. How many guys were offensive or defensive coaches that ended up doing well? How many weren’t coordinators like an Andy Reid? We’ll know all the odds. College coaches who’ve never been in the NFL. College coaches who have an NFL background that went to college. We’ll have the stats.
But it’s much more of an individual (thing). That was the thing that freed up our minds to find an Andy Reid. We didn’t go into it with a pre-judgment. It didn’t have to be a coordinator. It didn’t have to be a former head coach. Didn’t have to be even a college head coach. It could be anybody as long as they were a great leader, very detail-oriented, very committed to a particular philosophy, whatever it was, we didn’t even care which it was, but they were going to have continuity of system within their own coaching. So we had a list of qualities we were looking for and wherever we found it that’s who we were going to hire.
1. Was this past Sunday the first week that you weren’t disappointed by a Pat Shurmur play call or coaching error?
You would think it would be impossible for a coach to do anything wrong during the bye week. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case in Cleveland. This week’s coaching error came courtesy of Shurmur throwing his rookie – and let’s stress rookie – quarterback under the bus once again. It started after the poor play call that resulted in an interception in the New York Giants’ game and has simply continued. It’s obvious Brandon Weeden isn’t appreciative of the way he’s being handled by the staff. But he’s trying to be as professional as possible.
It’s getting to the point you have to wonder openly if Shurmur is neutering another quarterback, because of his hypocrisy saying he wants his quarterback to be aggressive, but he essentially doesn’t accept interceptions.
I’ll contend the Browns have been out-coached week after week, and Shurmur hasn’t put that rookie quarterback in a position to succeed in most games.
Being a head coach is more than X’s and O’s or developing talent. They must be leader of men. And Cleveland head coaches have lacked that quality for a long time. Thankfully, the roster is young enough not to give up on the season at this point.
2. Speaking of coaches, three teams with a talent level comparable to the Browns have significantly improved from last season (the Colts, Dolphins and Rams). What have you seen in terms of coaching that separates these teams from the Browns?
I see a willingness to cater their systems to their talent.
Mike Shanahan pulled aspects of Baylor’s offense into his variation of the West Coast offense to help RGIII. Indianapolis runs a lot of tight end heavy sets that are similar to what Andrew Luck had in Stanford. And Ryan Tannehill is running the same exact system in Miami that he did in Texas A&M, because his collegiate head coach is now his offensive coordinator.
Weeden has some limitations. He’s still developing. He’s still a rookie. But asking him to do things like roll out or continually work on 3-5-7 step drops instead of using a little more shotgun/spread is a detriment to the team. Shurmur doesn’t have to abandon his offense by any means. He should simply incorporate a little more to help ease the transition for his signal caller.
Sobo is just a fan that has his own blog but he follows the Brownies religiously and has some pretty good insight. I like his mentioning of how other rookie QB's in the league are having systems catered to them instead of being forced a system they are not use to. Another knock on Patty.
To that point too, Can anyone tell me if they see any progression or development in Shurmur himself as a HC?
I for the life of me cannot find anything he does better this year than what he did last year except maybe having better snarky comments this year in PC's than last year. Oh can't wait for him to open up the playbook in the 2nd half with all of those Travis Benjamin end arounds.
On talking to Pat Shurmur: “I’ve talked to the head coach but there’s no point. Obviously they feel like everybody that’s in front of me is a better athlete. I disagree. I feel a different way than the coach feels about me. They must feel I can’t produce. We have a difference of opinion.”
On his value: “I feel like I’m better than the next man, that man, whoever’s in front of me, but I don’t have that opportunity.”
On it being his contract year: “I can’t even showcase myself. I’m more than a special teams player. I’ve proven that. I belong on the field more than this, more than what they’re allowing me to do. I’ve tried not to say much, but it’s upsetting. We’re nine games into the season and I haven’t gotten a chance.”
Wheels falling off, even though this is the standard yearly quote from Cribbs upset with his usage. Every year he seems to say this but then in 4 weeks when he is suppose to be focusing mainly on the WR position he will come out and say what he thinks he can do on Special teams. Definately at his age and overall team value I don't see him coming back next year, fan favorite or not.
I agree. I bet he let's Phil walk too. :cry:
After some of his decisions today Shurmur may not last through the season. If we get blown out by the Steelers next week (highly doubt it happens), he could get the axe.
Sounds like Leftwich is likely out next week. Either the Steelers will go with Batch or sign someone to come in on short notice and start. If we get the same type of pressure on whoever they have behind center that we got on Romo I like our chances.
Looks like it will be Charlie Batch or possibly former Eagles back-up Mike Kafka as they are potentially signing him soon.
I work at Costco and my store just brought in a sports memorabilia booth for a couple weeks. Every day there is an autographed Jim Brown helmet staring me in the face that I so badly hope comes my way as of Christmas...
That's awesome. I'd likely snag it and regret it later. Anything Browns I try to find a way to purchase. As a college student though my funds are really tight so any purchases like that really hit me hard.