CLEVELAND - Randy Lerner is out. Jimmy Haslam is in. The majority of Browns fans are happy about the change. After all, the Lerners never witnessed a playoff win since buying the team and returning back to the field in 1999.
Mike Holmgren is out. Joe Banner is in. Is this a good thing or bad? Time will answer that question. If you think the Browns are heading in the right direction this might be a bad thing. In talking with several NFL experts most think that Banner is a great fit on the business side. They question if he should be making decisions when it comes to player personnel.
Haslam said Banner will not own any of the team in his Chicago session with the media. He was not well liked by players in Philadelphia. In fact, former Eagle Brian Westbrook had this to say about him to philly.com
"His (Banner's) weakness, as we've seen, he just wasn't a personable guy," Westbrook said. "He wasn't a guy that was going to be able to talk to different players on the football team, and I think he would admit that. But at the same time, that wasn't his every day responsibility."
It appears it might be his everyday responsibility in Cleveland. Haslam said, "Football will report to Joe. We haven't worked out all of the final details, but football will report to Joe as the CEO. We will, as I mentioned earlier, be heavily involved."
Time will tell. But, after listening to Haslam call the Browns an "asset" rather than a football team, it wasn't exactly the warm fuzzy feeling Haslam is trying to give off since word got out that he will be the new owner.
Sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for. Haslam will be a 180 degree change from Randy Lerner.
Considering college freshmen have not seen the Browns win a playoff game it's time for a change.
Haslam's biggest goal will be trying to convince a lost generation that the passion for this team by the fans is real. Today the ownership change is a great thing. Let's see how things look at the end of Haslam's first full year.
Browns fans are watching. The trust will stay if he can prove they can win.