Sunday, January 3, 2016

Right now, Browns new boss is the same as the old boss

The Browns ended another season today like they have so many before; losing to the Steelers at home as a crowd of happy yinzers waved their Terrible Towels in triumph. Hellish familiarity is going to be part of the upcoming off-season as well, with owner Jimmy Haslam deep-sixing Mike Pettine and Ray Farmer just about any second now.  

Do you trust this man?

The next few months will cover the usual stopovers on the Browns Train of Doom: Coach search, GM search, NFL combine, draft preparation and so on. We've seen this process play out before under numerous front office iterations. Question is, do you trust the man in charge to actually hire the right people this time? Furthermore, can you believe we're actually having this conversation about yet another owner?

Haslam was the one who was supposed to change the franchise's fortunes following the half-hearted stewardship of Randy Lerner. He came from a respected, orderly organization in Pittsburgh, where you'd think he would have learned something about football operations from the rock-solid Rooneys.

Instead, Haslam's three-plus years of ownership have resulted in one FBI investigation, two head coaches and, if the latest reports are accurate, three front offices. It's hard to believe Browns fans - as always the most painfully put-upon victims of the team's travails - are worse off than they were with Lerner, but here we are.

With substantial changes once more in the offing, the fanbase's lone hope may be Haslam seeking outside assistance in finding a new coach and general manager. There were rumors about retired Green Bay Packers executive bringing his gridiron smarts to Berea, but Wolf himself recently denied those reports.

Sadly, Browns backers are again peering through dark clouds for the scantest ray of light, as long as it's not named Ray. But with Haslam calling the shots, the future of the worst-run franchise in professional sports remains as ominous as ever.