The Lombardi Intro Presser: My Thoughts as It Happens

I used to work here. Remember, when I was in Cleveland in 94 and 95 the team got a lot better. Belichick? Belichick who?

Well, why not live blog this train wreck? Seems like a good idea right now. This should be fun…

11:36: Banner, Lombardi, and Haslam all walk in and sit down. Haslam praises the staff Chudzinski is putting together. Now we get to hear all about the plan for hiring the coach and GM and how this all came about. Haslam is praising one person for incredible knowledge, passion, and drive. Gee, I wonder who that could be. I hate this already and we’re two minutes in. Oh, They wanted someone who knew how to put together a team and Mike Lombardi can definitely help them do this. What the hell has he done to prove he’s capable of that? Other NFL people told him if they could hire Lombardi they should jump at the chance. Ya, because he’ll destroy the team and make that whole winning thing easier for them. Unbelievable. Oh and happy birthday to Lombardi’s wife… because we needed to know that.

11:41: Joe Banner is talking… and frowning. He has a hell of a frown. Seriously, Banner looks like he is permanently angry. And he could not possibly blow more smoke up Lombardi’s ass. Can we get to the Q&A part already?

11:43: And Lombardi begins to speak. I have to admit, he does sound humble and based on his track record and how long it’s been since he last had a job in the NFL I think he realizes this job is a blessing. So that much is good. It also seems like he understands the expectations in front of him and how badly the fans will tear into him if they fail.

11:45: Q&A time! The best thing he took from NFL network was all the insight he gained and tape he got to watch. Values the relationships he was able to build and all the different ways he learned how people run other teams.

11:46: THE WEEDEN GORDON QUESTION!!! “it’s going to take time for me to formulate my final opinions on them.” Here’s all you need to know Mike… Gordon is a stud. I swear to God if he screws up Josh Gordon I’m done. He wants to do his job the best he can so this team can win. It’s going to take time because he needs to see practices and watch more tape.

11:50: After spending a significant amount of time with Lombardi they knew he was the guy for the job. Personally, I would have gone with track record and the fact he’s been fired from his 4 prior jobs…. but that’s just me.

11:51: Banner is explaining Lombardi’s qualifications. “He was here before and it’s clear to see that when he was here the team got better.” Right, bet that Belichick guy had nothing to do with that at all. Now he’s going on and on trying to spin the work he did in his other positions as positives. He’s a “great talent evaluator. One of the best in the biz.” *cough* Robert Gallery *cough* Jamarcus Russell.

11:53: Familiarity was key in this hire. Banner is going on about what will happen if there are differing opinions in the draft room. He’s saying something about how if no one agrees it’s obviously a bad idea. In other words… Papa Joe is going to be making the decisions on everything… EVERYTHING!

11:54: Tony Grossi asks what is probably his third question. This is killing him. You can just tell. He very clearly is focusing on how has Lombardi changed and how does that make him better now than in his past jobs. Quality questions. I love Grossi.

11:55: According to Haslam, when the Browns were doing their initial searches and talking to other NFL people Lombardi’s name kept floating to the top. Apparently popular opinion on Lombardi around the league is that he’s a sharp guy… at least according to Banner and Haslam. This is surprising considering what the Cleveland media keeps saying about him.

11:58: Lombardi loves Banner and his opinions and view points on things.

11:58: Will Burge brining the thunder about Lombardi’s post draft views on Weeden and Gordon. Haslam answers by saying he loves Lombardi’s passion and that he’s not worried about any potential problems. Trying to build a hard-working culture and if they can do that things should work out well.

12:00: Admits to past draft mistakes and how if you don;t learn from mistakes you’re doomed. He’s leaning hard on the success of the Browns right before they left for Baltimore. It’s a smart play and clearly trying to appeal to Browns fans by saying look how this team was doing when I was here… not Oakland or Philly etc.

12:02: Feels he can move forward with Weeden and Gordon despite his hard-line stance on them as part of the media. Will Burge asks about Gordon’s tweet “Is he in trouble?” Lombardi says Gordon has absolutely nothing to worry about. Makes a Twitter joke.

12:03: Loves the work Chud did with Cam Newton. Tape doesn’t lie. He wasn’t heavily involved on the coaching search.

12:04: Loved his job with NFL Network and appreciates the opportunity there, but he sees himself as a football guy first and foremost. He wants to help build a winner. Banner Chimes in about how they’re focus is on building a winner.

12:06: Haslam is focused on the Browns and their situation. He had no reaction to the Chip Kelly hire by Philly. The Browns have a lot to do and to focus on another team would be foolish essentially. Love that answer. Banner is asked about the Philly comments from yesterday and says it’s a non-issue. Dismisses the question pretty easily.

12:07: Presser ends with Lombardi saying that when you know where you want to be and you find a situation that works for you that you have to take it. This is an opportunity that he wanted and works for him. It seems like Lombardi has a chip on his shoulder and wants to prove all of his critics wrong. That’s a positive. Unfortunately, the sentiment is so overwhelmingly against him right now that it’s going to take an insane amount of winning for that opinion to change.

12:08: The new holy triumvirate thanks the press and makes their way for the door.


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