Reporting Daryl Ruiter
BEREA (92.3 The Fan) - The winds of change are about to blow through Berea – again.
What else is new?
This time around, they could be hurricane force.
Jimmy Haslam III stepped down as CEO of Pilot Flying J Tuesday. It is assumed the move was made so that he could spend the necessary time on his newest billion dollar investment – the Browns.
Haslam has been very visible around the team since the announcement of the sale Aug. 8 attending Thursday practices, games and team social events.
He has also been very inquisitive – grilling current president Mike Holmgren, general manager Tom Heckert and coach Pat Shurmur on the roster and operations of the front office and team.
Following Sunday’s 17-16 loss to the Eagles, Haslam, who did not appear very happy, sat in on Shurmur’s post game press conference.
Former Eagles president Joe Banner is expected to become the new chief executive of the Browns once Haslam is approved by NFL owners in mid-October which means Holmgren is gone.
It’s clear that Heckert and Shurmur are both working to save their jobs.
If the Browns keep losing games like they did Sunday, they probably won’t keep them.
Not As Bad As It Looked: Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis says that Brandon Weeden doesn’t deserve the criticism that he’s getting from fans and media following his NFL debut.
Especially for the 4 interceptions.
“I didn’t think he played nearly as bad as the criticism he’s getting,” Lewis said. “1 interception was a ball that was tipped in the air off the hands of one of his receivers, 2 were deep throws that the DBs made very good plays on. The ball was right where it needed to be and 1 late in the game is probably 1 he wish he had back.”
The 4 picks aside, Weeden finished 12 of 35 for 118 yards and no touchdowns but Lewis felt Weeden handled himself well.
“I thought he was timely,” Lewis said. “They get the ball in and out of his hand. He certainly knows where he wants to go with the football.
“I wish I could count on what happened last week, this week.”
He’s Fine: Trent Richardson came out of Sunday’s opener with no swelling or setbacks and was able to fully participate in practice.
“I’ve had no problem with it,” Richardson said. “If you want to go outside, I’ll race you now.”
Richardson ran for just 39 yards on 19 carries against the Eagles.
“I felt it,” Richardson said. “I noticed it on my own behalf and I’m my own biggest critic. Others might not have noticed it, but I always criticize myself.”
His longest run was for 9 yards when he blew the helmet off of Eagles linebacker, and former Buckeye, Kurt Coleman.
But that was it in the big play department.
“I don’t need any long break play to get me rolling,” Richardson said. “Just put the ball in my hands and I’m rolling already.”
Richardson was limited during practice last week after missing the entire preseason following arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Aug. 9.
Work Him In: Linebacker Scott Fujita returned to practice Wednesday and fully participated.
Shurmur said that they would work Fujita back into their base defense and determine his role for the Bengals game at week’s end.
Funny Guys: Both Richardson and Weeden spoke with the media Wednesday and their teammates like to use the sessions to play practical jokes.
Billy Winn moved to stand next to every reporter who asked a question and made a few faces at Richardson and Weeden while they answered.
Phil Taylor used a bottle of water for a microphone and asked Richardson what it felt like to knock a guy’s helmet off.
“It was funny,” Richardson said.
Ben Watson broke out his Flip Cam to tape Richardson’s session and asked him if the Browns direct deposited his signing bonus or paid him in cash.
“Since you’ve got so much money we just got it out of yours,” Richardson quipped.
Injury Report: OUT: LB James Michael Johnson (ribs/oblique), DB Ray Ventrone (hand); LIMITED: OL Oniel Cousins (ankle), OL John Greco (calf), LT Joe Thomas (knee), TE Ben Watson (thigh); FULL: CB Sheldon Brown (neck), TE Jordan Cameron (groin), LB Scott Fujita (knee), C Alex Mack (knee), RB Chris Ogbonnaya (ankle) and RB Trent Richardson (knee).