INDIANAPOLIS (92.3 The Fan) – Cleveland Browns CEO Joe Banner commented Saturday for the first time since owner Jimmy Haslam returned as CEO of Pilot Flying J earlier this month.
Banner stressed that Haslam’s commitment to turning the Browns into perennial Super Bowl contenders does not change just because he returned to the role that he had in the family owned business before he purchased the team.
“Jimmy’s passion for this team if you’re a fan of the team is what you want an owner to be,” Banner said. “His willingness to do what it takes to win, I mean you’re already seeing examples, we probably have the most expensive set of coordinators for example of any staff in the NFL. He didn’t even hesitate to be supportive of that, make the investment necessary because it’s about winning.”
Offensive coordinator Norv Turner and defensive coordinator Ray Horton each received multi-year contracts worth over $2 million per year according to reports.
Some fans are concerned that Haslam, who stepped down and became chairman of Pilot Flying J in September before returning as CEO on Feb. 11, could become an absentee owner by spending so much time in his hometown of Knoxville.
“I don’t think that the nuance of whether he’s chairman of Flying J or whether he’s CEO of Flying J or any of that stuff is going to alter him on a principle basis of exactly what we want him to be and what the fans want him to be to give us the best chance to succeed,” Banner said.
Banner stressed that Haslam still brings a high level of accountability to the organization which has been hiring and firing presidents, general managers, coaches and coordinators – regardless of ownership – for the past 14 years and winning nothing while doing it.
“We all know that if we don’t perform at a certain level, we’re not going to be here.” Banner said.