CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – As the season wound down and spiraled out of control, there were subtle whispers that Jimmy Haslam would consider his third round of changes in 3 years.
Unlike years past, this time they did not come to fruition.
Within moments after the Browns dropped their fifth straight and sixth in 7 games in Baltimore to close out the season, Haslam stood in the locker room and put all the speculation to rest by announcing that “absolutely” Ray Farmer and Mike Pettine would return in 2015.
But that doesn’t mean that everybody is on the same page behind the scenes. CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora said in an interview with Andy Baskin and Jeff Phelps on 92.3 The Fan Tuesday afternoon that the building in Berea remains pretty much as it’s been for years – divided.
“It’s pretty bad,” La Canfora said. “The bottom has dropped out there. I don’t know where it is good….There’s going to be a lot of pressure on a lot of people to get better and it’s probably going to take a hell of an offseason to do that. I do not hear a lot of great things about the climate in that building right now.”
At the root of the split is personnel and what direction to take the football team according to La Canfora.
“I hear that it is not great there between the front office side and the coaching side,” La Canfora said. “We’ll see. there’s a lot of issues at quarterback, a lot of issues on the offensive side of the ball in general, a lot of issues with skill positions.
“It’s going to be a year where it’s going to be a do or die year for everybody in that building. (With) Jimmy Haslam, you last 2 years there and you’ve beat the odds.”
La Canfora expounded upon his point about Haslam being at the root of the problems with the franchise.
“You got to look at the owner,” LaCanfora said. “There’s been unrest there, obviously it was there before this owner but this is just like Washington or Oakland or any of these other situations. When this is a perpetual problem, look at the guy who signs all of the checks. It starts there. And until things get cleaned up from the top on down, you don’t win from the bottom on up, you win from the top on down. I don’t know. It’s not good.”
The Browns have major decisions to make this offseason – franchise altering ones at that. What do they do with Johnny Manziel and Josh Gordon? Do they send both of them packing? If so, how? Many argue, myself included, that the Browns would be better off without both of them. La Canfora agrees.
“The problem is, is the owner ready to do it,” La Canfora said. “And if the owner isn’t ready to do it, then it’s a moot point.”
La Canfora is right – what the owner wants is what the owner gets. The question becomes, is what Haslam wants ultimately what will provide the best results for the Browns?
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