Peter King>MONDAY MORNING QB - TUESDAY Email Peter King Sitting down with Haslam
Jimmy Haslam has the right idea on running the Browns. I spoke to Haslam for 30 minutes Sunday and was impressed. Three things I liked:
1. He knows what he doesn't know. I counted four times in our conversation that he said some version of, "I just don't know the answer to that yet,'' or, "I might know better in two months. I just don't know now." He's a CEO of a truck stop company with more than 500 locations in the United States and Canada, but he's smart enough to know he's about to enter a business in which smart men get their heads handed to them in competition every year, and no one's a genius.
2. He was schooled in, and took valuable lessons from, one of the best football laboratories in the league -- Pittsburgh's. As a 12 percent owner of the Steelers for the last three seasons, he's seen the benefit of the Steeler way. "One thing I took from the Steelers,'' he said, "is if you've got a great leader, GM and coach -- which they do -- you've filled the three most important boxes, and you're off to a great start.'' Add the quarterback, and he's right. The solid, consistent competence of the Rooney family, general manager Kevin Colbert and coach Mike Tomlin give the Steelers a chance every year.
3. He's going to be much more involved day-to-day with the Browns than Randy Lerner was, from the sound of things. He'll buy a home in Cleveland and be around the team at least one day a week during the season, while continuing to run his business in Tennessee. Even though his presence guarantees nothing, Haslam wants to sit in the stands at a game or two, and he wants to go into the community to thank the fans for being so loyal.
"It's very important to thank your customers for their loyalty,'' he said. "In my business, I go to the stores unannounced fairly often to talk to my employees. It's important to assess your business often, and to ask the people out in the field for ideas. I ask, 'What are we doing wrong?' Ninety-five percent of our new ideas come from our employees."
Not to discount that article, but when I read that, knowing full well what a suck up Peter King is, I couldn't help but think he said almost the same things about a new GM once upon a dreary time. "He knows what he doesn't know." That could be verbatim. "He was schooled in, and took valuable lessons from, one of the best football laboratories in the league" In this case it was Penn St. "He's going to be much more involved day-to-day" I swear King said nearly exactly these very things when talking about soon to be epic disaster Lions GM Matt Millen. Must be a Peter King formula.
This is not an indictment on Mr. Haslam, but on Mr. King who showed tremendous lack of insight as he steadfastly stood by his man as the apocalyptic Millen error unfolded. Hope it works out better this time around, Cleveland.
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Holmgren to leave Browns, likely will retire 11:53 AM, Oct 16, 2012
CHICAGO — Mike Holmgren will be leaving the Cleveland Browns at the end of the season, and likely retiring, after the sale of the team to Jimmy Haslam III was unanimously approved by NFL owners on Tuesday.
A person familiar with the sale told The Associated Press that Joe Banner has been hired as CEO of the Browns to replace Holmgren. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because Banner's hiring and Holmgren's departure have not been announced.
Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported that Holmgren, 64, has no desire to work in any other NFL jobs and will retire. Holmgren had asked Lerner before this season about reducing his role, La Canfora reported.
Haslam bought the team from Randy Lerner for $1 billion. Haslam, who built his fortune with Pilot Flying J truck stops, has been a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, but divested that stock to buy the Browns.
Haslam and Lerner agreed to the sale in August just as training camp was opening. Haslam has said his mission is to bring winning football back to Cleveland; the Browns have made the playoffs once since returning to the NFL in 1999.
Holmgren was hired by Lerner in 2010. The Super Bowl-winning coach with the Green Bay Packers and the former coach and general manager of the Seattle Seahawks has not been able to get the Browns into contention in the AFC North. Cleveland was the last team to win a game this season, improving to 1-5 with last Sunday's victory over Cincinnati.