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New Cleveland Browns Article Paints Owner Jimmy Haslam As Micromanaging

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Cooper's picture
January 24, 2019 at 1:17pm

Today, Seth Wickersham dropped a revealing (to some) story of the organizational structure within the Browns. Jimmy Haslam took over ownership from the Browns in 2013 from Randy Lerner, who unsurprisingly flamed out at Aston Villa in 2016 thanks in large part to his micromanagement of the club. 

Before any of you Browns fans go on to think this is a hit piece, I would suggest reading the long, yet in-depth article. If you move past the fluff (i.e. the x-rated faux pas), it suggests Haslam's overbearing management style portends disaster before a football ideology, or staff, is able to even hit the ground running. 

Haslam pledged to run the Browns like the Rooney family ran the Steelers, with stability and patience.

*Narrator voice* He didn't. 

Haslam would continue to go through a carousel of front office management and coaches, oftentimes ignoring advice from those in which he would initially claim full confidence. Ray Farmer was forced to draft Justin Gilbert (Mike Pettine choice) and Johnny Manziel (Haslam's choice) in his first ever draft. Haslam's hire of Sashi Brown had potential long-term success; instead, he overrode a 4-1 vote for Doug McDermott and instead hired Hue Jackson to lead the team during its 'moneyball' saga. After a disastrous two seasons, Haslam had enough of Brown and fired him, all while keeping Hue around. From after the season:

We just don't know what we are doing," Dee said in the office around that time, according to multiple sources in the building, a refrain they had heard her utter before but that she denied through a team spokesman. "If we'd known how hard it would be, we never would have bought the team.

Two things changed, however: the addition of John Dorsey as general manager and drafting Baker Mayfield. Many have criticized Baker for childish antics, but he has brought a heralded competitiveness and an IDGAF attitude on the field. Dorsey, meanwhile, has strong armed a lot of the decisions made in the front office. You know, things that are supposed to be done as a general manager. Dorsey blended his eye for identifying talent with a management style that has stabilized the Browns. It all culminated in him getting the head coach he so desperately wanted.

Today, Dorsey not only got his preferred coach but also his preferred structure. Kitchens will report to Dorsey, forcing collaboration and eliminating the appeals court to Haslam. Nobody knows if it will matter, given how Haslam operates. But for one day, at least, it feels good to be a Brown. As Dorsey privately told an associate: "I flexed my muscles and got what I wanted.

In the end, there are few things that will prevent the Browns from enjoying success in the future. Hopefully, Jimmy Haslam has eliminated himself as one of those threats.

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