As the Cleveland Browns training camp commences, the expectations are growing and excitement is as high as any time in recent memory.
And an impromptu discussion may have led to the best insight of the Browns' 2013 season to date.
While standing by watching the Browns practice recently, this fly on the wall flew directly into the path of an interesting discussion that later continued with a higher profile organization member regarding the development and direction of the Browns.
As for the highlights:
1) Not only within the Browns organization, but within league circles, the hiring of CEO Joe Banner is looked upon as being a sound move for an organization in constant turmoil.
Banner has brought professionalism, a sense of responsibility and respect to the Browns' front office and organization.
Banner has been the face and voice of the organization while the team's owner, Jimmy Haslam, deals with lawsuits filed against him and his truck stop business, Pilot Flying J.
2) The hiring of general manager Mike Lombardi was a controversial move made by Banner, but there is a method behind the perceived madness.
Lombardi can come off as brash. Many of Lombardi's personnel moves in past NFL stops can be viewed as mediocre, bordering on terrible. But there may be no man in the NFL with more stored knowledge in his mind than Michael Lombardi.
Banner has added personnel evaluators to the staff to ensure the process isn't solely the decision of one man, which makes Lombardi's knowledge increasingly valuable.
3) The vision of Banner and crew to hire first-time head coach Rob Chudzinski was a Banner-type move many around the league anticipated. What makes the hire exceptional is the teaming of successful veteran coordinators Norv Turner (offensive) and Ray Horton (defensive).
The veteran hires will make the transition to the head coach spot easier for Chudzinski, but the bigger benefit is the respect each coordinator will bring to the locker room, film room and practice fields.
These additions have already been viewed as positive influences within the organization.
4) When the Browns sought a new head coach, the prerequisites to his hiring included a coach and staff that could work with and develop young talent, a communicator, an energetic-type coach that could instill a path of development and a coach that possess an aggressive nature. The Browns leadership group wanted a younger, but experienced coach in place for the team and organization to grow together.
To help with the development process of the team and head coach, the Browns compensated the coordinators exceptionally well, exceeding the norm league-wide.
5) Chudzinski and Turner have spent considerable time working with second-year QB Brandon Weeden. Turner's influence on the signal-caller is evident, most notably in Weeden's improvement with his footwork, quicker reads and getting the ball out of the pocket (let's not fail to mention the QB isn't patting the ball endlessly prior to letting it fly).
The offensive minds of the Browns believe Weeden can be an effective leader in this offensive scheme, which Turner is sculpting from his various experiences and stops along his professional coaching career.
-- More to come later in the week.