BEREA — Browns owner Jimmy Haslam re-iterated his commitment to General Manager Ray Farmer and Coach Mike Pettine on just the third day of training camp.
But what if the Browns have a disastrous season?
“We’re not going to blow things up,” Haslam said. “I think we’re all on the right track, so we’re not going to blow things up. I understand why people might ask that after a couple of bumps in the road the first couple of years, but we’re not going to do that. I think we’re putting into place a good foundation.
“The first year we were here, the draft was not what we wanted,” he said. “I think the second year was better. A lot depends on how the two first-rounders do, right? If they turn out to be really good players, we had a tremendous draft last year, or two years ago.
“One of them makes it, we had a good draft,” he said. “If neither of them make it, it’s ok, it’s just so- so. I think this past year, we had a really good draft. We added 12 players, two of them might be redshirts and we have 11 picks this coming year. If you have that many picks and you pick good talent and you can coach them over a period of time, we’re going to be successful.
“We feel that we have the right people in place to, over a period time, to be successful. We’re clearly focused on doing that.”
Haslam said he’s seen enough of Farmer and Pettine on a daily basis to commit to them for the long-term.
“They’re quality people,” Haslam said. “They’re smart. They work hard. They’ve been around football all their life. Listen, if I’d have said that last year we were going to be 7–9, you all would’ve said that’s pretty good, right? The problem is, we lost our last five. We get that and understand that and we’re not pleased with it, I don’t want to say that.”
Haslam said it would be unfair to put a number of wins that he expects out of this year’s team.
“At the same time, I think it’s unfair to say you have to win “X” amount of games because injuries happen, schedules are harder or easier than you think,” he said. “It’s a tough league. I think you have to look at the body of work over a period of time and I feel good about where we are versus where we were two years ago and even versus a year ago.”
Haslam said similar words after the 2014 season concluded in Baltimore and made it clear he feels strongly the Browns are in good hands with Farmer and Pettine going forward.