A year after blowing up the organization after a season-ending loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Browns owner Jimmy Haslam is trying something new.
Staying the course.
While around the NFL, the day known as "Black Monday" appears to be a normal day for the Browns organization. Sashi Brown, Paul DePodesta and Hue Jackson are scheduled to meet with the media at 4:30 pm on Monday.
Nothing else has worked for the Browns, so despite the Browns having a franchise record worst record in team history of 1-15, Haslam said he's not going to blow up the plan after one season.
"Clearly not an acceptable year,” Haslam said to reporters in Pittsburgh Sunday. “Really since we bought the team, just totally unacceptable performance, which as ownership we’ll take the entire blame for. This year’s been disappointing but so are the other years.
“I do want to say this: Could not be more pleased with the job that Hue (Jackson) and his staff are doing," he said. "You wouldn’t think this was a team that was 1-14 that was out there battling. So really pleased with Hue and really pleased with our personnel group.”
When Haslam fired GM Ray Farmer and coach Mike Pettine after last season, it was the third overhaul under Haslam. He elevated Sashi Brown to Executive Vice President of Football Operations and brought in Paul DePodesta as Chief Strategy Officer. The Browns made a commitment to rely more on analytics.
“I think we have the right people in place,” Haslam said. “It took us awhile to get there and I’ll take all the responsibility there. I think this time last year we said this was going to be multiyear rebuilding. It is.
“There’s really three keys going forward. It’s not that complicated. No. 1, we gotta re-sign our key players. No. 2, we’ve got to be appropriately aggressive in free agency. And No. 3, we’ve gotta have a great draft.”
With the majority of the Browns 2016 draft picks not making the impact on the team in their rookie seasons as hoped for, there was a national report on Sunday that said the Browns coaches wanted to bring in more help in the evaluating of personnel in the scouting report, but Jackson said he and Brown are on the same page.
“Me and Sashi are in lockstep trying to get this football team to be the best it is,” Jackson said. “We’re going to get there. That’s all I can tell you.
“We have to get better at what we’re doing and we all understand that. This is hurtful for the whole organization, not just me, but Sashi and Jimmy Haslam and Dee Haslam and Paul DePodesta and Andrew Berry, too. We’re all in this together. There’s no divide here.”