Carmen Policy has mixed feelings as he prepares to move into the role of "consultant" at the beginning of next month.
The Browns President dominated the microphone at yesterday afternoon's press conference in Berea, which was put together in order to make Policy's impending exit official, while introducing the Cleveland press corps to new team president John Collins.
Collins had little to say during the event, offering some details on his background and joking about the transition from New York City to Cleveland. Policy offered his thoughts at length, in the erudite style to which we have become accustomed, and tried his best to paint the picture of a well-planned transition to new a new business-side executive.
While Policy denied that he is "retiring", he did speak often of his property in the Napa Valley which he is converting to a winery.
The Policy story dominates this morning's newswire, which is packed with news articles about that story and others of note to Browns fans.
Policy Heads Off to the Napa Valley
The news of the day, of course, is the resignation of Carmen Policy and his impending replacement by NFL exec John Collins. Policy and Lerner have maintained that the change happening faster than planned as was the result of Collins becoming available as a strong candidate to replace Policy. While Collins and Policy would seem cut from similar cloth, Steve Doerschuck of the Canton Rep maintains that the two have quite different backgrounds.
While there will be continuing speculation about Policy's motives in retiring now, both Tony Grossi of the Plain Dealer and the San Francisco Chronicle say that the move is what it appears to be: a decrease in interest in running the Browns following the death of Al Lerner and an increased desire to stomp grapes and see grandchildren. The Chronicle offers that while Policy might want to return to the 49ers at some point, it's not darn likely right now.
Immediate press reaction to Policy's tenure does not appear to be kind, as commentaries from the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Lorain Morning-Journal are both less-than-enthused with the results Policy achieved in Cleveland.
Lerner Steps Up
The Browns new owner often compares the way he wants to run the team as owner to the way in which Vince Lombardi, Tom Landry, and other standout head coaches stood as the voice of the club. He clearly wants to remain in the background and let Butch Davis become the face of the club.
It's clear that Butch Davis will be getting credit for the team's successes and will also take the hit if the team falters. In a refreshing change from the sense of entitlement which seems to pervade the NFL, Lerner doesn't feel that his inheriting the team from his father gives him any special qualifications to run a football team.
Regardless, Lerner spent a while talking to Browns beat writers after the press conference, and was more open with them than members of the organization have been in the past. Among Lerner's revelations was that the Browns would seriously consider a quarterback with their first-round pick. Butch Davis would undoubtedly approve of the revelation, as it simply adds to the uncertainty which clouds the Browns draft planning to the outside world.
On a personal note, it's nice to hear about two men my age being referred to as "young". It appears that the press has quite different standards for "old" than the Bietz children, who are convinced that your humble webmaster is decrepit because he speaks of a past with "dial phones" and lacking in remote controls.
Couch (Small Red Heart) Green Bay
The Packers official web site, no surprise here, has the Browns Tim Couch saying wonderful things about their team and organization following his discussions with them. Still, there are two challenges the Packers need to face before Couch becomes heir apparent to Brett Favre. The first is the need to sign Couch to a contract while he remains concerned about a lengthy stay on the bench waiting for Favre to retire. The other is the subsequent need to agree to a trade with the Browns.
Regardless of the challenges, it appears that Couch is as close to leaving the team as he has ever been.
The other thing which is obvious is that there's no shortage of reading available for Browns fans on these topics today. Dive in!