Jim Brown Back In Advisor Role With Browns, Credits Jimmy Haslam As Reason He Returned
Pro Football HOFer Jim Brown decided to return to the Browns front office because Owner Jimmy Haslam III "gave him the respect that former team president Mike Holmgren did not," according to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland PLAIN DEALER. Brown yesterday was named Special Advisor to the Browns, three years after being removed as the team's Exec Advisor. He will "advise players and represent the organization at charitable and corporate events, among other things." Brown remains "very involved" with his Amer-I-Can program in Cleveland and L.A. However, he "promised that he'll be a very visible member of the organization and the Browns will be his first priority." Brown: "If there's any chores that Jimmy wants me involved in on his level, I'm going to be very happy to do that. So you will see as much of me as they can stand.'' He admitted that his time away from the Browns was "difficult." Brown: "I will stand by the new ownership come hell or high water and I will be doing everything in my power to help the Cleveland Browns be successful" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 5/30). In Akron, Nate Ulrich reports after it became clear last year that Haslam would purchase the team, Brown "attended an alumni golf outing at Avon Oaks Country Club in September and expressed his desire to become part of the new regime’s plans." Brown and Haslam a couple of days later "began discussing the idea of Brown rejoining the team in an official capacity" (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 5/30). ESPN.com's Jamison Hensley wrote Haslam "fixed one embarrassment for the Browns on Wednesday, officially mending the relationship" with Brown. Hensley: "This is where Haslam gets it. He is from Tennessee but he has tried to show the utmost respect to the Browns' history" (ESPN.com, 5/29).
CLEANING HOUSE: In Cleveland, Bud Shaw wrote as Browns CEO Joe Banner "speaks more and more about being the man with a plan in Berea, you get the sense he's itching to say what's happening there is not business as usual." Banner said of the organization before he got there, "They've been filling needs year by year, sometimes with expensive players who aren't that good ... there's been a lot of cheap talk about long-term plans here, and I'm not talking last year. You go back 15 years through different administrations. They all have been basically trying to win now." But Shaw wrote people "need to see proof" that Haslam is the "right owner, that giving Banner even more responsibility than he enjoyed in Philadelphia was a great decision, that Banner hiring [GM Michael] Lombardi was gold." Banner added, "We came in with this attitude: Are we buying a house and renovating it? Or are we buying a beautiful piece of land where you essentially have to knock (the house) down and rebuild it?" Shaw: "Guess which one they picked. Put your hard hat on. A foundation is being poured" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 5/27).