In all my years of being a Cleveland sports fan, I don’t think I have ever heard as much negative talk as I have with the Cleveland Browns bringing aboard Michael Lombardi as their new Vice President of Player Personnel. The talk around town is Lombardi is useless and has failed miserably in previous NFL jobs. This begs the question; was Lombardi the right choice?
So far, it seems that the real brains of the organization is Chief Executive Officer Joe Banner. It may be a fair assessment to say Lombardi is simply a pawn in this completely new regime. The Browns were not looking for a GM that wanted to control the roster. Because of that, Tom Heckert was sent packing. That fact alone also has many fans getting ready to unleash their rook on the new brain trust.
In defense of Lombardi, is it right to judge him quite yet? As fans, we have no choice in the matter, just our own “expert” opinions. And, if your any type of knowledgeable fan of the Browns, you had to have seen or heard the Lombardi move coming.
As always, there are two sides to every story. The problem that I have with blaming Lombardi for the terrible Oakland Raiders’ draft picks when he was there is the dictatorship-type control that Al Davis had. Lombardi worked closely with the owner on all football matters, that doesn’t mean he made the final decisions. Lombardi was responsible for pro/college player evaluations and handling veteran contracts.
Regardless of what happened in the past, Lombardi is once again back with the Browns. Let’s just hope it’s better this time around. Maybe, just maybe, Lombardi could help bring us the Lombardi trophy.
Ryan Ruiz – Cleveland Browns Writer
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