While We’re Waiting… Ranking Lerner, rating Drummond and loving Cleveland

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at

The Big Lead ranked NFL owners according to actual positive results on the field. “32. Randy Lerner, Cleveland Browns. Lerner, who took over the new Browns after his father’s death in 2002, hasn’t exactly been a success in the NFL to date. At least he also owns Aston Villa in the English Premier League as well. Cleveland’s only playoff appearance was in that first season. Lerner’s franchise has the lowest winning percentage of any active owner, excluding the two that just moved into the position. (10 seasons, 35.0% win percentage, 0 Super Bowl Appearances, 0% of seasons in Final Eight).” [Lisk/Big Lead]


Interesting, if anyone out there is connected to a youth program receiving these we’d love to talk to you about it– “The initiative will remove helmets that are 10 years old or older and replace them with new helmets at no cost to the beneficiary leagues and will provide coaches with the latest educational information to help keep their young athletes safer and healthier. In its first year, the program is being piloted in four markets: the California Bay Area, Gulf Coast region, Northern Ohio, and the tri-state region around New York City. The NFL, NFLPA, NCAA and NOCSAE have committed a combined total of approximately $1 million to the program in its first year. The pilot program is designed to provide valuable information on the state of youth football helmets, including the number of helmets 10 years old or older in use.” [Farrar/ Shutdown Corner]


“However, if you go into this realizing what Casey Kotchman is (and isn’t), what he’s done is pretty much what we’ve expected – he’s played stellar defense and will have hot and cold stretches at the plate with the cold stretches likely to cause the hand-wringing and moaning that we experienced in April. However, Kotchman has a .759 OPS in May (nestled between Choo and Santana for the month to date) and – while that won’t make anyone begin making a bronze casting for Cooperstown – it certainly brings him into the level of acceptable or respectable production. What his recent run at the plate has done is raise his season totals to the point that he’s creeping ever closer to a .600 OPS. And while that’s said with the tongue firmly in cheek, check out where he now ranks among MLB 1B in OPS, above Eric Hosmer, Justin Smoak, Gaby Sanchez (who, admittedly was on my “wish list” this off-season), Al Pujols and Ike Davis. Unfortunately, that perspective is what gets lost too often as people rail against this player or that player as Kotchman’s 3 HR mean that he has more than Adrian Gonzalez, Carlos Lee (another player that everyone wanted to target this off-season), and the aforementioned Pujols and Gaby Sanchez.” [Cousineau/The DiaTribe]


Another draft profile, this time on Drummond-“On the downside, despite all the physical gifts and high expectations, Drummond averaged just 10 points and 7.6 rebounds per game at the collegiate level. And let’s just say he wasn’t exactly facing Dwight Howard on a nightly basis. Then again, he does seem to make Howard look like Mark Price from the free-throw line — as Drummond hit an inexcusable 29 percent of his foul shots. Basically, when the kid steps to the line, the rim cringes with fear.

So all of the above makes Drummond a bit of a project. As noted on the website, “Whoever drafts him would be well-served hiring an experienced big man coach who can work with him on a daily basis and help him learn how to play with more toughness, confidence and aggressiveness.” Still, most scouts seem to think Drummond will only get better at the next level — and any team in desperate need of a true pivot man would be wise to take a flyer on him in the lottery.” [Amico/FSO]


Urban Meyer’s first 2-deep published. My favorite part? Storm Klein no longer the starting MLB. [Jason/Eleven Warriors]


Finally, not sports related, but Michael Symon’s love letter to Cleveland. [Huffington Post]

  • Boomhauertjs

    The article forgot to mention that Slow Lerner’s soccer team is about to get demoted from the Premier League. “Born on third, thinks he got a triple.”

  • mgbode

    that is the single dumbest way to ‘rank’ an owner.   just call it a ranking of franchise success.  they want more clicks by “ranking owners”   well, they are not getting mine.

  • mgbode

    on the helmets.  i am still completely against tackle football before 7th grade (at the earliest).   between brain development in it’s infancy, kids not exercising proper technique (they have to learn it), a HUGE discrepency in skill levels / athleticism and the requirement of equal playing time in most leagues; it is just asking for trouble.

    flag football for youth.  tackle later.

  • mgbode

    “learn how to play with more toughness, confidence and aggressiveness”

    how do you learn to be tough and aggressive?  those are inate traits?   and, if he doubles his FT%, he’ll be in Dwight Howard/Blake Griffin range.  

    not to mention his rebound rate was about equal to Jeremy Lamb (teammate who weighs as much as one of his shoes)

  • Foghorn Leghorn

    Ha.  Lerner ranked 32.  They only ranked 30 owners cause two of them are too new (the guy in Jacksonville and somewhere else).

    It went…
    29.) Mike Brown
    32.) Randy Lerner

    I think that about sums it up.  2 spots below dead last.

  • That’ll show ’em.

    You have to admit, he has been a dismal failure as a Browns owner.  If the “buck” stops there, as it were, he has done very little.

    He has signed some big named “professionals” but sadly Holmgren just isn’t as good of a President as he is a coach.

  • On Phil Taylor’s surgery, from

    “This injury could cost Taylor the entire 2012 season. There’s a chance
    he could begin the year on the PUP list. That would give the Browns
    until week nine to decide whether or not to put him on season ending
    Injured Reserve. Cleveland’s run defense was already poor, with this
    injury it just guarantees you’ll be starting your fantasy RBs against
    the Browns early and often.

  • mgbode

    no, doing little would have been to leave things that were obviously not working in place.  leaving the Romeo/Savage duo together.  keeping Savage after all of his mis-steps (KWII handling, Buffalo email, etc.).

    or doing too little would be how Mike Brown constantly pinches pennies on every little matter (refusing to sign a replacement TE for practice in Hard Knocks a couple of years ago and forcing the coaches to put a DE there among a million other things)

    doing too much, would be demanding a seat at the table for all football decisions despite not being a football guy (see Dan Snyder).

    Look, he has made mistakes.  That is blatantly obvious.   His hires have not worked out.   But, he has been consulting with football people on his decisions (Accorsi among them) and is still learning.

    That last part is important.  Being a NFL owner isn’t just an easy thing to throw together a winning product.  It takes careful measured planning, organization, etc.  And, it takes trial and error.  Very public trial and error.   Randy has been willing to admit mistakes, pay for those mistakes, and move on.  That is why I am a bit leniant with him.

    this is the first time he has decided to go the top-down approach rather than trying to fit pieces together.   Holmgren has control of the organization and everyone from him all the way down has WCO/4-3 roots.  It puts everyone on the same page and, theoretically at least, makes it easier for everyone to work together.

    and, you have no idea if Holmgren is good at the president spot or not.  he was the main reason we were able to hire Heckert (remember, he turned us down w/o Holmgren just a year prior).  he is likely the main reason we were able to hire Jauron and a bunch of the veteran coaches we have on our staff.    coaching recruitment IS a big part of his current job.

    we’ll see what happens but our drafts ‘seem’ better.  we need the offense to get fixed, so we’ll see if finally using the top of the draft to address it helps.  

  • “and, you have no idea if Holmgren is good at the president spot or not.”

    I’m not so sure of that after Seattle, which he loves, ran him out of town like he was ticking.  I think he is pretty angry about that (he has even said that he didn’t understand why they let him go so quickly there in a press conference) so I’m sure he wants to “right the ship” here, as it were, to show everyone he can do it.  I just don’t know if this is the right role for him.

    I could be the best three point shooter but not now how to play defense.  Hence, I am not worth much on the court.  I could teach the dynamics of hitting from 3-point land, but not defense.  I think Holmgren suffers from being exceedingly good at coaching and hence others presume he is good at all other things football.  It’s not necessarily true.

    I think some of what you wrote is disingenuous; you don’t know if Lerner has the team’s best interest in heart either.  They sell out most games, or at least I think they do.  He hasn’t lost much on the Browns (he loses a lot in Aston Villa).  His interests are (and should be) if the team makes money.  If it doesn’t, then there are problems he has to work on. Why do you think Holmgren went on a media tour?  It’s public knowledge that season ticket sales are down; I get a phone call a day from that office asking me for tickets.

    Don’t be so quick to just assume things are on the right course; its the force of a desire to believe it (I want to, too, don’t get me wrong) but it’s bad faith to presume it just because you want it.

  • Mike E

     Time for the Rooks to step up.  In a dream scenario the offense will be better taking some pressure off the defense.  Doh!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Your blood must be orange my God man you can’t be this blind of a follower I’ve read entirely to many of your comments and been subject to more corrections then I can count.  Find some balance not everything the Browns do is amazing, fantastic or even good.

    As far as Lerner goes the only thing worse then his ownership decisions is the perception of his ownership and this is 100% his fault since he feels “uncomfortable” in front of cameras/media.  If I was him I’d be in hiding and would never want to show my face.  Somewhere Al Lerner is rolling over in his grave and Art Modell is wheezing with laughter.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I hope the newest batch of rookies don’t suffer the same injury history that the last few drafts have had otherwise people around here will go crazy!  Taylor’s was more bad luck but hey welcome to the Browns Phil.

  • Harv 21

    Ori, agree with your take on Holmgren (though also agree with mg that he is clearly able to attract desirables). Looks like he’s still tinkering with how to run an organization, which he never has done before. And it’s not even the same skill set as his attempt to combine coaching/personnel duties in Seattle. To me, this is more of Lerner looking for a magic man to just make the whole thing right and get people off his back. We’ll see how this one goes.

  • dan

    Villa did avoid relegation — barely — but ended up sacking the manager they raided from their rival just one year ago, after a season of lifeless play and a terrible record at home that caused the fan base to revolt. Parts of that sound kinda familiar, actually.

  • mgbode

    Holmgren was never team president in Seattle.  He was GM for awhile until they replaced him at that and let him just coach.   I’m not worried about his GM skills as we have Heckert for that.

    also, championship teams often have 3pt shooters who play no defense.  a smart defensive coach masks their deficiencies and allows them to play to their strengths 🙂    and, I don’t know if Holmgren is good at the president’s chair or not.  my point was that it’s way too early to tell as 99% of his job is outside the public eye.

    i don’t know if Lerner has the team’s best interest at heart, but I would be hard-pressed to think why he would bother changing things as he has done if he wasn’t trying to make things right.    we have sold out every game, so that hasn’t been a concern on his other changes (until recently, yes it is now).

    i’m not quick to assume things are on the right course.  i see the plan and don’t know if it will be executed properly, but think it looks like a good plan.  i’m willing to see it through.

  • mgbode

    I noted that every hiring decision he has made before Holmgren has not worked out.    That he is going by a trial and error method.  

    I just happened to point out the positives too.  He is willing to pay for his mistakes, he is willing to admit to his mistakes, he consults football people to make his decisions, and he isn’t an overbearing meddling owner (since he has no football acumen).

    And I am not willing to throw this current FO/coaching staff under the bus.  We threw a bunch of high draft picks at the defense and it got better (not top5 like the stats say, but it was definitely better).   Now, we are throwing a bunch of high draft picks at the offense, let’s see what happens.

    also, what moves did Al make that he could mock Randy on?  was it throwing together the organization quickly and ending up with Carmen Policy / Dwight Clark leading our FO?  was it letting Butch Davis control Berea and everything that goes on with the Browns?

    Al had good points too.  But, it’s not like he was without his warts as well.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    What mistakes has Lerner admitted though but more importantly to whom has he admitted them?  Whether he is an absentee owner or not “we’ll” never trully know because he chooses to lurk in the shadows.  I don’t understand how an owner of a professional football team like the Browns sits in the back of press conferences the few times he actually attends.  I mean why even attend.

    As far as paying for his mistakes that’s all he really does maybe he should try making less costly mistakes I don’t know.  I wish I had his problems.  I don’t know if he meddles or is completely absent and lets The Big Ego run everything.  I would tend to believe it’s the latter and if so shame on him.  Clearly he was never cut out to run the show so quickly.  I’m quitting because I’m getting flashbacks to the red headed step child of Art Modell becoming his successor.

    As far as the front office and coaching goes it’s time for all of the excuses to end.  They’ll have a full offseason and another draft to bring in players they wanted.  Now it’s time to see actual tangible results and not ones which could be looked at depending upon the angle which your viewing them.

    As far as Al goes my comment was meant more as it’s a shame something he tried to do, saving the team and bringing it back, has gone the way it has but as you pointed out he himself played as big a role in building the deteriorating foundation of this team from it’s infancy.  Everything associated with saving the Browns was darn near a debacle whether it was personnel decisions, player decisions or even the stadium.  They rushed so fast that to some degree the lasting effects can be felt nearly 13 years later.  I’m sorry but that is disgraceful.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Btw Holmgren’s position/job/title whatever you want to call it confuses me.  Maybe instead of being president and dealing with stadium related issues and such he should have been hired as the GM or head of personnel because that was probably more suited to his football talents.  Either that or maybe he should copy the script of his owner and zip his lips and let Tom Heckert be the face and voice of the franchise since supposedly he’s the one making the personnel choices. 

  • You didn’t get the mass text from Randy last Sunday, in which he confessed all of his American football-realted sins to each and every Browns fan? Might want to check in with your cellular service provider, because I’m certain he sent it.

    And “try making less costly mistakes”? Sage advice for all of us, I suspect. You’re like a miniature Buddha, Kool-aid Man. Oh Yeah.

  • mgbode

    his #1 job in my opinion is to interview and recruit the best football people he possibly can to fill out all the jobs beneath him.  and to manage them so that they work together seamlessly.  I have no idea how good he is at that other than he was able to hire some high-profile coaches.

    on the business side, yes he has alot of responsibilities and acts as the team owner at some NFL meetings, etc.  I really don’t care much about that side.

  • mgbode

    Lerner has admitted his mistakes in hiring by firing those individuals, while still having to pay them millions of dollars to not work for them.  

    I think our offense should improve this year as well.  I think our defense could/should take a step back in the rankings a bit when that happens, but I don’t think it should tank either.   So, I want tangible results too.

    the problem is you can’t get tangible results in May.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I was going to say he’s the defacto owner minus all the $$$ and check signing ability. 

    As far as interviewing and recruiting the best football people I’ll get back to you after the season.  Like I said it’s time for the excuse making to end and some winning to start. 

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I don’t text and even if I did I don’t think I’d be on Randy Lerner’s list of people to communicate with and I’m just fine with it.

    Did you just call me Buddha bubba?  I got my good eye on you so watch it!  😉

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Lerner is great at hiring and firing I’d almost say it’s the best ownership quality he possesses.  The problem is he continues to do it over and over and over.  People talk about the $$$ players cost how about all the $$$ it’s cost for fired head coaches and GMs, ugh.

    As far as the team goes the offense better show improvement otherwise we’ll start the questions with the great coaching staff and work our way up in the FO. 

    It’s never to early to talk anything when it comes to the Browns just listen to the local sports radio, it’s insane.  You’d think Cleveland had just one professional team.  Btw, a footnote here…I don’t listen to local sports radio I’m just going by what I read and hear on TV sports talk shows like ABAO AND MS&LL.