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Haslam claims Browns aren’t dysfunctional, with a straight face

Jimmy Haslam

Cleveland Browns owner-in-waiting Jimmy Haslam laughs on the sidelines before an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012, in Cleveland. Haslam, who purchased majority ownership of the team from Randy Lerner, is expected to be approved as the Browns new owner by the NFL Oct. 16. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)


Browns owner Jimmy Haslam won’t have to worry about firing his next CEO, because he won’t be hiring another CEO.

Instead, coach Mike Pettine will have control over determining the game-day roster and utilizing the players, and G.M. Ray Farmer will be responsible for setting the table with the 53-man roster.

As a practical matter, that Haslam will be more involved, because he’s now essentially the CEO. Haslam said he’s “used to” that type of a structure.

But Haslam then refused to answer questions about the current Pilot Flying J situation, even though he opened the door by talking about his past experiences in managing key employees, by holding them accountable.

Haslam bristled at questions regarding coaching candidates who didn’t seem to be interested in the coaching job that went to Mike Pettine, and Haslam sidestepped questions about Lombardi’s competency. The owner repeatedly said the team isn’t dysfunctional, and he blamed the perception that the Browns are dysfunctional on the local media.

As to Banner’s exit, Haslam explained that Banner’s work was essentially complete, because he’d help set up the organizational structure. A structure that ultimately left Banner without a job.

The structure also will result in Haslam being present more in Cleveland. Which means he may end up spending less time at his so-called “first love” -- the family-owned truck-stop company that still could result in Haslam experiencing his first federal indictment.