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The Suburbanite
Fresh reports on the Cleveland Browns, NFL, Pro Football Hall of Fame and Super Bowl.
Nervous time for Haslam, Haden, Weeden
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By Steve Doerschuk
My big brother’s prize for “best costume” at a long-ago downtown Canton Halloween party was a white football signed by the 1964 Browns. He gave it to me a few years ago. The Browns have masqueraded as an NFL team for too many of the years since we ...
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My big brother’s prize for “best costume” at a long-ago downtown Canton Halloween party was a white football signed by the 1964 Browns. He gave it to me a few years ago. The Browns have masqueraded as an NFL team for too many of the years since we played tackle football in our yard on Sherman Church Road. I have no plans to punt that ball, though.
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By Steve Doerschuk
Jan. 5, 2013 12:01 a.m.





It looks like former Browns cornerback Eric Wright is out the $7.75 million he was due from the Buccaneers in 2013. If, as is appearing to be the case, the Bucs cut ties with Wright less than a year after signing him as a free agent, the original guarantee of his $7.75 million for next season is void.



According to Pro Football Talk, it is void as a result of his four-game suspension for testing positive for Adderall.



We’ll assume this makes Joe Haden nervous.



After joining the Browns as a Round 2 pick in 2007, Wright showed signs of being a Round 1 type of player. Then he regressed.



Haden, a No. 7 overall pick in 2010, had a fine rookie year then didn’t make quite the jump everyone hoped for in 2011. His four-game suspension in 2012 hurt a lot of people.



In our judgment, from having been around both young men, Haden is clearly better grounded than Wright. That’s not a guarantee he can figure out all of the details that would go into his career finally taking off.



That part is complicated.



• • •



The guess is the Browns will keep trying to finish a deal with Kelly, probably getting it done by tomorrow.



Kelly, though, is supposed to meet in the Phoenix area with the Eagles today (ESPN’s Chris Mortensen), so you never know. Chip Kelly’s offense is all about surprises and slick manipulation of the landscape, so that could apply to other areas of his life.



I’ve met Jeff Lurie at Super Bowls and have begun to gain a strong sense for Jimmy Haslam.



The quick guess is that Haslam’s personality would mesh better with Kelly’s than Lurie’s.



Here’s Lurie, the Eagles owner, on what his team seeks in a head coach, via the Philadelphia Enquirer:



“The most important thing is to find the right leader. I'm not one who wants to buy schemes, wants to buy approaches that are necessarily finite. What you've got to find is somebody who is strategic. Somebody who is a strong leader. Somebody who is very comfortable in his own skin ... players today see right through if you're not.



“If you're a salesman coach, that's not going to work. But there's a lot of other characteristics that go into it. How well does the person hire? Is he going to surround himself with strong coordinators and good assistant coaches? In this league, that's one of the most underrated aspects.



“I'm looking for someone that's innovative, not afraid to take risks, studies the league and studies the college world and decides what the best efficiencies are on offense and defense and special teams and can execute it with their coaches ... a student of the game who is obsessed and who absolutely and, on his own, is completely driven to be the best.”



• • •



We are richer for having known Pete Elliott, who always had a ready smile and a kind word when we knew him as a young writer, and was always just that way in later years when we would cross paths out and about.



If you are reading from the other side, Pete, thank you.



Pete had a long run as executive director of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. His laugh, which you can hear as we speak if you knew him, lit up rooms.



• • •



I was there when Brandon Weeden responded to a Chip Kelly question by saying, “I couldn’t run the zone read.” If I were Kelly, I wouldn’t make too much of it, and I would keep an open mind on Weeden as a player and as a young man.



Maybe Weeden was just covering his tracks, relative to a new head coach he doesn’t know at all, with his Friday tweet: “And I laughed as I said it. Obviously a joke!”



Weeden lit up the skies for Oklahoma State along the lines of Kelly racking up numbers in Oregon. Why on Earth, especially given the limited options, would one dismiss Weeden out of hand? 



• • •



To our friends from the Browns’ media relations staff:



What time should we expect a transcript of the conversations among Mr. Banner, Mr. Haslam and Coach Kelly.



This is an unusual request, but we’d much appreciate the itemized restaurant tab from the two-hour dinner.



Supposedly, via Mortensen, the sides met for five hours, interrupted by that long stop at ... Arbys? They are supposed to dine anew today.



• • •



If Kelly falls through, we think a baseball analogy applies. The count is 0-1. No biggee, as long as Mr. Haslam proceeds to hit the home run many of us envisioned.



At the moment, the first pitch is in the air.

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