Maybe it’s nothing more than a bit odd, but it’s at least that. The Plain Dealer’s Mary Kay Cabot quotes Tom Heckert and (as best I can tell) at least one “league source” as well as a separate “league insider” in a piece titled, “Cleveland Browns GM Tom Heckert acknowledges uncertain futures, stresses focus on winning.”
Cabot quotes “a source” as saying that, contrary to unspecific reports to the contrary, Heckert, in his former job as Eagles GM, “had a good working relationship” with former Philadelphia Eagles President Joe Banner, who’s reported to be a part of the new ownership group set to take over the Browns. The source adds that Heckert ”left [the Eagles] to have final say over the 53-man roster” in Cleveland, a responsibility that was Andy Reid’s in Philly.
Which all sounds fine in theory but why can’t Heckert just say so himself?
“We can’t worry about what’s going on with the sale or what’s going to happen after the season,” [Heckert] said. “We’re excited about this season and we just have to focus on playing good football.”
Heckert said he also doesn’t know if his old boss, former Eagles President Joe Banner, is part of the [new ownership group led by Jimmy Haslam], as has been reported by The Plain Dealer and other outlets. He declined further comment on the sale and its ramifications until it’s finalized.
Why didn’t Heckert just answer this question that everyone’s asking with something like, “Joe and I had a fine working relationship. I left Philadelphia to advance my career by taking on more responsibility over the final roster, and to take the unique opportunity to work with Mike Holmgren in reversing the fortunes of a once-great franchise by building something special here in Cleveland.” I came up with that answer in about seven seconds on three hours of sleep. How could it have been hard for Heckert to say as much himself unless it wasn’t true?
In other news, $78 million MLB ballclub fails to gain a significant boost through a trade deadline move in a league with $120, $150, and $197 million ballclubs. Stop the press and get real mad on Twitter.
Finally, the Browns are moving up in the world, with a panel of 12 NFL experts assembled by the AP giving them a pre-season ranking 30 of 32 teams, the highest such ranking so far by any expert not employed by the
Plain Dealer Browns.