Joe Banner knows football

by Cleveland Frowns on November 12, 2012

How do we know Joe Banner knows football? Because he hired Andy Reid as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. This is according to Banner himself, in an interview with the PD’s Mary Kay Cabot:

Cabot: Speaking of football guys, you’re perceived as more of a business/salary-cap guy than a football guy. Is that accurate?

Banner: I think that definition has properly evolved over the last five or 10 years. There’s a lot of examples of smart, hardworking guys running successful teams that are not thought of as football guys. You can’t hire an Andy Reid without knowing something about football.

Banner talks a lot about Reid in the interview, including about how he fits a mold of successful NFL head coaches that are ” incredibly strong leaders,” who “hired great staffs … managed them well and were all very detail-oriented.”

But one relevant name that doesn’t come up in all this talk about how great Andy Reid is is Donovan McNabb’s, so it’s worth another reminder that having a six-time Pro Bowl quarterback who was as impressive an athlete to ever play the position helps a lot. And also that Reid has won zero playoff games without McNabb, and that Reid’s fellow Bob LaMonte clients Pat Shurmur and Brad Childress would have never landed NFL head coaching gigs if not for McNabb’s success. Banner probably wouldn’t have been hired by Jimmy Haslam if not for the same.

Maybe McNabb wouldn’t have had as successful a career as he did had he not been surrounded by this brain trust, but if we’re talking about Joe Banner’s resume (or about assessing what’s gone so horribly wrong in Philly), the quarterback’s name is worth at least a mention.

And of course we wouldn’t be talking about any of this had the Browns not passed on McNabb in the ’99 Draft in favor of Tim Couch, so in this way Banner is coming full circle.


Also notable in Cabot’s interview of Banner is that the new Browns President dismissed Jason LaCanfora’s report that Mike Lombardi is a serious candidate for a Browns front office position as “wild speculation,” and candidly elaborates that, “in this case it’s unfounded … a shot in the dark.”

And here comes LaCanfora with another one (also linked above re: Philly), this time about Mike Holmgren and the Cowboys.

Some sources who know Holmgren well believe Dallas is the one potential opening that would truly interest him, given the competitiveness of the roster, the skill players present and his long relationship with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. Holmgren and Jones worked closely together for more than a decade on the NFL’s Competition Committee. If the perfect scenario does not arise, sources close to Holmgren expect him to retire.

Unless there’s an NFL owner who’s just going to give his franchise to Holmgren, a scenario won’t be any more perfect for him than it was in Cleveland, so we can probably put this one to bed.

Salute to the veterans.


RELATED: Great Moments in Cleveland Internet History: Cleveland Frowns on Mike Holmgren in December 2009, and Cleveland Frowns on Mike Holmgren and Bob LaMonte in December 2010.

  • Cleveland Frowns

    Also related:

    Q: Hey, Mary Kay: If I were Jimmy Haslam I would reach out to Tony Dungy to see if he has recharged his batteries enough to want to return to the sidelines. Dungy would provide instant credibility and the leadership that this young team is desperately seeking. Do you think that Tony Dungy is on Mr. Haslam’s and Mr. Banner’s radar? — Aaron Howell, North Canton

    A: Hey, Aaron: If the Browns decide to hire a new coach, they’ll leave no stone unturned in their bid to find the best one available. The list will likely include some big-name coaches and some dark-horse candidates. Joe Banner prides himself on interviewing former Packers assistant Andy Reid for the Eagles’ job when seven other teams looking for coaches at the same time didn’t bother.

    • Beeej

      Q: Hey Mary Kay: Do you think the Browns are interested in drafting players that would make their team better? All-Americans from successful programs would really go a long way in giving the front office credibility, plus it would make the fans happy.
      –Derp Derpington, Derpville

      A: Hey Derp: Great question! The Browns pride themselves on drafting the best available player given their draft position. Some are big names you’ve heard of, others are talented guys who have impressed the scouts but may have otherwise flown under the radar. You can be sure that the Browns are always looking to get better.

      • jimkanicki

        gonna log out of every device i have so i can anonymous-like-button the shit out of this.

      • GrandRapidsRustlers

        There should be a 2nd bottle of Tim Couch whiskey for the first person who can get Mary Kay to answer a question from one of us posing as Derp.

      • Beeej

        Pat Shurmur was the best coach available?

      • jpftribe

        Q: Hey Mary Kay: Why does the ball have points on both ends? I mean balls are supposed to be round right?

        Q: Hey Mary Kay: Why do they call them wide receivers. I get the receiver part, but most of those guys look pretty slim to me?

        Q: Hey Mary Kay: Why do they call them offensive tackles? You are not allowed to tackle on offense?

        Q: Hey Mary Kay: How old should you be before you learn to tie you shoe laces? Do you think 37 is too late?

  • GrandRapidsRustlers

    OK. Just my opinion here but we have 2 major red flags here.

    Hiring an Andy Reid and then basically bragging about it since you were the only one smart enough to take a shot is beyond ridiculous. Has there been a more underachieving team in the last decade? Is there another Head Coach on the planet whose very name leads to clock management jokes?

    Even mentioning that you are evaluating Weeden in a presser is just beyond stupid. We know you are doing that. The media knows you are doing that. Weeden knows you are doing that. Just stop. You sound like an ass. I have no clue if Weeden is the man going forward but I sure don’t need some new VP stating the obvious and than acting like he is some kind of genius for choosing Andy.

    The facts are this Joe. You can’t do worse than Pat Shurmur. You can do worse than Brandon Weeden. Shut the hell up and let Heckert do his job and you get your suit and tie back in an office and cook the damn books so talent wants to come here.

  • bob

    Great idea. Fire one coach (Shurmur) who doesn’t use his best offense weapon (Richardson) enough for another head coach (Reid) who doesn’t use his best player (McCoy) enough.

  • Chris M

    Wait a minute. All of the game mismanagement jokes with Reid aside, the entire reason that Joe Banner was bounced from Philly is because he lost a power struggle against Reid. So he’s bragging about hiring a guy who ended up with all the clout and had him fired?

    This just happened in June. Of this year.

    Also, I agree with everything that GRR said above this.

  • Petefranklin

    I thought Andy Reid has looked terrible lately forcing Vick to stay in the pocket when Vick is much more of a weapon on the run. At least on the run he can use his speed to avoid the hits. Its almost like hes doing the same “I’m smarter than you” stuff that has been prevalent around here the last few years. The main requirement for our new coach/GM duo should be adaptability. If they come from a 3-4 system fine, but they better be ready to play mostly a 4-3 when they first get here. On offensethey need to do their best to make Weeden better, not just placing the blame on him. That still irks me about Mangini, his lack of adaptability.

    • Cleveland Frowns

      Curious to hear how you suppose Mangini was supposed to “adapt” any better than he did in 2009 with Mike Furrey as his #1 receiver or in 2010 with rookie Chips as his best QB.

      • Petefranklin

        I specifically remember ,in Manginis opening press conference, Bruce Drennan asking whether Mangini was open to playing some, not all, 4-3. Mangini’s basic answer was NO WAY, you can do so much more with a 3-4 than a 4-3.This was before any personnel evaluation could have been made. Bruce was referring to our utter lack of LB’s at the time and Erics inflexibility was worrisome to me.Mangin traded his #1 receiver so he should not get a pass there for not having a #1 even if it(trade) had to be done. He also used two very high picks(top 50) to get a #1 receiver. If they did not pan out it pretty much is his fault, he drafted them.

        • Cleveland Frowns

          If only he’d have switched to a 4-3 and kept Braylon.

          • bupalos

            Definitely not the point there.

            “I think good coaches will coach with the personnel they have, and if you only have one linebacker, you’re not going to play a 3–4.”

            —Hank Bullough, Pats.

            There is no legitimate reason to define yourself as one or the other. The NFL roster is flexible enough not to demand it, and with modern team prep as it is, there’s no reason for players not to simply learn a wider spectrum. Especially now. Most of the “3-4” teams run a hybrid and are only designated 3-4 because for a time it was a minority that ran it at all.

          • Cleveland Frowns

            I don’t think Mangini would disagree with any of that and not sure that he ever did.

          • bupalos

            >>I don’t think Mangini would disagree with any of that and not sure that he ever did.>>

            Well that’s where this started:

            >>>I specifically remember ,in Manginis opening press conference, Bruce Drennan asking whether Mangini was open to playing some, not all, 4-3. Mangini’s basic answer was NO WAY,>>>

            I remember that too, maybe not that presser but at the time there was a perception that we didn’t have 3-4 personnel and Romeo had forced it so it got asked more than once.

  • Bernietocatcherguy

    even if Andy Reid is a good coach outside of Donovan McNabb. Whoopty-doo, so you hired somebody once who was successful. If he could show a pattern of good decisions, I would be more impressed. One good decision means nothing to me.

  • Cleveland Frowns

    Does anybody have thoughts about Chiefs +13 at Steelers?

    • GrandRapidsRustlers

      Read the 2nd paragraph and ask yourself how Haley does not talk Tomlin into trying to run it up tonight.

      That and the Chiefs are just a special kind of awful.

      • Petefranklin

        If the Chefs cover I think it will be much more about who the Stillers have on deck than Haley. I’m playing the team from Pennsylvania (PENN +8.5) vs Delaware tonight.

        • zarathustra

          I am intrigued by this. Why do you like it?

    • bupalos

      My thought would be that the chiefs are entering that time where it’s really really good to be on the road. And the weather should be god-awful miserable which could help keep things close and/or help Rothlesburger get injured– he’s due right about now.

      Although by the same token Jamal Charles isn’t going to look like all that much in the slop. What a puke-fest. I’ll predict the worst overall Monday night game of the year and a 10-20 cover for the Chiefs. All the Stillers fans who get bronchitis at this game will thoroughly deserve it. I was in PeePurgh yesterday and to that end I uncovered-coughed as much as I could.

      • bupalos

        Wow, I want to backtrack on that. THAT WAS THE WORST FOOTBALL GAME OF THE YEAR IN THE NFL PERIOD. I only watched the second half and I feel fully violated.

      • GrandRapidsRustlers

        Did you just predict a Big Ben injury? That has to be worth something cheddar bay wise. Excellent work.

    • zarathustra

      Since the start of last year double digit favorites have been murdered. Last year they went like o-12 or something. This year I can think of a couple who covered by my guess is under 40 percent.
      Also the game last year where the chiefs looked strong vs the Steelers.
      And no Antonio Brown.
      That being said I am sitting out and waiting for a better number during the game–not confident I will get one though.

      • Cleveland Frowns

        Well that settles it. I’m taking the Stillers.

    • Cranky M

      The Chiefs haven’t had a lead for a single second of regulation, and they had a QB competition between Cassell and Quinn.
      Also, Jamal Charles carried the ball 5 times last week.
      Also also, Romeo Crennel.

      I’m going with the Steelers.

  • Chris P.

    Good god, when you said earlier this year that Marla was putting out Pulitizer Quality stuff compared to Mary Kay you were dead on – but jezebus… the gap is widening fast. We’re entering unforged territory now. It’s like Marla is Krugman to Mary Kay’s Krauthammer. We’re gonna be in Marla as Nate Silver to Cabot’s Dick Morris territory any day now.

  • BigDigg

    I frankly have no idea how good or bad Banner could be given all the group-think (and luck) involved with running a professional team. He could be great, or he could be Carmen Policy. My sense is that lightning generally doesn’t strike twice for these sorts of things.

    One other thing that stands out to me – has the bar for Cleveland sports gotten appreciably lower lately? Now we’re writing PR articles about a guy referencing the great work he did almost getting his team a title or two. On one hand this particular bottle of lighting fits Cleveland like a favorite t-shirt. On the other hand, that t-shirt is old, ratty, and it’s been years since Whitesnake was relevant artistically.

  • BIKI024


    KC +12.5

    Romeo is very familiar with Todd Haley, I’m counting on thto hopefully give the Chiefs just enough on defense to keep them in the game.

    I’m hoping the loss of Antonio Brown will make up a bit for the weak KC secondary. with it being MNF and all, i think the Chiefs try to make this game about fighting for remeo and their jobs next season.

    and oh yeah, everyone and their grandma on the Steelers.. heavy pub favorites (65% or higher) went 4-5 ATS this wee

  • dwhalen

    two things:

    1. I believe I may be mathematically eliminated from playoff contention in this here pick’em contest. So at this point, it’s about pride and climbing from the depths of the hole i’ve dug myself

    2. I need 11 fantasy points from Ben Roethlisberger to get to 8-2 and keep myself at the top of that food chain. I also could use Jamaal Charles to give me some insurance in my second league, of which I’m also attempting to get to 8-2.

    So this is such a conundrum for me, in the sense that I also need to pick this game as my cheddar $$$ this weekend.

    is laying 12.5 points justifiable, especially knowing that I’ll be rooting for success by both offenses? Ehh, truth is, I don’t really know. The Chiefs suck really, really bad, but they have plenty of good players who don’t play quarterback. I’m not completely sure how they don’t win games with pro-bowl talent at lots of positions. But then again, they do have Droopy the Dog calling the shots. Pittsburgh, well they’re hanging out right there in the picture like they always do, even though they finally look like age may be catching up with them at times.

    If Big Ben can keep his tongue in his mouth for a few hours, I think the steelers can take care of business. And who knew he liked gingers?

    Steelers -12.5

  • Cranky M

    Banner’s press conference gave me the impression that he would like to serve as the president AND the GM. That frightens me quite a bit.
    Maybe i’m just paranoid, though.

  • Cranky M

    Who is it that always says we should have drafted Mo Claiborne, by the way?
    I’ve watched the last 2 Cowboys games, and he has looked absolutely terrible. He got torched so bad by the Falcons that Dallas benched him in favor of Mike Jenkins, and yesterday he had at least 4 awful penalties.

    • NeedsFoodBadly

      Acto, I think.

      • Cleveland Frowns


      • bupalos

        He also wanted Doug Martin and Russel Wilson. An acto draft would have us with a better QB and better RB, and Clairborne would have been thrown in for free.

        • Believelander

          I think that would actually read:
          Claiborne 4, Martin 22, Wilson 2nd or 3rd round, right?

    • Believelander

      I can’t really say a lot about Morris Claiborne. First half of Haden’s first season he didn’t play. Cornerback has the steepest position learning curve on the defensive side of the ball. If he looks like this in 2 years, then who knows.

    • Beeej

      I’ll fess up. I was pretty big on Mo Claiborne.

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