This time it comes from longtime Pro Football Weekly editor Hub Arkush, as respected a name as there is in the business, who’s hit all the big Cleveland news outlets with his report.
Per Tony Grossi, Arkush says:
“We have it confidentially from very good sources close to the story that Mike [Lombardi] is a strong front-runner for the job. If you work (your) way backwards you’ll find a Banner/Lombardi connection in Philly. Problem is Tom Heckert still has the job and if he’s fired then there’s the Rooney rule . . . But we believe once the dust settles it’ll be Mike.”
And Grossi pulls no punches in noting that a Lombardi hire would be, “a regrettable decision that would kill the credibility of [Jimmy] Haslam and [Joe] Banner as a formidable management team in the NFL …[,] sap the positive energy of the ownership change[, and] remind us in Cleveland that as bad as it’s been, it could always get worse.”
Again, it’s hard to disagree with Grossi here.
- Our response to Lombardi’s 2010 pre-draft reports that Joe Haden was “too slow to play cornerback,” and unworthy of a top ten draft pick (with a special note on how Lombardi responded to one of our emails by asking: “Where did you learn the game? Can you get anyone from the NFL to return your calls?”);
- Our response to an absurdly malicious and mendacious hit piece that Lombardi published on Eric Mangini in 2009 at the National Football Post.
- A Silver and Black Illustrated piece from 2007 discussing then-Raiders coach Art Shell’s allegations that his then-GM Lombardi “call[ed] reporters around the country [to} criticiz[e] the Raiders coach staff, particularly then-offensive coordinator Tom Walsh.”