Joe Banner the man who used to run another NFL team has a long history of being a ruthless business man. When he was hired to become the CEO of the Cleveland Browns, the fans in Cleveland really didn’t have much of an idea of what to expect. Now that Banner has had the axe dropped on Chris Gocong for the second time in his NFL career, we are left to wonder if Banner has any personal issues with Chris Gocong.

Before you fly off the handle and think we are just bashing Banner and the moves he is making with the Browns, ask yourself the question, what do you know about Joe Banner? In Philadelphia Banner had a history of dropping the hammer on players when they approached the age of 30. in  Philadelphia on sports-talk radio especially, they get a little personal hers is how they described Banner,  that he’s a smug, cold bottom-line guy quite willing to jettison popular players once they approach the ripe old age of 30. Troy Vincent. Hugh Douglas. Duce Staley. Brian Dawkins — that one, Dawkins, really hurt.

Yes sir, Joe Banner is the guy that gave a great player like Brian Dawkins his walking papers from the Eagles. Guess what people, Dawkins played 3 more years after he left the Eagles and went to Denver, he made the pro-bowl in 2 of those 3 years. Now, don’t make the mistake that we are trying to compare Chris Gocong to Dawkins, we are not. We are however trying to point out that Banner can be blinded at times. He thinks he knows more than anyone else in the room when often times he doesn’t.

The perception Banner left in Philly, is he’s a guy who doesn’t really care about winning. Not enough, anyway. Not like we do. He does care about lining the owners pockets with money however. Is this why Banner was brought into the Browns organization? Is he here to help Jimmy Haslam III make his billion back really quick?

Banner started his football career in 1994 when Lurie bought the Eagles, before that Banner had nothing to do with football. He was a business man and he was all about making money. He didn’t have to win to make money he just had to play the game. Now, in the NFL you have to play the game to win. Can Banner make the distinction between making money and winning?

Banner spent 18 years with the Eagles. The team made the play-offs in 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, They did make it to the Super Bowl once while Banner was there only to lose to the Patriots 24-21 in 2005. In 2011, the Eagles barely reached .500, they let the entire community down with a team they had high hopes for. Perhaps Banner is reaching the age when he should be let go. After all the Eagles didn’t do much in the play-offs after they were beat in the super bowl in 2005. They made it back to the play-offs 4 more times, why could Banner get his Eagles over the hump, has he lost a step over the past 7 years?

Is Banner the right guy for the Browns? It is still too early to tell. Once thing we do know, is Banner will pull the trigger when he feels like it. Lets just hope the result is winning and his motives are not just based on making money for the team owner. If you win the money comes. But if the money is first, than Browns fans could be in for a rude awakening.



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Readers Comments (18)

  1. Leon II

    While I’m not the fan of the Eagles that I am of the Browns I have tended to follow them over the years. This is mainly because for the last twenty years I lived in an area where it was hard to get Browns games on television but the Eagles, and sadly Bengals and Steelers, are always on. I have listened to the constant criticism of him by Eagles fans and some of it I think was a bit unfair. Let’s be honest, it is a business and every business has to have its hatchet man. Banner played the bad guy in Philadelphia and was paid well to do it though so Lurie and Reid could play the nice guys. Having said that though he does make a bit nervous, more so than Lombardi does. Not so much in regards to his willingness to cut fan favorite players around age 30 but rather in regards to the other issue you pointed out – that he only put one SB contender together in 18 years with the Eagles. We might argue that it was as much of a result of the power Andy Reid wielded and that Banner never truly got to do it his way. But it also might have been a result of his decisions and that Reid never got to do it his way (until too late). Maybe the two together were just a bad combination. We will finally get to see which of these it was though. Reid is now with the Chiefs and Banner here with the Browns both getting to take teams at the bottom of the league to build and run them “their way” without interference from the other. We will see which one is the better at doing it. I’m really hoping it is Banner but I will admit that so far I am only cautiously optimistic. He has made some tough but necessary decisions in my opinion (including cutting Gocong) but there have been some others I’m not as sure about. For example was Brandon Bogatay really the best kicker he could find to bring in as a free agent this year to compete to replace Dawson?

  2. Don

    Will you quit writing crap just to write. What difference does your opinion make in what Banner does? He is going to do what ever he wants to do until Jimmy stops him.

    • LG

      With Jimmy it might be more about the bottom line, so I don’t think he will stop Banner. Besides to some this is good information, people don’t know that much about Banner. But when you get rid of a star player like Dawkins that is hard to take.

      • dan dyer

        Every team at one time or another faces the choice of resigning their stars or letting them go. Lets face it, sometimes it’s a total crap shoot. You don’t know how that player is going to perform. I’m sure that he has resigned players that have excelled and failed, the same goes for letting them go. If Kruger dominates for us is that going to make Ozzie a bad GM? Not in the least. He may second guess himself but that is the nature of the business. You win some and lose some, you just hope you win more than you lose.

        • LG

          Dan Lets be serious, Ozzie has the Midas touch. He knows when to get players and he always comes out looking like a genius. That has me worried about Kruger. If he is as good as some think, then why would Ozzie let him go? I have talked to Ozzie and he should be on my Cleveland Sports 360 Show right after the Draft is over. He is a class act and he has a gift for building a winner. For him to let Kruger walk makes me very nervous.

  3. RICK

    LG, Good players get cut every year because of money or age or health or many other reasons. I wouldn’t lose too much sleep over an average player. It’s just speculation at this point. Good theory though.

    • LG

      He has a past of getting rid of guys. Look at what he did to Dawkins….

  4. GH

    Did you mean personal? Of course it’s a personnel issue. That’s kinda what Banner is in charge of, isn’t it?

    • LG

      Damn, I am the king of typos……LOL thanks man. I have to do a better job proof reading…..Thanks for not being too hard on me.

  5. BGJ

    I was hoping they would cut Gocong last year, the guy has lost a step and was burned all the time by tight ends when he dropped in coverage. I got sick of seeing him face first in the ground trying to get the ankles of a tight end as he sprints up the field. We need faster linebackers for the 3-4 that are good at both run stopping and pass protection. Gocong was a solid backup at best.

    • Tom Wynne

      you’ll be seeing that faster LB either out of Oregon…or Georgia…Gocong will become a distant memory

      • LG

        The Browns are going to need a couple of good LB’s going to the 3-4. The Browns have to get a couple that can perform. I guess we will see…

  6. EMAN

    Didn’t the Browns bring Gocong to Cleveland because Philly ran a 3-4 defense and he was not a good fit. He was a better fit for the 4-3 that the Browns were utilizing at that time. Now that the Browns are running a 3-4, it makes sense to get rid of him.

  7. RB

    The Browns are on a youth kick. I’m okay with that.

    Gocong had three things against him. His age, the injury from the previous season and the amount of money he was being paid.

    Those three things add up to a no brainer decision. Get rid of him.

    Seems impersonal, but that’s the way it is in the business world. The Browns fulfilled their contractual obligations to everyone that has been cut and or traded. They owe them nothing else.

    I can’t think of many businesses that decide to fire a person (that’s what cutting someone is)who are very complimentary towards the individual they just axed. Why should sports be any different?

    • Bob

      Aren’t the Browns always on a youth kick? Except for QBs, of course.

      • LG

        Maybe when Oct. 14th comes around Banner cuts Weeden….He turns 30

        • RB

          Unless Weeden has a “Banner” year (couldn’t resist the pun), he will be gone next year. That’s a given. His salary cap number next year is more friendly to the Browns. It’s do or die this year.

          Actually go back to Philly way back when and I believe they used the same philosophy then.

          • LG

            I like the pun, may have to use it in a article RB


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