Is Mike Lombardi the Key to Cleveland Landing Nick Saban as Coach?

By Stephen Schindler

As the 2012 season comes to a close, in what seems to be an annual practice, big change is expected in Cleveland. With new owner Jimmy Haslem and new president Joe Banner running the show, they will almost certainly bring in their own head coach and general manager.

This would signal the end of Tom Heckert’s tenure as Cleveland’s GM. Despite his impeding discharge, Heckert has vastly improved the talent base of the Browns. The former Eagles GM came in with a bare cupboard, thanks to the poor personnel decisions of his predecessors Phil Savage and George Kokinis. Heckert did a nice job in the last two drafts in obtaining some much-needed building blocks, yet his moves haven’t carried over to the win column as the Browns have posted double digit losses in each of his three seasons.

It appears as if there will be another changing of the guard at a position that has served as a perpetual revolving door since Cleveland returned to the NFL. At the top of Haslem and Banner’s list for general manager is current NFL Network analyst Michael Lombardi. Undoubtedly, this raises several questions. What would be the draw of Lombardi for the job? What will he be able to do differently from the myriad of GM’s this franchise has seen since its reincarnation? How will he fit with the Browns?

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