Mike Lombardi in his own words: Part III

The third part of this installment is from the December 3, 2012 "BS Report" podcast. This was a particularly painful podcast to listen to. I don't recommend it unless you feel a need to punish yourself for some sin that you need to atone for. There are some interesting things on Lombardi's GM philosophy towards the end and a few Browns tidbits.

I have used ellipsis to designate a piece of a quote left out and put the time that the dialogue picks up if I have left out a substantial portion of dialogue. This picks up at 33:55 the conversation and is about potential coaching changes.

(Note: Part 1 and Part 2 of this series can be found here)


Simmons: "Meanwhile, Pat Shurmur, much maligned Pat Shurmur. I know I’ve gotten some comedy out of him in my column. They’ve actually been quietly playing well for about 2 months. I know they’re 4-8 but they easily could be 6-6.

Lombardi: "Well, they play everybody close they don’t score a lot of points but they keep it close. I mean yesterday’s game it’s 13-10 and they have one of those moments and give the Browns credit they have one of those moments where they, you know they come up with a, the Raiders’ are getting ready to score and Carson underthrows a pass and Sheldon Brown intercepts it, which is OK fine great play by Sheldon Brown but then the Browns respond by taking it, I think, 95 yards down and putting the game away and score."

Simmons: "Yeah."

Lombardi: "I mean that was one of those where you say, "Boy, they did a great job". Now you know they could have . . . The Browns are always going to be in games because they play sound defense. They play hard, they’ve played hard all season long and they haven’t stopped playing and so I think that’s a tribute to the coaching staff."


Lombardi: " . . . these one year coaches, is Dennis Allen one and done in Oakland? You, know I doubt it. Is Mike Mularkey one and done in Jacksonville you know it looks like it could be. I always think there’s, everybody thinks there’s 8, 9 or 10. I always think it ends up being 4 or 5 at the most."

Simmons: "Yeah, do we think the Oregon coach is actually going to, somebody is going to throw some serious cash at him?"

Lombardi: "I don’t think money is the issue, when you got Phil Knight backing you up it’s not about money it’s about preference of life. It’s like Jim Harbaugh. He could have gone to Michigan to be the Michigan Head Coach from Stanford but what do you want to be? Do you want to be a Head Coach in the NFL or do you want to stay in college and I think Chip Kelly has to answer that question. It’s not about I’m going to offer you more money. Do you want to still be a Head Coach in college or do you want to be a pro? Then the pro the money takes care of itself. My sense of it is I think Chip Kelly wants to prove to the naysayers that he can handle it and I think he probably will. There’s always going to be a learning curve but he’s a smart guy. He went out to Oregon and a lot of people didn’t know who he was from the University of New Hampshire. Who’s this guy going out to Oregon and he changed the way we view football. So anyone that can shift or change the way we view football or how we play football to me deserves to be respected and deserves to be looked into."


Simmons: "Last football question. I wrote on Friday about how much that the concussion culture, the hard hitting thing and how much it’s changing what we are watching this season and some of the penalties that have been called and just how you’re just more aware of guys. Even Sydney Rice yesterday catches the game-winning touchdown and everybody’s just, one guy tried to pick him up and everybody pushes him away. No, no, no let him lie there. Let’s make sure he is OK. How much has it affected just following and watching the sport for you, just how much things have changed this year?"

Lombardi: "You know and I started in the league in ’84 with the 49ers so when the Niners played the Bears and ESPN ran that montage of Ronnie Lott who was one of my favorite players of all time and Dick Butkus. I sat there and said these guys would have never been able to play they wouldn’t have allowed them to play. The game has changed so dramatically about how you can impact the middle of the field, both players impacted the middle of the field with their physicality their toughness. Nobody wanted to go inside. Now, you control the ball more inside and it’s trying to make it a safer game. . . . I watched the Raider/Cleveland game yesterday. You see Brandon Weeden who probably played the best game of his career. He got hit so many times that if it would have probably been anybody other than Brandon Weeden there would have been about three penalties on the field. So, it’s just hard to judge all the time what gets called and what doesn’t, it’s really hard for me."

The conversation has shifted to the NBA and the 76ers we pick up at 49:52

Lombardi: " . . . I think partly being a General Manager is you can’t fall in love with the idea you have. You can’t fall in love with the player and you have to always be open-minded. That’s why you should never see owners, you should never see GM’s sitting next to owners at games. You should never see GM’s in a locker room at a game. You should never see GM’s when they call the "huddle up" at the football field the GM is there. I think there has to be a distinction between making an emotional decision and making a decision what’s best and I hope that’s what they’re doing in Philadelphia. I hope they are taking the emotion out of it and they are not trying to make a decision based on the last decision. We got to do this to make it right. We are going to start Mark Sanchez this week because that is what we have to do because we guaranteed his contract. I think when you can do that you will make the best decision."


Lombardi: " . . . the job of a General Manager and it’s different than being a fan. You have to look at every decision unemotionally and you have to do constantly what is the right decision for your team based on where you are going and what you have to do and you can not allow your past decisions to affect yourself. Because all you end up doing is covering up your mistakes."

Simmons: "I am going to keep that in mind when we are running the LA Chargers next year."

Lombardi: "Yeah, please do. That would be great. Remind me, play that back because I’ll be the one saying it all the time . . . the first rule of scouting is never to begin with the end in mind and so you always try to be objective . . . I think it is the best GM’s in sports try to almost divorce themselves from their team so they make nonemotional decisions. "


Lombardi: ". . . I’m not saying it is right, I’m not saying there is not a sense of sympathy for what a player has done for a franchise but you have to move on. The uniform is staying, the players never are."

(Note: Part 1 and Part 2 of this series can be found here)

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