I woke up bright-and-early this morning, eager for the start of the Browns’ NFL season as they take on the Steelers today. However, something was missing. There was an emptiness inside of me, and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it...but I knew the regular season could not begin without it. Then, it hit me: ‘wait, where is the Jason La Canfora report trashing the Browns?’ Sure enough, by 8:30 AM, he delivered:
Here are some summarized notes from the report:
- The decision to release CB Joe Haden has triggered tension in Berea, as Hue Jackson's staff and the locker room shared "near unanimous disapproval" in letting Haden go.
- La Canfora says sources tell him “Jackson was not aware the front office had been shopping the corner” and the coaches viewed Haden as “an invaluable piece of their team, especially at a position where the Browns are not deep.” He also says that Jackson was “irate” upon learning of the move.
- Coaches and the locker room were upset when the team traded LB Demario Davis for S Calvin Pryor, as someone described Davis as “a galvanizing force in the locker room who was seen as a vital cog in moving forward.” Pryor “immediately became unpopular with teammates and coaches” in June, and Jackson did not want him on the initial 53-man roster (he was only cut after a fight with WR Ricardo Louis this week).
- When it came to QB Brock Osweiler, La Canfora says one team source said “Osweiler was ‘a cancer’ in the locker room, did not to endear himself to teammates and brought little to the quarterback room.”
That’s a lot to digest. Like usual, one of my opinions on this is that La Canfora is exposing in-house issues that probably exist with most NFL teams. Because it fits the “Browns are dysfunctional” narrative, it’s easier to think the things he mentioned hold more weight than discussed.
Simply put, I believe that Haden’s release wasn’t the most popular decision, that coaches and players didn’t care for Pryor, and that Osweiler was a little awkward to have in the quarterback room. But to paint it as “the most irate decision possible [with Haden], Davis being a ‘galvanizing force and key cog,’ and Osweiler being ‘a cancer’” is about as over-exaggerated as one could get when describing the situation.
Even if there are some tensions between the coaching staff and front office, the club is fielding a team that has fans more optimistic than they’ve been in years, and that’s a collective effort on everyone’s part.
But thanks, La Canfora -- because now, the regular season can officially begin.