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Jimmy Haslam: Coaching stability vital for Browns

The early reviews on Jimmy Haslam III are rock-solid.

Hours after hitting town, the new owner of the Cleveland Browns was seen at practice, strutting around, shaking hands, drinking it in.

It's a new world for Browns fans, who watched Randy Lerner hailed by supporters of his British soccer team, Aston Villa, while his stateside investment withered on the vine.

A lot of ghosts in Cleveland. A lot of tears. Haslam seems to get it, and he hasn't wasted time digging into his new $1 billion purchase.

"They've averaged a new coach once every 2.8 years (since the franchise returned to Cleveland in 1999) and that's just not a good recipe," Haslam told's Peter King. "One thing I learned from watching the Steelers is the importance of consistency in coaching, and how much it sets you back when you're always making a change. When you change coaches, it can be a three- or four-year deal to get back."

We're still not sure what this means for Pat Shurmur, but organizational consistency turned the Pittsburgh Steelers into a perennial force. Organizational chaos left Cleveland staring up at AFC North heavies far too many years in a row.

It makes no sense to jab Haslam for his former Steelers ties. The Browns now have an owner who operated behind enemy lines, learning from the Rooneys, watching how a team should be run.

To be fair, it's too easy to rip Randy Lerner to shreds. At very least, he pumped millions upon millions into the Cleveland Browns. That, however, might not be enough in today's NFL. Nobody wants a meddlesome owner, but the Browns need someone at the top who cares as much as the team's long-suffering fans do.

It hasn't taken Haslam long to unearth what's led to 13 years of despair beside Lake Erie. This alone is reason for hope.

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