New Browns CEO Joe Banner made a strong impression during his introductory press conference in Berea, calling upon years of success with the Eagles to lay out a plan for the future in Cleveland. Banner indicated that he and new owner Jimmy Haslam would be more "observers" as the final three-plus months of the season finish out, but that they would be taking constant notes in preparation for a thorough evaluation of all aspects of the franchise.
Banner said that signs of progress would be quickly visible, but that the goal is long-term and defined by winning Super Bowls. He was asked about the three teams in the AFC North, and his instant reaction was not to use Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Cincinnati as measuring sticks, but something greater, stating, "Our goal is in terms of winning a Super Bowl, so I don't really think of it in terms of three teams."
Banner reiterated his respect for those franchises and their football operations, stating that you obviously get to a Super Bowl by first taking care of business in the division, but it was clear that his eyes were on a larger prize. The main emphasis of his presser:
"Some people are intimidated by big goals. We're talking about winning Super Bowls, not just improving our record."
He was accompanied by Haslam at the press conference, and the owner backed up those lofty goals and expectations. "There's no excuse for this not being one of the top franchises in the NFL," Haslam said. That work begins on Oct. 25, when ownership becomes official and Banner comes aboard full-time.