INDIANAPOLIS -- Cleveland Browns chief executive offer Joe Banner has a clear vision when it comes to making decisions for the team, making those that benefit the team in the area of winning games and making long runs in the postseason.
“We’re in a ‘prove it’ place, and that’s the right place for us to be,” Banner said in a breakfast meeting with the Cleveland media Saturday at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine. “I’m just confident that the quality of people we’re bringing in and the track record they have and I have, that we’ll be successful at it. I don’t expect anybody to just believe that or rely on it until we can prove it.
“My attitude, and you’ll see, is what the fans want is to ultimately win. When we make decisions that we think are ultimately driven by putting us in the best position to win, that’s the best thing for everybody.”
Banner said the Browns are in a good position when it comes to the salary cap and because the team has a small number of its own free agents that need to be re-signed.
“Those two things will give us a chance to move forward and not put us in a position where we need to move backwards,” Banner said. “We’re still finalizing what we like to do. The fact that we have cap room, and a number of teams don’t, will help us in a marketplace where the supply versus the available cap room is not on the team’s side for the moment. That tends to go back and forth.
“I view this year as a good year to be in the free-agent market. We’ll at least be able to get good market-value. Historically, by definition, you have to overpay for free agents. I think this year will be more down the middle. I don’t think you’ll get any bargains, but I think you’ll be in a better (position) to get fair market-value for players in free agency. I would expect us to be participants in free agency.”
When it comes to making decisions regarding the 2013 NFL Draft, Banner called upon his history when referencing what he think will be the best course of action with the No. 6 overall pick.
“My history is in trading down or staying,” Banner said. “I’ve had some instances where we traded up for a player that we thought was really good at a position we thought was difference-making. Historically, I’ve either stayed or traded back. Accumulating picks closer to the draft is a good strategy, generally.”
When it comes to putting together the vision of the Browns since taking over the team in mid-October, Banner and owner Jimmy Haslam wanted the same thing in their players, coaches and members of the front-office staff.
“The idea of having a team that’s aggressive, the players we bring in will be aggressive, attacking, competitive, mad-as-hell when we lose type of people,” Banner said. “The offensive and defensive coordinator will call a game with that kind of aggressiveness. We want our opponents to be on the defensive. We never want to be on the defensive.”