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Jimmy Haslam looking for strong leader as new Browns coach

6:37 PM, Dec 31, 2012   |    comments
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BEREA -- Cleveland Browns CEO Joe Banner and team owner Jimmy Haslam are looking for a new coach first. That's what they said Monday when they addressed the firings of head coach Pat Shurmur and General Manager Tom Heckert.

At the start of the press conference, Haslam wished both Shurmur and Heckert well in their futures before adding that it's time to bring a winning team to Cleveland.

Neither Haslam nor Banner would discuss names of potential candidates for either position, but reiterated numerous times that they are focused on finding the right people.

Here are time-stamped highlights from the press conference with the most-recent information posted at the top:

12:09 p.m. -- The press conference concludes.

12:03 p.m. -- Haslam says their goal is to make a successful, winning team. If that doesn't happen in a few years then the blame would be on himself and Banner.

12 p.m. -- Banner: "We wanted the skill set of the (yet-to-be-hired) head coach" to drive them in helping make a decision on who to hire as the new GM.

11:59 a.m. -- Haslam repeats how strong of a "football town" Cleveland is. 

11:56 a.m. -- Haslam on hiring a new coach: "Sooner is preferable, but whatever timetable it takes to get the right person we're gonna take."

11:55 a.m. -- Haslam reiterated once again that the primary focus in searching for a new head coach is finding the "right person."

11:53 a.m. -- Banner says he believes the team is "better than it was," but admits there is a long way to go.

11:52 a.m. -- Banner says they hope to start interviewing potential coaches immediately.

11:51 a.m. -- Haslam says there is no defined timetable in which they anticipate having a new coach hired. "The key thing is to get the right person."

11:51 a.m. -- Haslam says that firing both Shurmur and Heckert were "individual decisions."

11:49 a.m. -- Haslam says Cleveland is a "tremendous football town," which he feels is a strong quality for any new coach.

11:45 a.m. -- Haslam: "Our goal is to build a consistent championship-level team. ...  Our goal is to be good for a long period of time, not to knee-jerk and get to where we're 9-7. ..."

11:44 a.m. -- Banner: A fresh energy and fresh start can help build momentum.

11:43 a.m. -- Banner: Focus is now getting the right head coach. "We go into this extremely confident that we can go after the top people available."

11:43 a.m. -- Haslam on looking for a new head coach: "We're not going to get into any specific names. I think this is a very attractive job."

11:42 a.m. -- Haslam says strong leadership is the main quality he's looking for in finding the Browns new head coach.

11:41 a.m. -- "I think we're confident this is a good situation" in looking for a new coach.

11:40 a.m. -- Haslam: "We also met with the scouting staff, they are all under contract" and will be retained.

11:40 a.m. -- Haslam and Banner begin taking questions from members of the media.

11:39 a.m. -- Banner says both Shurmur and Heckert's firings were emotional decisions. Thanked both men for their time with the team. "We appreciate them as people and the work they did for us."

11:38 a.m. -- Haslam says it's his responsibility along with Browns CEO Joe Banner to find the right people to fill Shurmur and Heckert's posts. "I don't think it does any value or good to either the Cleveland Browns organization or the people to comment on any names so they're not going to."

11:38 a.m. -- "This is a great organization."

11:37 a.m. -- Haslam says there will be no comments made regarding potential replacements.

11:36 a.m. -- Haslam thanks Shurmur for his team as head coach with the Browns. "We certainly wish them and their families the best going forward."

11:35 a.m. -- Owner Jimmy Haslam calls the morning meeting in which head coach Pat Shurmur and GM Tom Heckert were fired very "professional." Haslam said both of them are ready to move on and "we're ready to move on."

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