Vice President of Player Personnel Michael Lombardi is already on the defensive: “Can I evaluate a player? Am I allowed to do that?”

He sounded like he had all the answers on the NFL Network, but nothing bad happened when he was wrong. Michael Lombardi, the former analyst turned Vice President of Player Personnel, now gets to feel how real bullets feel again.

Lombardi’s last gig was with the Oakland Raiders from 1998 to 2007 as the Senior Personnel Executive working closely with the owner on all football matters. He was responsible for pro and college player evaluations; and handling veteran contracts.

He is also returning to the Browns after serving as their Director of Player Personnel in the late 80's and early 90's, where he worked under head coach Bill Belichick and was responsible for all college and pro personnel decisions; managed salary cap and player personnel issues.

Lombardi now slides into the same role again, but Cleveland fans and the media aren’t sold on him yet, but Lombardi says he just needs a chance. Lombardi was defensive as he spoke to 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland with Bull and Fox and talked about how he needs some time to evaluate the organization.

“I just got here. I’ve got to watch tape. Give me a little time. Can I evaluate a player? Am I allowed to do that? … I think it’s a different look when you’re talking about the media and when you’re evaluating a player in the media than when you’re evaluating a player in the building.

I think that’s fair. I’m hoping you give me a chance to prove myself to you and the Cleveland fans do the same thing. And I’m going to look at every player on the Cleveland roster and give them a chance. I think it’s important to start fresh.”

On the new head coach Rod Chudzinski:

“I got to spend some time with him this week for the first time. … I think in the NFL, you develop friendships by watching somebody else’s tape. I think Rob has always been a very innovative guy, going back to the year that Derek Anderson had here with Braylon Edwards and 16 touchdown passes and the offense they ran here.

There’s no school you go to to become a head coach. There’s schools you go to to become doctors. Unfortunately, in the NFL, you have to do it through training, and I think Rob’s done a great job at that.”

 

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