BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Joe Banner didn't want to make any promises or predictions. It's not his nature.
But just as he helped transform the Philadelphia Eagles into consistent winners, the new CEO of the Cleveland Browns has a plan to fix a franchise trapped inside a vortex of failure.
He just hopes it doesn't take five years.
"I'll be in a straitjacket if it takes that long," Banner joked.
On the same day GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan rerouted his campaign trail through Cleveland's practice, the Browns ushered in a new administration as Banner was introduced by new owner Jimmy Haslam III, whose $1 billion purchase of the franchise was approved at the NFL's fall meetings on Tuesday.
Banner spent 19 years with the Eagles, spending the final 12 seasons as team president. During his time in Philadelphia, the Eagles went to the playoffs 11 times, won six NFC East titles, advanced to five NFC title games and one Super Bowl. The 59-year-old knows that other than losing, the only constant in Cleveland over the past decade has been change.
He's aware that other executives have tried and failed to turn around the Browns, who have made the playoffs just once since 1999. Banner isn't going to dwell on past mistakes or make any rash judgments as eases into his new position. He's only interested in delivering a winner to Cleveland's long-suffering and passionate fans.
"I don't want to be the next person to make a bunch of promises," he said. "I want to go out, do the work and let them see the result."
Banner won't officially begin handling the Browns' day-to-day operations until Oct. 25, when Haslam's acquisition of the team from Randy Lerner will be finalized. By then, the Browns (1-5) will have played seven games and both Haslam and Banner will have a better sense of the work ahead.
After resigning as Philadelphia's president in June, Banner stayed on as a consultant to owner Jeff Lurie with the Eagles and kept one eye on his next challenge. He met with Haslam, and from his first conversation with the truck stop magnate, Banner knew he had found something worth pursuing.
The Browns had everything he wanted: a franchise with untapped potential, a passionate owner and fervent fan base. For Banner, it was so much like what he had experienced almost 20 years ago when he started in Philadelphia.
"I thought this would be a year or two process to find the situation I was looking for and the right ownership and the right city and everything like that," he said. "To be honest, I wasn't even sure I would ever find it. But I certainly thought it would take a while. To have found somebody like Jimmy and to be in a market like Cleveland, with a love of the team and love of the game like this, in a matter of four or five months to me is remarkable and very, very lucky."
Banner's arrival signals the end of Mike Holmgren's tenure as Browns president and could lead to a further shake-up in Cleveland's front office. Holmgren is expected to stay on until the end of this season, his third with the club, and then retire.
While Holmgren's future is known, the prospects for Browns coach Pat Shurmur and general manager Tom Heckert are uncertain.
Shurmur is just 5-17 in two seasons with the Browns, who got their first win last week over Cincinnati Cleveland. Haslam recently met for 90 minutes with Shurmur, offering him his support and telling him no decisions would be made until after the season ends.