Mangini Is Out: Who Will Be the Next Coach of the Browns?
Well, this wasn’t a surprise, was it? Eric Mangini was let go today from the Cleveland Browns. Browns president Mike Holmgren made the announcement today, saying Mangini was a great guy, but he had “high expectations and I’m not going to settle. I’m just not going to settle.” Mangini was 10-22 in two seasons with the Browns.
No, he won’t settle. After seeing how he and General Manager Ron Wolf turned the Packers around starting in 1991, I have no doubt he is looking for the right fit personality-wise as well as someone that can win. While Mangini shared Holmgren’s toughness with discipline, he couldn’t translate that to wins on the field.
If I deduce anything from the experience in seeing Holmgren’s affect on a team, he will look for the right person and spend a few years letting him build the roster he needs to build. I don’t think Holmgren will hire a coach and then fire him a year later. He admitted that he liked Mangini and wanted to give him a chance, but he had higher expectations of him this year than last. In other words, slow improvement is okay as long as it is improvement.
Holmgren has already started looking for replacements for Mangini, and it could be anyone from the NFL or College coaching ranks. Mangini was the Browns fifth coach in 13 years. But who will follow Mangini?
Some names that have been thrown around include John Fox or Jon Gruden. I believe Fox may be a possibility because Holmgren does know his coaching style and seems to respect him. Gruden may get an interview but I can’t believe he’d actually get hired. He’s emotional and doesn’t seem like the type to put up with Holmgren’s exacting standards.
Holmgren was asked repeatedly in a news conference if he himself would coach the team, and by his answers it seems out the question. He’s trying to embrace the challenge of being a team president.
Adam Schefter at ESPN quotes an NFL insider in saying that Holmgren will interview New York Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell. So it appears that previous head coaching experience may not be necessary if Holmgren believes the candidate can provide a winning record.
Who do you think Holmgren will hire?