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Rumors Swirling that Browns’ Mangini is Done

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According to ESPNCleveland WKNR Sports Radio, Cleveland Browns head coach Eric Mangini’s fate may have already been decided. As stated on the Tony Rizzo show, through a “reputable source”, and reported by show contributor Sabrina Parr, Mangini will not be retained as head coach of the Browns.

Parr, stated that Browns players have already been notified of the situation and were told that they are “playing for their jobs” over the next 3 weeks. Show co-host Chris Fedor also reported that the Browns would have trouble finding an offensive coordinator willing to work with the difficult Mangini.

As always with “reputable sources,” you have to take them with a grain of salt, but this one would seem to make sense. On one hand the Browns haven’t gotten embarrassed in games this year, but on the other hand, there are countless  mistakes that although easily avoidable, weren’t, and led to losses.

Yes, the 5-8 record for the Browns feels about right considering the overall lack of talent on the team, but much of that is the fault of Mangini’s belief that he can win with his guys. When it doesn’t work out, and when Mike Holmgren is blinding you with the glare from his Super Bowl ring from a suite, it’s only a matter of time before the other shoe drops. As Bill Belichick will tell you, wins and losses are the only thing that matter, but even if the Browns win out and get to 8-8 they just doesn’t pass the eye-test.

This move is something that most people in and around the NFL have seen coming since Holmgren took over as “czar” in Cleveland. The two coaches have drastically different beliefs of what wins on offense in the NFL. Mangini’s style is to ground it out and throw only when absolutely necessary. Holmgren continues to believe in the West-Coast system, as well he should, it has taken him to 3 Super Bowls.

It will be interesting to see what happens with Broncos castoff Peyton Hillis. He has been one of the great stories of this season and is having a Pro-Bowl year. Despite that, I don’t see him having a long career as the lone feature back of an offense. He runs with a passionate stubbornness that makes him almost unstoppable in short yardage situations, but also makes him susceptible to hits. The human body can only take so much punishment before it breaks down. I think he is perfectly suited for a Mike Alstott or Brandon Jacobs co-headlining role with a team, but the Browns currently have no one up to the task of spelling him.

As for who the next coach may be? There are a couple of options inside the building with Holmgren and defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. However if they want to make a big splash, Jon Gruden operates on the same wavelength as  Holmgren and is an Ohio native. The fanbase in Cleveland would be electrified by Chucky coming aboard, but he is in demand, and will also have other options to entertain.

One thing is for certain, Mangini was successful in changing the culture of the organization, but it may be time for someone to come in and change the expectations and results on the field.


6 Responses to “Rumors Swirling that Browns’ Mangini is Done”

  1. I don’t know what goes on behind the scenes (e.g. difficulty bringing on an offensive coordinator due to Mangini), but I’ve been overly pleased with the team this year. I feel we can compete with any team in the NFL and not only that, WIN. We beat 2 of ESPN’s top 4 ranked teams (including #1). So I guess I am not 100% in favor of the Mangini firing, but maybe he’s put the pieces in place and now we just need somebody to get the most out of them (and bring in a receiver for crying out loud). Also, losing Ryan is a top concern of mine so if he turns into our head coach I’d be for it.

    Posted by Kevin Hocevar | December 15, 2010, 3:05 pm
  2. If Holmgren makes this move it cannot be solely for the on-the-field product. There has to be something going on “behind-the-scenes”. I don’t want Mangini within a ten foot pole of the personnel decisions, however, this team has been extremely competitive this season and showing signs of life. I’m a firm believer that good teams have strong coordinators to run your team. The Browns might be one coordinator away (Brian Daboll getting the axe) from having a very good situation. Why not just bring in an offensive coordinator (ahem..Josh McDaniels…ahem), get some offensive weapons (WR’s that can get open) and give this another try. That said I’m sure the decision is already made but I can’t say I support the idea of ANOTHER head coaching change.

    Posted by Dubba | December 15, 2010, 3:45 pm
    • Mcdaniels would be an interesting proposition being that he turned Kyle Orton and Brandon Lloyd into top 10 players. The only way we would get him to take the job is if he was desperate to stay alive in the NFL in hopes of returning to head coaching status which will prob never happen for him again. If it does it will be with no say in personnel decisions. However, he shows very little regard for Hillis our most productive offensive weapon. If we were able to acquire Mcdaniels I am assuming there would be a quick turnaround trade of Hillis to a team like Buffalo for a RB like Fred Jackson or CJ Spiller. I think Colt Mccoy under Josh Mcdaniels Tutelage would be very tempting for the Browns. Realistically I do not see it, but stranger things have happened.

      Posted by Juh | December 16, 2010, 12:40 am
      • I agree. If the Browns could get McDaniels it would be great for their offense. No doubt he is a great offensive mind, unfortunately he has the reputation of treating people like garbage. If he undergoes a character transformation, he would no doubt have success, but that would mean putting his ego aside.

        Posted by Jason Marlo | December 16, 2010, 11:49 am
  3. I think the Browns will retain Mangini for 4 reasons.
    #1 The Browns have shown more promise this year then any since they have been back. (The playoff year was a fluke fueled by a hail mary and a relatively lite schedule. They lost to Pittsburgh 3 times that year). The 10-6 year coming close but we were never able to impose our will on a team. This year Peyton Hillis and the left side of the offensive line have been able to score in goal line situations which has never happened consistently since the browns have returned. Teams know we are going to run it but are having trouble stopping us – A healthy montario hardesty will be a nice complement to Hillis. To that end there are still many missing pieces and the Browns are realistically 2 drafts away from being competitive assuming Colt Mccoy proves to be starting caliber. (The Browns need a #1 Receiver and a #2 pick on the right side of the line as well as a #1 LB and a #2 pick on the defense line. This can be sped up with free agency moves of course if made smartly Ie: I thought Anquin Boldin and Santonio Holmes were bargains with very low downside that we were unable to get involved with.We need a Playmaking receiver to stretch the field. Massaqoui was really starting to shine before Braylon was realeased.
    #2 Reason to Keep Mangini: The collective Bargaining agreement. Simple dollars and cents. Nothing is decided about next year. You do not want to be on the hook for 2 coaches with a season that may be shortened or may not happen altogether.
    #3 Mangini has coaching success under his belt with the jets. He is somewhat proven to that end. Rex Ryan is piloting a team that Mangini helped build. If I am looking for a coach I want one without a superbowl under their belt. We need a coach that is hungry ( That rules out Gruden / Cowhere/ Holmgren Himself)
    #4 Finally the unknown and unproven. A cocky asshole like Butch Davis, Josh Mcdaniels, or Steve Spurrier can set your team back 5 years (The Browns know this first hand) They all believe they are so smart that they end up alienating and disposing of any players worth anything to the team. To this end I believe the Browns had it right stripping Mangini of the personel decisions and leaving up to Heckert, allowing Mangini to focus on coaching. Heckert has shown good judement in his draft and some pickups (Hillis,Ward,Haden,Watson, fujita, gocong)

    Finally if they do decide to make that move I go for a proven guy still hungry for a championship (Jeff Fisher or John Fox would be top on my list if they come available)

    Posted by Juh | December 16, 2010, 12:29 am
  4. Colt McCoy as the #1 QB, in a Mangini system can work. We know Colt McCoy in a Shotgun-Spread College Offense works (All-Time Winningest Collegiate QB). How would he handle the “WEST COAST” O?
    He has mobility, does he have the short accuracy (3-8yrds) and the mid-accuaracy (8-18yrds) to make the “WEST COAST” throws? I for one am rooting for McCoy, no matter which System he’ll be in, but you probably want to load up on the skill players, no matter which avenue we roll.

    As far as Hillis being the answer…..though I’m pleasantly surprised by his output this season, you’re kidding yourself if you think he’s a realistic long-term option. Part-time player as Marlo said?, Yes. Split the carries with a viable Home-Run threat. Is that potentially Hardesty?

    Mangini had shown enough for one more season, in my mind. Stick him with another offseason of Holmgren and Heckertt. Look at the draft (McCoy, Ward, and Haden…..yes, you are SUPPOSED to “HIT” on your top 2 draft picks, understood, but look how rarely that has happened here in the last decade) and free-agency (where would we have been without luring BEN WATSON in here???) and Trades (Hillis) made last season. If they can reasonably bring in 4-5 potential starters (pick your positions) with upside this next offseason, then, even with Mangini, I think the Product on the field will improve, hopefully alongside with LEGIT WINS (and you KNOW what that means).

    I’m glad for the 5 wins, yes, but I agree with Marlo that the way they win and the Product on the field is just as important.


    Posted by Bobby Digital | December 16, 2010, 1:31 pm

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