Mangini Digging Himself Into a Hole With Randy Lerner

Kim LaknerCorrespondent IOctober 2, 2009

If it hasn’t happened yet, when will Browns owner Randy Lerner start contemplating canning head coach Eric Mangini? Was it after the Denver loss and the Browns' second 0-2 start in three seasons?


Or was it after Mangini named Derek Anderson the starting quarterback this week over Lerner-favorite Brady Quinn? It could possibly start after the Browns take on the Bengals this Sunday in Cleveland. Regardless of which event is the final straw, Lerner cannot be happy with what he is seeing so far from his newest and possibly, final head coach.


So far in the nine months that Mangini has been head coach of the Browns, his personnel and coaching moves have been more questionable than brilliant.


He traded away the team’s most sure-handed receiver in Kellen Winslow Jr. and the offense is looking as anemic as it has since 1999. He replaced offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski with first-year coordinator Brian Daboll, whose playcalling is giving Maurice Carthon a chuckle or two.


And one of the main reasons Brady Quinn has not played well is because of the performance of the right side of the offensive line. Mangini signed two backup-caliber offensive linemen in Floyd Womack and John St. Clair, and both have played like career backups.


He ran one of the most pathetic quarterback competitions this decade has seen and has already changed his mind less than one month into the season. He had previously stated in training camp that he was going to stick with one quarterback all season (so much for that), unless injury occurred to Anderson or Quinn.


To top that off, he didn’t reveal the starting quarterback until the middle of the week prior to opening kickoff weekend, and made the secret appear as though it was going to keep the Vikings' defense up all night on Saturday.


Whoops! I guess these guys aren’t Joe Montana and Steve Young after all.


Much like Lerner’s previous hire of Romeo Crennel, the most disappointing aspect of Mangini’s tenure has been his inability to make halftime adjustments. The Browns have been outscored 58-10 in the second half through the first three games. During preseason, wide receiver Braylon Edwards believed there were going to be major improvements from the four seasons under Crennel. So far, there hasn't been sign of any such progress.


This could be Lerner’s last chance as owner to bring a winner to the city of Cleveland. He took over the team after his father, Al, passed away in 2004. He has received more than enough criticism for his lack of desire to make public statements regarding the team and the involvement with his English soccer club. It’s way past due for him to step in and control the madness in Berea.


I never thought a Cleveland owner could be more unpopular than Larry Dolan or Art Modell right now, but if things don’t start improving quickly, Lerner could be well on his way to earning that title.