Chaos In Cleveland, Will Mangini Survive

gary wertmanCorrespondent INovember 3, 2009

PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 18: Head coach Eric Mangini of the Cleveland Browns argues with an official during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on October 18, 2009 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Steelers defeated the Browns 27-14. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Cleveland Browns owner Randy Lerner is not happy.  His team has been an embarrassment  this season. On Monday, a day after His Browns lost 30-6 to the Chicago Bears, Lerner fired GM George Kokinis. The firing of Kokinis will likely not be the only change as Lerner has vowed to hire a “strong, credible, serious leader to guide decisions in a far more conspicuous, open transparent way.” This leader could come in the form of a General Manager or team President. Which means he’s tired of Eric Mangini being the soul decision maker and only voice of the team.

When he was hired after last season, Mangini’s choice as a GM was his long time friend George Kokinis. Since then, little has been heard of Kokinis as Mangini seems to be making all the decisions. With a record of 1-7, those days are over. Lerner has said Mangini’s job is safe for now.

Mangini has vowed to use the bye week to evaluate players, coaches and schemes. If he is to survive this season and beyond, Mangini needs to evaluate himself. His handling of the quarterbacks has been horrendous and the team lacks no direction.

First, Mangini needs to fire offensive coordinator Brian Daboll and promote QB coach Carl Smith. Daboll’s offense and play calling speak for their self. Smith has 12 years NFL experience as an OC.  Eleven years with the New Orleans Saints. Mangini can either make Daboll a scapegoat or be dragged down with him.

Second, Mangini has no choice but to go back to Quinn for the remainder of the season. The Browns need to know everything they can about Quinn by seasons end. They already know enough about Anderson. Then Mangini should know if he needs to draft a QB.

Third, loosen up with the media. Quit being so paranoid. You can get away being that way if you are winning but you better win or it will cost you your job. Lerner is very image conscious and Mangini’s not very media friendly to put it mildly.

Last but most important, win. Finishing  4-4 or better over the last eight games would  make a strong statement for being retained for next year.  Cleveland plays Detroit plus their last three games are against the Chiefs, Raiders and Jaguars so it wouldn’t be impossible.

With all the chaos and firings in Cleveland, Mangini needs to check his ego and be open to change, be versatile and selfless like he demands of his players.

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