Eric Mangini Retained as Browns Head Coach: Five Reasons Why
The reports coming out of the Cleveland Browns' Berea, Ohio, complex state head coach Eric Mangini can stop updating his resume; his job is safe for one more year.
Mike Holmgren, president of football operations, made the call Thursday afternoon, holding to his promise to have Mangini's fate settled by the end of the week.
While this move is considered surprising by some, especially those with an agenda against Mangini, it makes sense when you take a step back and look at the big picture.
Mangini has been a polarizing figure, no doubt about that, but if you are going to judge a coach on one season, you have to look at the entire season, good and bad, and that's what Holmgren has done.
For those people concerned about Joshua Cribbs, read my article about that situation and realize now that the Mangini situation is settled, Holmgren now can focus on getting a general manager and getting the Cribbs deal done.
The Team Got Better
While the beginning of the season, up through Week 13, was abysmal, the last month of the season was a revelation.
Mangini got his team focused on winning games and installing better game plans. As a result, the Browns looked better on the field, even in the loss to San Diego.
You can't ignore a four-game winning streak in the NFL, especially at the end of the year.
However the Browns got here, Mangini shrugged off the early-season drudgery and began fielding a winning team.
Mangini is the best choice available
If Holmgren were to fire Mangini, then he has to replace him. The list of quality replacements, i.e., guys with a proven track record as a head coach, is very thin.
Mike Shanahan now is the coach for the Washington Redskins. Bill Cowher has no interest in the Cleveland job as it would be offered to him. John Fox still is under contract.
Other names bandied about were Steve Mariucci and Marty Mornhinweg. Neither of those names is very appealing for several reasons.
Holmgren could've gone with elevating a coordinator, or hitting the college ranks, but that's not what this situation called for. This team is very young, and most likely to get younger. The Browns need an experienced hand at the helm.
If Holmgren couldn't hit a home run with a new head coach, there's less incentive to get rid of the current one.
The Browns Need Continuity, Stability
Holmgren knows that constantly changing front office and coaching components can sabotage a good thing.
Since Mangini appears to have turned the Browns' culture of losing around, why would you want to tamper with that?
The Browns have a lot of good momentum going into the 2010 season, a lot of it the result of Mangini's steady hand coming down the stretch.
Head coaches get a lot of the flak when things go bad, and Mangini certainly got more than his fair share when the team started 1-11. However, those last four victories came as a result of good coaching bringing out the best the players had to offer.
Does Joshua Cribbs have all those returns without Brad Seeley's direction? Does the defense continue to perform above its last place ranking without Mangini and Ryan's schemes?
The answer is no, they don't. Players play and coaches coach, but a good coach brings out the best in their players, even the bad ones
It's a win-win situation for Holmgren
From Holmgren's standpoint, keeping Mangini around is a win-win situation, for himself and the organization.
If Mangini is successful, Holmgren will be credited for his patience and vision. He'll be lauded for his ability to see beyond the negative press and the 1-11 start to see the "Mangenius" within.
If the team falters and Mangini departs for destinations unknown, Holmgren will be praised for his patience in trying to keep continuity and stability in Cleveland.
Having given Mangini a chance only will make Holmgren look better, even if the Browns look worse.
Plus, should the team and Mangini falter next year, some of the coaches Holmgren would have been interested in this year could be available next year.
Holmgren and Mangini share the same vision
Holmgren stated in his press conference Tuesday that in order for a team to win a Super Bowl, the head coach, GM, and the person in his position all had to be on the same wavelength.
Holmgren said he gave Mangini a few things to think about prior to "The Meeting." Whatever came out of "The Meeting," Mangini obviously was on the same page as Holmgren.
A new day is dawning in Cleveland, and it looks like this might finally be the day Browns fans have been waiting for since the team returned in 1999.