The public needs to remember Mangini was never a bad coach with the New York Jets during his three seasons at the helm. In fact during his first season as head coach, Mangini was dubbed with the nickname "Mangenius" for the way he lead an overachieving Jets team into the playoffs.
His record was 10-6, not counting the thorough dismantling the New England Patriots put on the Jets during the Wild Card Round of the playoffs. Mangini followed up his surprising first season as coach with a 4-12 disappointment.
After reaching such a high the season before the Jets fell to rock bottom, but then Woody Johnson opened up his wallet to go for broke. Johnson's money brought the Jets an All-Pro defensive lineman, a great pass rusher and above all the quarterback with the golden arm.
Of course we are talking about Brett Favre, otherwise known as a clubhouse distraction. With all of these additions the stakes were high and Mangini failed in the eyes of many. His club rocketed out to an 8-3 start, but lost five out its last six games missing the playoffs for the second consecutive season.
Mangini leaves and Rex Ryan comes into town and achieves the very same record, which led to Mangini receiving the pink slip. Ryan is referred to as a hero in NY for what he accomplished in his first season and thus far his second season as head coach.
The truth of the matter, however, is Mangini helped put the pieces in place for Ryan. Mangini helped make the foundation for what is now a Jets team that is considered one of the best in the NFL.
Mangini learned how to be a head coach in the league during his time in NY. He tried too much to be like his previous boss when he should have just been himself. This season with the Browns, even after having his top two quarterbacks go down with injuries, Mangini has helped the Browns take down the Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints and the Patriots.
For a Browns team that has not sniffed success in years, a foundation may finally have been built. They have a young defensive-minded coach who has the Browns playing one of the best defenses in the NFL. They drafted a quarterback who won the most games in college football history in Colt McCoy.
And above all they seem to love playing for their head coach. Mike Holmgren had the chance to fire Mangini when he was hired, but after meeting with Mangini it was obvious he saw something special in the young coach.
Now Mangini has a chance to really make a statement by taking down the Jets this weekend after defeating the Saints and Patriots. If it happens then Mangini has once again earned the moniker "Mangenius."
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