Cleveland ‘s head coach Eric Mangini expects to have a meeting this coming Monday with his boss, Browns president Mike Holmgren, to discuss his continued employment. To help Mike decide whether or not Mangini deserves to spend another season with Cleveland, we’ve compiled a plus/minus checklist.
But first, some background: Mangini is just like his mentor, the Patriots’ Bill Belichick, but without the skill or talent. What Mangini does have is Belichick’s sense of entitlement and the arrogance that it breeds. And it is this characteristic that has helped him rise rapidly through the coaching ranks.
Mangini does such a great impersonation of an arrogant Bill Belichick that the New York Jets hired him as their head coach five years ago, even though he only had one year experience as the Patriots defensive coordinator. The Jets paid the price for falling for Mangini’s mini-Bill act and had to fire him after three seasons.
For some unfathomable reason, the Cleveland Browns hired Mangini as head coach immediately after he was let go by New York. Not surprisingly, two seasons in Cleveland resulted in even greater failure, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Following are the pluses and minuses that Mike Holmgren can check to make up his own mind.
[ ] Mangini secretly hates Bill Belichick just as much as the rest of us do.
[ ] He doesn’t have a foot fetish, yet he keeps his shoes well shined.
[ ] He’ll work for peanuts. Desperation will do that to a guy.
[ ] Mangini has never tripped an opponent.
[ ] His losing ways reduce the fanbase, negating the need for a larger stadium.
[ ] He’ll get down on his knees and beg, if that’s what it takes.
[ ] Mangini keeps the payroll low by alienating star players.
[ ] He had a cameo role in the popular organized crime drama The Sopranos.
[ ] He talks a good game.
[ ] He stuck the Jets with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer.
[ ] Eric Mangini is not Bill Belichick. He doesn’t even look like him.
[ ] The Browns currently rank 29th in offense and 20th in defense.
[ ] His inappropriate comments cost the Browns top talent in the NFL draft.
[ ] His Christmas present to Mike Holmgren really sucked.
[ ] He subjects his players to pop quizzes. Can you spell grammar school?
[ ] Hope you’re not thirsty. Mangini once fined a Cleveland player $1,701 for taking a bottle of water from a hotel minibar without paying for it.
[ ] He was fined $25,000 by the NFL for covering up Brett Favre’s bicep injury during the 2008 season with the Jets.
[ ] A 10-21 record as coach of the Cleveland Browns.
[ ] With all that wind coming off Lake Erie, you wouldn’t think the Browns would need a blowhard as coach.
[ ] He cost the Jets Jonathan Vilma.
[ ] He cost the Browns Braylon Edwards.
[ ] He’s reportedly a sloppy eater.
[ ] He always seems grumpy.
[ ] No one can remember why the Browns hired him in the first place.
Of course this checklist can be much longer, especially on the minus side. And certainly Michael Holmgren has other considerations that will factor in his decision. Like, what if Mangini’s Browns somehow defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers this Sunday?
The team beat New England earlier this season, so you never know. One more tally on the plus side and Mangini could talk Holmgren into keeping him for another season. Which is why Mike should be checking this list and checking it twice.