Mangini Spearheading Culture Change

Tim Bielik@bielik_timSenior Analyst IJune 1, 2009

BEREA, OH - MAY 02:  Head coach Eric Mangini of the Cleveland Browns looks on  during rookie mini camp at the Cleveland Browns Training and Administrative Complex on May 2, 2009 in Berea, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Since the return of the Cleveland Browns, the organization has lacked an identity, a fire, a desire to be a champion.

Even though Eric Mangini was named the coach just five months ago and hasn't coached an actual game, he has brought new intensity to the organization, something seriously lacking in the Romeo Crennel-era.

Another disciple of Bill Belichick, Mangini is a stark contrast of personality against Crennel's.

Crennel was more of an easygoing, level-headed personality who tried to be a player's coach. Obviously, his style did not bring too much success, although one could argue talent had something to do with it.

Mangini is more of a fiery coach and a disciplinarian, demanding energy from his players.

In comparison, this is a culture shock for those accustomed to the Crennel era, where practices were more relaxed.

Mangini has reorganized the practice facility and fields in a symbolic gesture to motivate his players to work hard every practice.

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If nothing else, Mangini will give it his all for his team to play hard for 60 minutes a game during their 16 games this coming season.

Several players were initially apprehensive about this new approach, including Pro Bowl DT Shaun Rogers, who immediately wanted to be traded or released.

However, he has changed his tone and has said he is ready to come to work for Mangini and defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.

His ideology also affected the way his management staff signed free agents and drafted in the offseason.

Most of Mangini's signings have been former players who know his coaching well and can fit right in with his system.

During the draft, Mangini and GM George Kokinis dropped down in the first round three separate times in order to acquire multiple picks and several other former Jets in the process.

His draft targets have mostly been players that rely on brains and tremendous football sense, combined with love of the game.

The most exciting part of Mangini to some Browns fans is the fact that he is from the Cleveland area and is very familiar with the Browns' proud heritage and tradition.

This tradition severely lacked since 1999, when the Browns returned as an expansion franchise. In fact, Cleveland has only produced two winning seasons since their return, and made just one trip to the playoffs.

Only time can tell if the Browns will finally improve. If not, Mangini's head will be the next to roll and fans will call for the end of the Lerner ownership.

Cleveland fans have high expectations for their team because of their undying loyalty and passion. No one will ever confuse Cleveland for being anything but Brownstown. That's why Browns fans deserve better than what we've had in the past—because football is everything.

When the team does well, the city does well. If Mangini is successful, he will have a large, almost messianic, following in Cleveland.

If he wins a Super Bowl, the fans might just build a statue for him outside Cleveland Browns Stadium.