Cleveland Browns Close Out 2009-10 Season on a High Note: Is Eric Mangini Safe?

Robert CobbCorrespondent IJanuary 4, 2010

CLEVELAND - JANUARY 03:  Jerome Harrison #35 of the Cleveland Browns runs by Derrick Harvey #91 of the Jacksonville Jaguars at Cleveland Browns Stadium on January 3, 2010 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

Browns Backers,  

impression - "the first and immediate effect of an experience or perception upon the mind; sensation "  

To paraphrase the popular Head and Shoulders© commercial, you never get a second chance to make a first impression, whether on a job interview or a first date the first action you do will be remembered last.  

When new management comes on board you really want to give them a reason to retain your services and make a case for yourself.  In the case of Eric Mangini, he may still be employed after Tuesday when meeting with new Browns president, Mike Holmgren.   

Make no mistake the Browns have won four straight, including a major upset of the defending Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers, 13-6 and in defeating the playoff-minded Jacksonville Jaguars, 23-17, Mangini can make a valid argument as to why he should be retained as head coach.  

Mangini improved the Browns record from 4-12 to 5-11 and considering the lack of talent he inherited from the Crennel/ Savage era, I feel he at least deserves one more year.  

He jettisoned locker room cancers WR Braylon Edwards and TE Kellen Winslow and helped secure 11 picks in the 2010 NFL Draft coming up in April.

I have to admit I was very skeptical about his drafting of C Alex Mack after trading down three times to secure him but with the recent explosion of the Browns running game I have finally seen the light. 

To win in the AFC North you have to run the ball and to run the ball you must have a strong and physical line, which is what the Browns have done in helping secure their first four game winning streak since 1994.  

Recently named Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas, left guard Eric Steinbach, and center Alex Mack have helped contribute to Jerome harrison's 561 yard tear in the last three weeks of the season, the most since 1960 and his ascendancy from third-string bench warmer to potential 2010-11 starting tailback.  

Mangini may have hurt his case by failing to identify his QB early in training camp and waiting 48 hours until Opening Day kickoff to name Quinn his starter, and while I'll admit to being a Derek Anderson fan, I can say with utmost confidence that he will be traded to Seattle for at least a fourth and conditional sixth round pick as Anderson has officially played his last game in a Browns uniform.    

What about Brady Quinn? For the record, I do NOT hate Brady Quinn and have felt some concerns about his arm strength coming out of Notre Dame, but those were erased against the Lions. 

Granted it was the Lions, Quinn posted his best game as a pro by dropping 304 yards and four touchdowns and finally showed some real promise, and continued to show more flashes of brilliance against San Diego before injuring his ankle and being placed on injured reserve.   

I'am sure Holmgren will have some concerns about Quinn's durability as he has missed six games this year and missed 10 games due to injury, another concern for Holmgren going forward is Quinn's 52.2 percent completion rate. 

Which might be eschewed due to blitzes coming from his strong side, but at times his release is either too low and can be tipped or he holds on to the ball too long, either way Holmgren has a history of working with quarterbacks such as Steve Young, Brett Favre, and Matt Hasselback and could only help him, if not, then do the Browns draft another QB? Possibly.   

If Mangini would have named either Quinn or Anderson as the Browns starting QB then this team would have had at least a sense of continuity in knowing who their leader is and I think Mangini flubbed on this move.  

With ESPN reporting that Washington Redskins coach, Jim Zorn is about to be fired , it would not surprise me if Holmgren brings in Zorn as the new offensive coordinator and fires Brian Daboll, it will be Holmgren's first move in putting his stamp on the Browns and installing the West Coast offense. 

Will Holmgren fire Mangini? It's 50-50, but if I'am in management and want to bring in my own people who share my philosophy then I would make changes. 

Come Tuesday, the Browns may have a opening in their head coach position.


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