In a move that few thought imaginable five weeks ago,Mike Holmgren has decided to retain Eric Mangini and (reportedly) his assistants for the 2010 season.
This is a surprise to some (me to a certain degree) as many thought that Holmgren and Mangini's football belief system would not be compatible and Mangini would not be able to handle his reduced organizational influence,but Eric Mangini has survived for the 2010 term.
I must admit that Mangini's late season rally had tempered my opinion a bit,although I would not have had too much to say had he been released,however this is a no lose situation for the Browns.
If Mangini indeed has won the players over with his program ,weeding out the malcontents and do-littles and began the process of turning the corner than Holmgren looks smart for retaining him.
BUT ( and this is a big one) if the late season win streak turns out to be a mirage,then Holmgren almost gains a year in goodwill from the fans as Mangini (if the losing begins anew) will be even more unpopular and letting him go will bring tons of positives from the supporters.
That then allows Holmgren then to have free reign to redesign the franchise in any way he sees fit without having a public backlash (as minor as it would be right now) for axing Mangini.
This also brings a possible reason that I haven't mentioned before for the retention of Mangini to the table.
Could it be possible that the person that Mike Holmgren really would like to bring to Cleveland isn't available yet?
Maybe Jon Gruden wants another year with the family to recharge the batteries or perhaps John Fox of the Panthers (2010 is his last contract year) is the guy and by waiting a year,Fox could be brought in for nothing instead having to compensate Carolina,either of those could make sense.
Or could there be a chance that Mangini is a stalking horse for Mike Holmgren to hire....Mike Holmgren?
No matter how you slice it,Eric Mangini will not be making very many personnel decisions from here on out and that looks very good for the future of the Cleveland Browns.
I am hoping that the Browns hire the Eagles Tom Heckert as the new GM,but I was hoping that was who they would hire last season and instead selected George Kokinis.
Heckert's personnel background is solid and the Eagles generally draft well along with being a free agency player as well.
However,Heckert didn't want to work with Mangini last year and may not want to again,although he could have assurances from Holmgren that the working relationship would be different than the one that the Browns would have offered last season.
The one thing that I wish that Holmgren had insisted on was the removal of Brian Daboll as offensive coordinator.
Daboll seems overmatched in the job and might need more seasoning before trying again as a coordinator down the road.
I would not be against Daboll staying on staff as a position coach,but a new coordinator needs to brought on board,especially if Holmgren wants to tweak the offense more to his liking.
On the whole,I can see both sides and cannot say this is a pro or con,but this would have been so much easier without the four game winning streak to make a decision.
At least,it was not Marty Mornhinweg!
And no,the picture was not Eric Mangini and his people sitting around the draft room in 2009!
Let the talk begin-Eric Berry to Cleveland!!!
Photo Credit-New York Times