So, let me get this straight...
Eric Mangini's interview with team owner Randy Lerner went over so well last week that the following has seemed to occur:
- Scott Pioli, who seemed like a definite hire after the firing of Phil Savage, isn't even on the Browns' radar anymore, and is close to accepting an offer from the Kansas City Chiefs.
- No other head coaches are being scheduled for interviews, and it doesn't sound as if serious inquiries have been made to Mike Shanahan or Marty Schottenheimer (two veteran coaches).
- Despite only having three years of experience with the New York Jets as a head coach, Mangini will get the say on who our next general manager is -- Baltimore Ravens director of pro personnel George Kokinis.
- Mangini would receive similar authority and/or respect that Bill Belichick has with the Patriots.
I'd love to hear just what in the world Mangini's sales pitch to Lerner was, especially since there were rumors after he was fired that many executives in the league considered him a "rat" due to Spy Gate.
Any way you look at it, the pairing of Mangini/Kokinis seems inevitable. An interview with Kokinis was granted by the Ravens, but not until this Sunday. Considering that Kokinis' name hasn't come up strong with other teams in the league and with Pioli about to go off of the market, I don't think we'll have trouble getting him.
Mangini, on the other hand, may sign some time prior to Sunday. The competitive roster in Cleveland has to remind him of what he had with the New York Jets, with a bonus added on -- a young franchise quarterback (and even Derek Anderson still has some value, whether it be as trade or competition).
Hoping that Mangini/Kokinis turns into Belichick/Pioli is wishful thinking, but it's also a step in the right direction considering the type of relationship that developed between Savage and Crennel.