When I say this is Michel Jackson coaching search - I am not telling you that the NFL has extended its minority hiring policy to include seance interviews with a dead pedophile. I am saying that Holmgren´s coaching search starts with the "Man in the Mirror". Here is how I handicap the coaching scenarios:
Mike Holmgren - 51% chance he is next coach of the Cleveland Browns
Mike likes himself more than Eric. Mike trusts himself more than Eric. Mike thinks he is an offensive genius (and rightfully so). Mike said he still has an itch to coach. If you add those 4 things up the odds are like 99% that he will coach the team next year. But, at over 60, maybe just maybe Mike figures it was far easier to collect $7 large and ride a golf cart rather than working like 100 hour weeks - so I knocked down the odds somewhat.
If Mike coaches, Rob Ryan stays. The prognosis - Holmgren most resembles Andy Reid - and I am not talking about their silhouettes - and the Browns keep some consistency on defense, and the offense starts morphing towards a wide open attack under the direction of Colt McCoy.
Eric Mangini - 34% chance he remains the coach of the Cleveland Browns
Mike respects Eric - but respects himself more. There are several strong reasons to maintain Eric. His teams are prepared, they don´t mail it in, and he has developed some young talent. Even if the record is 5-11, there is absolutely no denying the fact that the team is improved. The "fickle fans" are in his corner. I ran a poll in early October that asked this question. You are Mike Holmgren, Mangin is is sitting in your office with a 5-11 record. What do you do - keep him or can him? The result - 81% said keep him and that is not a misprint. We were like 0-3 at the time.
But lets be honest - I like Eric and want him to return - but people who say he should be fired are not out of their minds. He often played for field goals and failed to take prudent risks. Sometimes he even decided against prudent risks and replaced them with not so prudent risks. In addition, 5-11 or 6-10 is not good. The chances are we could hire a better coach than Eric. I say this with facts. 14 teams have recently hired new coaches that were hired with Mangini, or the years before and after. Here is the shakeout.
- 4 have been far superior hires. (Smith of the Falcons, Harbaugh, Rex Ryan for going to the AFC championship, and Haley of the Chiefs for this years turnaround and divsion championship)
- 2 have been better. (Spagnola of the Rams, and Morris of the Buccaneers.)
- 3 have been better - but I have reservations that they are better coaches. (Cable is a sleazebally character, and Pete Carroll is at least "oily". Caldwell has a much better record - but I question his handling down the stretch last year, and wonder if he is leading the Colts down a decline.
- 2 are in the Mangin "ballpark". (Shannahan and Schwartz of Detroit)
- 3 were worse hires. (McDaniel, Singletary, and Chan Gailey)
From recent history, it appears that we less than a 25% chance of doing worse than Eric. If Eric returns, Daboll doesn´t. Look for the Browns to improve on both offense and defense.
John Gruden - 13% chance he is next coach of the Cleveland Browns - all others 2%
If you think Homgren has a cushy job - it is nothing compared to Gruden. In addition, with Heckert at GM - the Browns job would not be on top of Gruden´s wish list. I am sure he thinks he is due a "football czar" type of job - and I think he can get one. Under Gruden, we would prolly see a lot of destruction going on, maybe a little of ready, fire, aim, and therefore Gruden may be a riskier pick for 2011 improvement than Mangini.
Finally, hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and the Happiest of New Years for all Browns fans everywhere - we certainly are due!