By virtue of the Baltimore Ravens upsetting the Tennessee Titans in what ended up being a heck of a football game, Randy Lerner will at least have to wait another full week to hire George Kokinis. For Lerner's sake, hopefully the interview with him goes extremely well today: with the hiring of Kokinis seemingly inevitable and the fact that Eric Mangini has already been named the head coach, candidates such as Rich McKay of the Atlanta Falcons and Tom Heckert of the Philadelphia Eagles have withdrawn themselves from consideration.
This morning, Tony Grossi of the Cleveland Plain Dealer questioned the possibility of Kokinis having second thoughts:
"...there is a feeling gaining steam that Kokinis may develop a case of cold feet and stay with the Ravens"
Rumors have been reported that former Denver Broncos GM Ted Sundquist and Indianapolis Colts VP of football operations Chris Polian are alternate candidates. Either way, I don't buy into the fact that Kokinis will develop a case of cold feet. Mangini/Kokinis seemed like a package deal almost, and I don't think Lerner would've acted so quickly on hiring Mangini if he wasn't confident he could hire Kokinis.
My guess is that the media is trying to create more out of the situation than there really is, for several reasons...
- The Mangini hiring has already drawn criticism from football analysts.
- The Ravens initially blocked Kokinis from interviewing with the team.
- With Baltimore headed to the AFC Championship and possibly the Super Bowl, there could be another three weeks of a vacant general manager position.
The ultimate goal of the new regime is to have more chemistry between the general manager and the head coach. With Mangini already on bored, Kokinis completes that relationship. It's hard to say if the same could be said for other candidates.
As Grossi points out, the more likely possibility could be the following:
The total authority designation is a tool to protect an organization from losing a key executive. For instance, in the example of Kokinis, the Ravens may block him from going to Cleveland unless the Browns designate him the No. 1 guy in his contract.
Either way, I want the Ravens to lose next week: not so we can hire a GM already, but because I hate the Baltimore Ravens.