Report: John Fox is interested in Browns’ job

According to Tony Grossi of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Panthers’ head coach John Fox is reportedly “very interested” in the Browns’ job if it becomes available this offseason.

1. Fox is “very interested” in the possibility, according to a league source.

2. Panthers owner Jerry Richardson would be willing to arrive at a contract settlement to get out of the $6 million owed Fox for the 2010 season.

3. Richardson, seeing a potential owners’ lockout in 2011, would not replace Fox with Bill Cowher, but might promote from within.

4. Behind the scenes, most if not all of Mike Holmgren’s coaching and executive “ready lists” are made up of clients of agent Bob LaMonte. Fox is in that stable.

This doesn’t make sense to me. Why would Richardson allow Fox to go if he wasn’t going to replace him with Cowher? The Panthers have been the model of inconsistency under Fox over the past couple years, but his teams always play hard and usually find a way to finish respectable. So why allow Fox to jettison if Cowher (who has been linked to Carolina before) wasn’t going to be his replacement? (Unless there’s an internal candidate that Richardson really wants to promote that I’m just not aware of.)

The Browns have an interesting dilemma on their hands with Eric Mangini. Cleveland finished the season winning four in a row, including a 13-6 victory over the defending champion Steelers in mid December. But this was also the same team that looked completely inept for 13 weeks under Mangini, so why should Holmgren believe that Mangini has the Browns heading in the right direction? Four wins over the Steelers, Chiefs, Raiders and Jaguars is nice, but that’s the only thing they were: Four wins over the Steelers, Chiefs, Raiders and Jaguars.

We’ll see if there’s any teeth to this Fox rumor and monitor Holmgren’s big decision regarding Mangini.


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Report: Mangini could be out if Holmgren is hired

NFL.com’s Jason La Canfora reports that if the Browns hire Mike Holmgren to run the football operations in Cleveland, head coach Eric Mangini would likely be shown the door.

Holmgren, retired for a year and nearing the end of his football career, likely would want a fresh direction for the team and his own coach. Specifically, he is likely to reach back to his Bill Walsh/West Coast family tree for his coach, seeking someone who shares the same philosophies, terminology, vernacular and football ideology.

Mangini comes from the Bill Belichick/Bill Parcells tree, which is the inverse as Walsh’s tree in many ways. Mangini also has been a controversial figure in Cleveland during his one year there, making it all the more likely that a new president might want to start from scratch with the coaching staff.

When Parcells got to Miami, he immediately fired Cam Cameron, who had only been the Dolphins’ head coach for one brutal season. It didn’t make sense for Parcells to retain Cameron when he wanted one of his guys (Tony Sparano) to run the team. The same could be said for Holmgren. If he doesn’t think Mangini is a fit, there’s no sense wasting another year to see if the two could work together. Cut bait and move on.

Since Holmgren is a West Coast guy, some of the names being thrown around as an eventual replacement for Mangini include Jon Gruden, Steve Mariucci (meh), Jim Zorn (ugh), Dick Jauron (ugh!) and Marty Mornhinweg (ugh!!). If I were a Cleveland fan, the only person that I would want to see walking the sidelines in that group is Gruden, although Mariucci wouldn’t be a horrible choice. The other three – Zorn, Jauron and Mornhinweg – have proven that they make better coordinators than head coaches.

Quinn, Browns give putrid effort in another putrid loss

Eleven first downs, 160 total yards and zero points.

After two weeks to prepare for their opposition, that’s what the Cleveland Browns produced on Monday night in a 16-0 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

Nobody should be surprised by the outcome of Monday night’s game in Cleveland. Everyone knew that the Browns were awful entering the game, but to actually watch that miserable excuse of a team stumble over themselves for 60 minutes is rather amazing. It’s like a car wreck – you just can’t look away.

Brady Quinn is bad, so bad that it’s safe to say that he has zero chance of becoming anything resembling a decent starting quarterback in the NFL. I’m fully aware that he has no talent around him, but I dare anyone to watch that kid play for entire game and tell me he has any shot of success in this league. His own coaching staff doesn’t trust him to throw the ball further than two feet and I wouldn’t either. The Monday Night Football crew kept begging for the Browns to throw the ball vertically and whenever Quinn did, he was either picked off or was so far off the mark with his passes that there wasn’t a receiver within 20 yards of where the ball ended up.

Again, I know that he doesn’t have anyone to throw to but there’s just no excuse for being that inept. The Browns didn’t even reach the Ravens’ 40-yard line tonight and don’t forget that this was a Baltimore defense that has struggled at times this year stopping the pass. On multiple occasions late in the game when he was trying to make a feeble attempt at throwing deep, Quinn tossed the ball completely out of bounds. That means he’s so inaccurate with his throws that he can’t even keep the ball in play. He even overthrew a receiver on a screen pass, which is so mind-boggling that it pisses me off just thinking about it.

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Browns to contact Holmgren?


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According to a report by ESPN.com, the Cleveland owner Randy Lerner will contact former Seattle Seahawks head coach Mike Holmgren to run the Browns.

Holmgren is itching to return to football and the opportunity he would have in Cleveland would be an attractive one. Lerner is looking for someone to perform for the Browns the same role that vice president of football operations Bill Parcells performs for the Dolphins. The job, for the time being, is Holmgren’s to lose.

If Holmgren were to take it — and there are some people who think he still would prefer to coach — he would be returning to the Midwest, where he built his reputation as the head coach of the Green Bay Packers.

Holmgren is one of at least four names on Lerner’s wish list, though he is considered the top target. The others are former New York Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi, Atlanta Falcons president Rich McKay and former Packers general manager Ron Wolf.

Holmgren’s track record speaks for itself. He’s coached three different Super Bowl teams and built the Seahawks into a consistent division winner and playoff contender. He knows how to build a team from the ground up, which is exactly what the Browns need right now.

And if you’re Lerner, why wouldn’t you allow Holmgren to coach if that was the only stipulation in luring him to Cleveland? Eric Mangini has been a disaster to this point and there is little to no hope on the horizon. Lerner should have no qualms about firing Mangini and replacing him with someone with a resume like Holmgren’s.

If Lerner can’t get Holmgren, either Accorsi, McKay or Wolf would be solid choices, although it might be tough to get Wolf, who has had opportunities to return as a general manager and has declined them.

Should the Browns stick with Mangini?

According to a report by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Browns owner Randy Lerner said that Eric Mangini’s job is safe heading into the team’s bye week, but also noted that he was sick about their 1-7 record. Lerner also said that the Browns’ quarterback situation “doesn’t seem sensible” and that he may bring in a team president to overlook Mangini and GM George Kokonis.

Considering Mangini only has one offseason under his belt in Cleveland, he deserves more time. He’s essentially not working with the roster that he wants yet, so it makes sense that Lerner won’t pull the plug on him after only eight games.

That said, Mangini has to get this team to at least be competitive or else nobody will blame Lerner for scrapping the whole thing and starting from scratch again in the offseason. That might sound nauseating to Browns fans, but if Mangini is in over his head, then why waste one or two more years?

The Browns are a putrid 1-7. After giving a good Cincinnati team a run for its money in Week 4, Cleveland has scored a combined 29 points in four games. That’s barely a touchdown a game, which is staggering. Making matters worse, Mangini has already made one quarterback change this year switching from Brady Quinn to Derek Anderson, and may have to make another as Anderson continues to drive the Browns further into NFL purgatory. (He has failed to throw for over 100 yards in four of the six games he’s played in this season.)

Cleveland isn’t going to even sniff the playoffs this season, but what Lerner needs to see is a team that competes. If the players quit on Mangini, he may never get them back and then it’ll be time to make a change. He deserves another offseason to build the roster he wants, but at the same time he better earn it over the next eight games.

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