Browns to stick with Derek Anderson

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Cleveland Browns are not considering a change at quarterback, which means Derek Anderson will remain the team’s starter.

The Browns are damned if they do, damned if they don’t in this situation. In Brady Quinn, they had a quarterback that didn’t make wise decisions, couldn’t throw the ball vertically, couldn’t hit receivers in stride and couldn’t lead the offense. In Anderson, they have a quarterback that doesn’t make wise decisions, can’t lead the offense and is completely turnover prone. But hey, at least he can throw the ball vertically; sometimes it’s directly to the other team, but vertical nonetheless.

Even though Anderson is incapable of moving the offense, Eric Mangini has to stick with him at this point because if he goes back to Quinn than it’s going to look like he has less of a handle on the situation than he already does. The bottom line is that Cleveland has one of the most inept offenses in the NFL and they don’t have a quarterback on the roster that can guide them out of the muck.

Unless…Brett Ratliff anyone?

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Posnanski: Is Mangini the worst coaching hire ever?

Joe Posnanski of SI.com says it’s not fan hyperbole to suggest that the Cleveland Browns made the worst coaching hire of the last 25 years in Eric Mangini.

But here’s the thing: Based on the Twitter responses I’ve seen … I’m actually starting to believe that I’m right. I’m actually starting to believe that Mangini really was the worst head coach hire in 25 years. The responses have mostly been to list other coaches who were worse hires than Mangini. But you know what? I don’t think any of those hires WERE worse than Mangini. Remember:

1. Mangini had just been fired in New York, where he had done a terrible job. He had a losing record. His team had collapsed down the stretch, he had alienated his players, he was a pain in the neck to deal with. Point is: He’d already PROVEN how much damage he could do as a coach.

2. He came right out of the school of Bill Belichick … and that didn’t work THE FIRST TIME in Cleveland. It seems to me that Cleveland is a working-class town and Browns fans want a working-class coach — not some pompous know-it-all who doesn’t feel like he should have to explain to the commoners what he’s doing.

3. What had he ever done to convince anyone he could be a head coach in the first place? Why, because he was a defensive coordinator for the Patriots under Belichick for one season? The Browns had JUST HIRED Romeo Crennel, who was ALSO defensive coordinator under Belichick. Attention Cleveland Browns owners, here’s a good hint: BILL BELICHICK IS HIS OWN DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR.

4. Basically the first thing Mangini did — first thing — was have them tear down a mural of great Cleveland Browns players on the wall in the Browns offices. Now, there are differing opinions about what really happened, whose fault it really was, does it all matter, etc. You know what? The Cleveland Browns have never been to a Super Bowl. Never. Not one. But Browns fans still have a whole lot of pride. Browns fans grow up on a glorious history. If you allow something stupid like that to happen on your watch … just a horrendous hire.

Posnanski continues by diving into some other bad coaching hires, although he dismisses each one by saying they were still better than the Browns’ hiring of Mangini.

It’s hard to argue with Posnanski based on how Mangini’s tenure in Cleveland has started. But the only problem I have with his argument is that any coach that has worked under Belichick is going to be sought after to some degree, even if that coach failed in his previous job. And let’s not forget that Mangini won his first year in New York, which made him enticing to employers.

That said, if the Browns continue to lose the way they have in the first couple weeks, it will be hard to justify why they took a chance on Mangini in the offseason. People in Cleveland are going to grow tired of his act, just as the fans in New York did.

Cower to the Jets?

Bob Glauber of Newsday writes that if the Jets fire head coach Eric Mangini that they should pursue Bill Cowher.

What better coach to replace him than Cowher, a perennial winner with the Steelers who captured Super Bowl XL after the 2005 season, then stepped away a year later. Cowher was 166-99-1 during his run with the Steelers from 1992-2006 and consistently was one of the top coaches in the league. In his 15 seasons, the Steelers won eight division titles, went to the playoffs 10 times, played 21 postseason games, made the AFC Championship Game six times and played in two Super Bowls, winning one.

Playoff disappointments? Sure. But I’d take that resume any day to lead a Jets team sorely in need of an elite coach to push it in the right direction.

Cowher is just the kind of emotional sparkplug the Jets need, a guy who will get in players’ faces the way few coaches can. He’s a major contrast with the placid Mangini, who too often shows no emotion in a game that thrives on it. If players reflect the personality of their coach, then the Jets have adopted Mangini’s flat-line temperament.

What concept – hire the best head coach available to replace the deadbeat that currently holds the position. This is a nice idea, but unfortunately for Glauber and the Jets, the Browns, Rams and every other team that is soon to have a head coaching vacancy is thinking the same thing.

If (and that’s a big if) Cowher decides to come out of retirement and return to the NFL, he’s going to want complete control. The situation is going to have to be perfect and I just don’t know if the Jets or Browns job will entice him enough to return.

Should the Jets fire Mangini if they miss the playoffs?

Bob Glauber of Newsday thinks they should:

If Mangini doesn’t get to the playoffs, the Jets need to show him the door. No excuses. No explanations. He was on board with the Favre decision, and he must pay the price if the collapse is completed next week.

Yesterday, his coaching was abysmal:

Fourth down and less than a yard from the Seattle 2 on the Jets’ first drive, and Mangini goes conservative and has Jay Feely kick a field goal.

Early in the fourth quarter, Feely makes a field goal with room to spare from 45 yards. However, the Jets are penalized five yards, which wipes out the points. Mangini elects to punt. What?!

With 2:21 left in the fourth quarter, the Jets face a fourth-and-2 at their 20 with all three timeouts and the two-minute warning, and Mangini goes for it. Favre’s pass over the middle to Laveranues Coles is dropped. The Seahawks kick a field goal (with 1:47 to play, meaning the Jets still had plenty of time if they’d elected to punt) to ice it.

It all adds up to three losses in four games, with the only win a gift from the Bills last week after Buffalo coach Dick Jauron inexplicably put the ball in J.P. Losman’s hands instead of Marshawn Lynch’s in a must-run situation.

The Jets’ playoff fate now rests in the hands of a 39-year-old quarterback who is at the end of the road — and a head coach who should be, too.

It’s amazing how Mangini has looked so bad at times since his first year in New York when he led the Jets to the playoffs. A lot of purists compared him to Bill Belichick when he became the Jets head coach, but the difference between Belicheat and Mangenious is having the ability to make adjustments throughout the game. Belichick is one of the best in-game coaches in the league and while Mangini can game plan, he can’t deliver when opponents start to make adjustments.

Things don’t look good for the Jets, although I think they beat Miami next week at the Meadowlands. The Dolphins have struggled there over the years and the Jets have been a better team at home than they’ve been on the road. But New England will win the AFC East. The Pats look like a juggernaut right now and I doubt they lose to the Bills next Sunday, although a game in Buffalo is always a little tougher in December than it is in September.

Was trading for Brett Favre a mistake for Jets?

Okay, so now what?

Brett FavreAfter their 13-3 loss to the Seattle Seahawks (another humiliating loss to a West Coast team), the New York Jets are currently 8-6 and no longer in control of their own playoff destiny. Even a win over the Dolphins next week wouldn’t be enough to clinch the AFC East if the Patriots beat the Bills in Buffalo.

So was this Brett Favre experiment a failure in New York? If they don’t make the playoffs, than hell yes it was. The Jets didn’t trade for Favre so they could go 9-7 or 8-8 and miss the playoffs. They traded for him to make a run at the postseason and possibly even the Super Bowl. And if they didn’t trade for Favre for those reasons, then why in God’s name would you trade for a 38-year old quarterback and only sign him to one year?

Think about it – Favre is probably done in New York after this season. He’ll do his retirement dance for another offseason and even if he does want to play again, there’s no guarantee he’ll go back to the Jets. So how did trading for him help New York? They didn’t make the playoffs and even worse, they didn’t develop anyone for the future. (They also allowed Chad Pennington to go to a division rival don’t forget.)

Everyone was so giddy when the Jets brought Favre in this offseason. Then when he helped them beat the previously unbeaten Titans in Tennessee a month ago, everyone was ready to hop on the Brett/Super Bowl bandwagon.

But the reality of the situation is that the Jets might have done more harm than good. Sure they were competitive this season, but what’s the point in being competitive if you’re not going to make the postseason? Furthermore, what’s the point in being competitive if you’re not going to make the postseason and not going to set yourself up for the future? You have to hand it to the Jets for trying to find the missing piece and taking a shot. But the bottom line is that this move could have cost them in the long run more than it helped.

So I am told, Sunday was a perfect “Brett Favre Day.” The weather was cold, snowy and for most of the game, Brett Favre’s team was behind. But when it came time for Brett to be Brett, he looked like a quarterback past his prime. Granted, his offensive line didn’t and receivers didn’t help him much, but were was all of that “Brett Magic” that Packer fans talk so much about?

And does Eric Mangini keep his job after this massive collapse over the past couple weeks? His decision to go for it on fourth down late in the game instead of punt and allow his defense to get the ball back was questionable at best. He and Brett might be looking for jobs outside of the Big Apple next year.

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