The Cleveland Browns fired one coach and were told to buzz off by the one they wanted to hire. The Browns officially fired Romeo Crennel on Monday, but were told by hopeful candidate Bill Cowher that he wasn’t interested in the position.
Speculation for his replacement had been centered on Cowher for several weeks, but Lerner said Monday that he met with Cowher on Saturday night and that Cowher said he would not return to coaching in 2009 and asked Lerner to take him off the Browns list of candidates.
Cowher told Lerner that he was comfortable with his lifestyle in North Carolina at this time.
Lerner said he’s already asked for permission to talk to New England Patriots Executive Vice President Scott Pioli and that he’ll focus on the general manager role next.
Lerner also said he’s receiving permission to talk to another unnamed NFL exec. He appeared interested when informed that Eric Mangini had been fired by the New York Jets this morning. Mangini, a former Browns employee, worked with Pioli in New England.
Crennel, 61, was fired after going 24-40 in his four seasons at Browns head coach. He had three years left on his contract, which had been extended in January after he guided the Browns to a 10-6 record and just missed the playoffs.
I’m always a little leery when teams fire their head coach and immediately start looking at other coaches that were fired in the same year. Maybe Mangini would be a nice fit in Cleveland, but I think at this point the Browns need a candidate with a little more experience. I still don’t think Marty Schottenheimer would be a bad hire, although they would need to groom another coach under him because he wouldn’t be a long-term solution.
But before hiring a coach, they need to go out and get a solid GM. Then have that GM hire the head coach so that they know everyone can work together. It doesn’t make sense to hire a head coach and then a general manager if they’re going to butt heads all the time about personnel decisions.
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