Browns coach Eric Mangini is taking verbal slings and arrows from all directions, but at least one person believes the criticism isn’t fair.
ESPN football analyst Tedy Bruschi, one of Mangini’s former players in New England, came to Mangini’s defense on NFL Live with an impassioned plea for “patience.” He said Mangini knows defense and how to put a gameplan together.
Fellow analyst Trent Dilfer, who played in Cleveland, blamed Browns owner Randy Lerner for the team’s troubles. Dilfer said that Lerner listens too much to public opinion and makes “knee-jerk” decisions when times get tough.
Dilfer’s point has validity, but Bruschi’s could be questioned. Mangini lost some of his responsibilities as defensive coordinator before leaving the Patriots because of questions about the defense’s direction. Numbers fell on New England’s defense across the board when Mangini took over.
Mike Nolan, Gregg Williams, and Rex Ryan are among the defensive minds that have made immediate impacts with new teams this season — Nolan with relatively little talent. Cleveland is dead last in yards allowed per game this season.