Though he’s trying his best to remain resolute in the face of the firing of G.M. George Kokinis, the departure of the man coach Eric Mangini hand picked for the job has done nothing to improve the perception of Mangini in team or league circles.
Players outwardly are unfazed by the move, per Marla Ridenour of the Akron Beacon Journal. But the general consensus is that Mangini sacrificed a close friend in order to save himself.
And as friends two men don’t get a whole lot closer. As Ridenour points out, Mangini’s wrestling coach in high school was Kokinis’ father. Mangini and Kokinis were roommates in 1994, when they both were low-level slappies with the Browns. And Kokinis served on the board of directors for Mangini’s foundation.
So the perception is that, if Mangini will throw Kokinis under the bus, then anyone is fair game. And the apparent reality that Kokinis and Mangini couldn’t coexist once they had landed in the top two roles with an NFL team strongly suggests that Mangini will be able to coexist with no one professionally.
Thus, once a new G.M. is hired by the Browns, the first order of business will be for the new General Manager will be to do to Mangini what Mangini did to his good friend.
Once Mangini is gone, it remains to be seen what will happen next. This year, there won’t be another NFL team that comes calling, and he’ll have to rely on whatever remaining friendships he hasn’t fractured in the hopes of landing a position as an assistant coach.