Browns coach Eric Mangini wants the chance to turn around Cleveland’s franchise. All he needs is just a little patience. (Cue the whistling.)
“I just know when we first came into New England, they’d come off an
8-8 season, and there had to be a lot of transition,” Mangini told the Boston Globe during Cleveland’s bye week.
“It was top-heavy financially, there were tough decisions that had to
be made, and we didn’t have much success that first year. There are
remarkable similarities between the situations.”
Browns owner Randy Lerner is reportedly looking for a football czar — an executive that may not give Mangini the time he says he needs.
“I don’t think we won any popularity contests there,” Mangini said, speaking about Bill Belichick’s first year with the Patriots. “You can look at
the clips. The other thing is that with the staff we had, the approach
we had, we kept getting better, but it took a while. At one point in
that second year, we were 1-3, but we didn’t change the approach, and
then we went on a streak.
“That wasn’t a function of getting hot. It was a function of two years
of work. You don’t know when that moment will strike, but they’ve been
There are a lot of differences we could point out — the 2000 Patriots weren’t 31st in offense and 32nd in defense — but the key one is that Patriots owner Robert Kraft believed in the leadership structure in place. That structure started with coach Bill Belichick, and his VP of player personnel Scott Pioli, who enjoyed a close relationship by all accounts.
Mangini’s hand-picked G.M. George Kokinis was just
fired removed from the building. And this new czar is likely to have his own ideas about how to fix the franchise. Mangini says he welcomes help.
“The distribution of power and responsibility, that’s not important,” Mangini said.
“Trying to get the right answer is. Everyone here’s working towards
that. It’s not about power.”