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Holmgren's Christmas deadline likely is a message to Lerner

Amid multiple reports that former Packers and Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren is meeting with the Browns, Chris Mortensen of ESPN offers up a nugget that could, as a practical matter, limit Holmgren’s options.

Per Mort, Holmgren “hopes to have his future clarified and secured by Christmas.”

Christmas, as my son reminded me this morning, is ten days away. 

So with the only current G.M. vacancies in Cleveland and Seattle and the only open coaching job in Buffalo, there aren’t many places where the Big Show will raise the curtain.

Since he’s leaning toward a front-office job, the primary options are the Browns and the Seahawks.  Though there’s a current vibe that the Seahawks might not really want Holmgren back, Cleveland owner Randy Lerner is likely poised to do whatever it takes to get him.

Our guess, then, is that Mort’s report contains a message to Lerner:  The window is open, and in ten days it’ll close.

Mort also says that, if Holmgren takes the job in Cleveland, coach Eric Mangini would instantly occupy a position of “considerable jeopardy.”

In other words, Mangini could end up being the first head coach to be dumped in consecutive years since Ray Rhodes, who was fired by the Eagles after the 1998 season and by the Packers, where he succeeded Holmgren, after the 1999 season.

UPDATE:  Some of you have pointed out that Holmgren’s deadline and flirtation with Cleveland could be a message to the Seahawks to, as a version of the saying goes, crap or get off the crapper.  With the Seahawks’ search firm lining up potential interviews that won’t occur until after the regular season ends, Holmgren’s potential message to the team will be met with a shrug of the shoulders.

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27 Responses to “Holmgren's Christmas deadline likely is a message to Lerner”
  1. brownies4life says: Dec 15, 2009 1:00 PM

    Cmon florio. Quit speculating all the time. Just because you are a front running Steelers fan any report involving the Browns you have to throw in your two cents. Who cares?

  2. Duan says: Dec 15, 2009 1:05 PM

    then, here begs the question – who the heck does he consider hiring for HC (Head Coach).
    If the Browns win two of the next three – with a wire/practice roster, he deserves a second year – if he loses all three – then he deserves the can.

  3. 1nationraidernation says: Dec 15, 2009 1:08 PM

    I did not know the raiders had a GM. If I recall on the over head projector at the Lame Kiffin termination, Al mentioned he needed a GM.
    I know Mike just built a nice home in Santa Cruz.
    Just about an hour away.

  4. brownsfn says: Dec 15, 2009 1:12 PM

    Anyone who will fire Mangini is OK in my book…hire him STAT!

  5. kravon says: Dec 15, 2009 1:14 PM

    Am I alone in thinking Mangini will be a great head coach in Tampa?

  6. Audient says: Dec 15, 2009 1:22 PM

    Supposedly Holmgren is in town here in Cleveland, and has been since yesterday. Supposedly he was seen out for dinner at a local restaurant last night. That is what they are saying on one local sports talk station.
    I will tell you this. I drove by Cleveland Burke Lakefront Airport twice today, once at about 10:40AM, and again shortly before 1pm, and both times, I saw an airplane with a Miami Dolphins logo on the tail fin, sitting there on the tarmac, visible from the interstate.

  7. BrownsTown says: Dec 15, 2009 1:27 PM

    As a Browns fan, I’m tired of all of the media bashing of Mangini. Look at his track record outside of the whole Spygate saga (which, if I recall, was also attributed to Tannenbaum). Look at the players he drafted in NY and look what he’s received for two overhyped prima donnas (K2 and Braylon).
    So, kravon, if you meant that seriously, I think he would be a great coach in Tampa, or Cleveland if the media and disgruntled Browns fans would get some perspective. The 2008 Browns were 4-12. If the 2009 browns can win 2/3 vs. KC, OAK and Jacksonville, they’ll be the same 4-12 with having traded their offensive playmakers, having their defensive playmakers on IR, and getting shaky QB play. At the end of the day, the roster isn’t very good. That’s the issue.

  8. AlCortez says: Dec 15, 2009 1:32 PM

    So once again, Lerner is falling all over himself to outbid… nobody… for the services of the only candidate he has seriously considered?
    Well, it worked last time.

  9. JoeSixPack says: Dec 15, 2009 1:45 PM

    Lerner has too much of his ego tied up in Mangini’s success to let him be fired. He’ll hire someone who will keep Mangini on in the hopes that the Browns can become at least mediocre and allow Lerner to save face for another stupid personnel decision.
    Mangini’s done nothing to “build” anything in Cleveland thus far. He’s disassembled a bad team but that’s only doing the next coach a nice favor. Let someone who knows what they are doing “assemble” a winning team.
    Aside from that Mangini completely botched his QB situation, destroying the trade value of 2 serviceable NFL QBs, and massacred player relations in many ways. He even destroyed the Browns fabled Mural of past greatness (supposedly moved to a new more visible location that no one apparently can see). The list of stupid MangIdiot moves goes on and on.

  10. brownsfn says: Dec 15, 2009 1:48 PM

    @ kravon
    yep…

  11. Big Fella SD says: Dec 15, 2009 1:49 PM

    BrownsTown, it’s the GM who makes the final personnel decisions…so those great Jets draft choices are on Tannenbaum who has done a great job. If you’re going to blame him for Gholston, you have to give him props for Brick, Mangold, Washington, Revis, Harris, Dustin Keller…and so on.
    I agree on Mangini, the media needs to back off.

  12. bradspace says: Dec 15, 2009 1:49 PM

    BrownsTown – How long have you been a fan? I’ve been bleeding brown and orange for 42 years and don’t know a SINGE person who counts themselves as a Browns fan that wouldn’t personally pack the moving van for him. Look at what he did in NY? What did he do? They player he GAVE them last year with OUR first round pick is in large part why they are where they are, NOT because of what the Mangenius did. He didn’t get squat back for either of the two receivers but, he did manage to help out the Jets yet again. In fact, he’s dome more for the Jets SINCE he’s been a Browns coach. He’s stripped every bit of legacy and history from the facility and tried to put “his thumb print” on the team. He’s worried more about $3 waters than who is suiting up for each game. His ego FAR, FAR outweighs his ability. The guy is a joke. Maybe a coordinator but I wouldn’t even go that far. I have perspective. I saw exactly how he has dismantled this team for nothing in return while burning bridges and alienating his players. I don’t care if the Browns win the last three by a combined total of 150 -0, he needs to go. Let him run some other team into the ground. He’s done a fantastic job of that already in Cleveland. He’s another Charlie Weis, another Belichick prodigy that has failed and shown his ego to be the best part of himself.

  13. Philly is Full of Fags aka ErieRat says: Dec 15, 2009 1:53 PM

    I really hope Holmgren does not get the job then. Mangini is in his first year, he is 2-12, not great, but Chuck Noll was 1-13 in his first year, Mangini is already a game up on him. Fixing this organization will take more than one year with what was left to work with. Constantly changing the coach is not the answer. I’m sure Florio and all the other black and yellow supporters are glad Noll was not run out of town after that first year. I believe it was Chuck’s 3rd or 4th year when they began to win consistantly. Give me Floyd Reese instead.

  14. Audient says: Dec 15, 2009 2:13 PM

    I’m a lifelong Browns fan, but I’m not banging the drum for Mangini’s termination or retention. I would leave it to the incoming GM. Which begs the question, I know. But Lerner hopefully will know when he’s found his man. And when he does, that man will say.
    If I were GM? I was leaning toward firing him until the Steelers game. Now I could go either way.

  15. Cleveland Sucks aka Philly Sewer Rat says: Dec 15, 2009 2:14 PM

    @ bradspace – Browns for 42 years? Can you say MORON! Suck it d-bag!!!

  16. Terry says: Dec 15, 2009 2:26 PM

    You got it all wrong. It’s a message to the Seahawks to shit or get off the pot.
    He’s using a fictitious flirtation with the Browns ti get the ball rolling in Seattle.

  17. Zapped says: Dec 15, 2009 2:58 PM

    Hey Browns Town
    Please give me an update as to what Mangini has done to improve the roster? Those draft picks are not a great representation of roster building.
    What have we received from the two overhyped prima donnas? Anything to add to the roster?
    Mangini is an ok coach. Still not sold on him. I think that the new Czar needs to build his own team though. If it is Mangini, so be it.

  18. Rick says: Dec 15, 2009 3:04 PM

    The Walrus is a coach not a GM/Front Office type. He got relieved of GM duties in Seattle because he was horrible at it. Mangina sucks and shouldn’t be coaching anywhere. He is a Belichick wannabe without 1/10th of Belichick’s knowledge of football or how to win.

  19. Brocktoberfest says: Dec 15, 2009 3:14 PM

    It’s no secret, but players are what win games in the NFL. At this level, coaches are not getting out-schemed or shown looks they’ve never seen before.
    The Browns simply don’t have enough pieces and parts to be a consistent winner in the NFL right now. Given this roster, one year is not enough time to evaluate Mangini. However, I have seen enough of Brian Daboll.

  20. KennyPowers says: Dec 15, 2009 4:03 PM

    @ Zapped
    Mangini has done the following to improve the roster:
    1. Traded down in the draft to avoid paying top $ to an overrated/average QB in Sanchez. This saves the franchise millions of dollars. He picked up a few solid role players as well that will provide depth for when this team is competitive. (It’s called building a team’s infrastructure).
    2. Draft Alex Mack who is the type of center you need in the AFC North, a road grader that can take on Casey Hampton (whom he pretty much OWNED last Thursday, even pancaking him a few times) and is smart to boot (won an award in college for being a top scholar athelete). He will be a Brown on what should be an elite offensive line by 2011 for the next decade.
    3. Got rid of Braynless Edwards, who let’s face it is a below average WR. We get a 3rd rd pick and more depth. The real value here is getting this scum bag off our team. He’ll cost way more than he’s worth and we were never going to resign him.
    4. Got rid of a one-legged TE for Mohammed Massaquoi, who is looking like, at the least, a solid WR for years to come. Also didn’t have to pay the big bucks for Winslow…so more money saved.
    5. Picked up Matt Roth from waivers, a former high second round pick who has paid dividends so far.
    6. Acquired 11 draft picks that hopefully the new czar can turn into some major roster upgrades.
    I think he’s done the right thing. Get rid of the guys that he was never going to win with (BE, KW, JLewis), reduce the payroll to the point where we can afford a few key pieces down the road, and acquire a lot of draft picks.
    Most teams with mediocre to average talent out there try to acquire a few pieces every year thinking that it’ll make them a contender. It might make them a 6-10 team instead of 4-12, but really this won’t give them any sustained sucess. Take the 2007 Browns for instance. They had a fluky 10-6 year due to a soft schedule and lights out play from a 1-year wonder QB. Savage then went out and mortgaged the future on a couple of Dlineman thinking this would put us over the hump. Well…it didn’t and it resulted in the need for another rebuild.
    The current regime is gearing up to rebuild for sustained success. The short-sighted fan cannot see it, but it’s obvious this is the way it needed to be done. Of course, execution of the rebuild is veryimportant as well, but it’s far too early to tell if the young players we’ve acquired (Veikune, Robiskie, Maiava, Massaquoi, James Davis) are keepers or not. The Browns have the thought process down, now they just need to execute it.

  21. LJ says: Dec 15, 2009 4:38 PM

    KennyPowers – I agree. All valid points. Mike Holmgren is a very intellegent guy and I hope that the plan is to bring him & a GM in to work with Mangini, not against him. We need to let the current staff continue for another year to see where the team is then.

  22. jeredturner says: Dec 15, 2009 5:51 PM

    Mike Holmgren’s agent represents Jon Gruden. Among others though.

  23. blackjeremiah says: Dec 15, 2009 6:13 PM

    What about the Redskins? Everyone is talking about Mike Shanahan, but now it appears Zorn was right about the timetable for installation of the offense. Continuity would be served by keeping Zorn, but obviously, Sherm Lewis’s playcalling has been a big factor, as well. The Sherminator has already announced his intent to return to bingo after this season, so what are the Redskins to do? Change coaches and systems–again? Or find another experienced hand that won’t alter the system, but will provide guidance?
    Let’s see–who’s comfortable with Zorn, knows the West Coast offense, and is an experienced playcaller?

  24. #1 says: Dec 15, 2009 6:51 PM

    Ah, revisionism at its best…
    “3. Got rid of Braynless Edwards, who let’s face it is a below average WR. We get a 3rd rd pick and more depth. The real value here is getting this scum bag off our team. He’ll cost way more than he’s worth and we were never going to resign him.”
    Turned down a 2nd round pick and WR from the Giants prior to draft day. Yeah, waiting until he punched somebody in the face and was charged with assault really enhanced his trade value. Mangini deserves criticism for NOT getting rid of Braylon before the season started, when his trade value was highest. Instead, he rostered him, and by all accounts, would have played out the season and gotten nothing when he left in FA after the year until Braylon forced his hand. And you want to give credit to Mangini for that? Get a clue.
    “The current regime is gearing up to rebuild for sustained success.”
    The only thing Mangini has proven is that he knows how to blow it up. Nothing in his history indicates any ability to rebuild anything, indeed, the fact that player agents across the league have said they steer their clients away from Mangini should be enough cause for concern.
    As for giving credit to his waiver wire pickups such as Matt Roth, I’ll give credit where it’s due. But you can’t consider that without looking at the other side of the equation: like I said in another comment, it’s very telling that a ragtag bunch of cast-offs and waiver wire rejects are performing better than the squad that Mangini had an entire offseason to build. That is not a positive in Mangini’s favor.
    You say, “The short-sighted fan cannot see it”, I say the kool-aid drinking Mangini supporter can’t see it. He blew it up–no problem at all with that. But his deficiencies in talent evaluation, his inability to properly develop a QB, refusal to hire a qualified offensive coordinator (successful HCs hire strong coordinators to offset their own weaknesses; ie, McDaniels bringing Nolan to DEN, Payton bringing Gregg Williams to NO), his horrible game management… shall we continue? Fine, he did a great job blowing it up. Now let’s get somebody who knows how to build.

  25. #1 says: Dec 15, 2009 7:00 PM

    “but it’s far too early to tell if the young players we’ve acquired (Veikune, Robiskie, Maiava, Massaquoi, James Davis) are keepers or not.”
    Also worth noting that teams don’t succeed by drafting 4th round players in the 2nd round (see Robiskie, Veikune.) The 2nd round is for drafting players for immediate impact–not for projects or players who are going to change positions at the NFL level. Whether they are keepers or not, Mangini missed out on many nice players by effectively drafting players two rounds too high. Sebastian Janikowski has proven to be a keeper, but it will never justify taking a kicker in round 1. Draft value is critical to building a solid foundation.

  26. JohnC says: Dec 15, 2009 7:02 PM

    I’m a Browns fan. I don’t think Mangini should be fired. I don’t think you can get rid of a coach in the NFL after only one year. He set himself up so that he would have a ton of picks in the next draft. I really think we need to let this play out.
    Was he my first choice? No. Am Ioverjoyed at the job he’s done so far? Again no.
    Of course one thing that bothers me is the whole Kokinis affair. No one’s talking but if it turns out Mangini screwed him over then I’ll probably feel differently.

  27. Route36West says: Dec 15, 2009 11:11 PM

    Well if your a BROWNS fan you better hope your owner Randy Lerner has alot of BROWN Friends like a black friend, mexican, asian(ok yellow but still a minority), and native american friend b/c he still has to apply with the Rooney Rule before he can hire Holmgren.
    No serious front office type minority canidate is going to interview for the Browns job when they know their just going to offer it to Holmgren.
    So Lerner better call up a couple of friends so he can get that out of the way before Holmgrens 10 day deadline comes and goes.

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