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Holmgren “stunned” by Browns changes, for some reason

Mike Holmgren AP

Former Browns president Mike Holmgren’s been there, but he still said he was “stunned” by the recent changes in Cleveland.

During an interview with KJR-AM 950 in Seattle, Holmgren shared his thoughts on his time with the Browns ending, and how he thought the constant shakeups were affecting the product put on the field.

“I think it is particularly in free agency and things like that and also attracting a coach,” Holmgren said, via the Cleveland Plain Dealer.  Look at how long it took them to hire a coach. You can listen to the people saying, ‘Well we were taking our time, we wanted to get the right guy and da da da da da’ but the fact of the matter is I think guys honestly were nervous about going in there given the management structure and so on and so forth. 

“I don’t know that but that is how I feel and that’s how I think. That’s hard to overcome.”

Holmgren defended his time there under owner Randy Lerner by saying so many of the people he hired (such as Tom Heckert) have gone on to good job with stable teams.

But his administration there was no more successful than any others since the team went back to Cleveland, and he thinks the instability at the top is the primary reason.

“I’m stunned because in this business, it’s not like other businesses,” Holmgren said. “A lot of the owners who are friends of mine, I know, who I was involved with when I was acting as Randy Lerner’s surrogate at the owners meetings often, they’re billionaires in the oil business. They’re billionaires in cable television or whatever it is. But the football business I always thought it was kind of unique and while they could certainly afford to do this – and not many people can – to actually run the business part of it, to run the football business, I think it takes – you have to be trained to do that I think. 

“When I tried to explain these types of things to him and how good the people were that were in place, once he hired Joe Banner then Joe came in and let everyone go. Continuity in an organization is so important. You have to weather the storm with a couple of tough years if you have good people. But they have never done that in Cleveland. Every two years they blow everything up and blam off you go.”

New owner Jimmy Haslam’s not shown any indication he’s going to show any more patience, however, which would just continue the ugly cycle.

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18 Responses to “Holmgren “stunned” by Browns changes, for some reason”
  1. pioniere says: Feb 13, 2014 10:23 AM

    Holmgren was a good coach and a lousy GM.

  2. dr227 says: Feb 13, 2014 10:25 AM

    as an NFC fan looking in…the whole thing just seems like a clown show.

  3. stew48 says: Feb 13, 2014 10:54 AM

    His comments should give much encouragement to Browns fans. Seriously.

  4. crabbies2013 says: Feb 13, 2014 11:01 AM

    He drafted Richardson and Weeden high in the draft… nuff said.

  5. kwjsb says: Feb 13, 2014 11:35 AM

    We in Cleveland were stunned when Mike was in his office before 11am and after 2pm.

  6. fumblenuts says: Feb 13, 2014 1:02 PM

    “Every two years they blow everything up and blam off you go.”

    This is so very true, they need to weather the storm and BUILD Continuity or continue be the Laughing Stock of the NFL.

  7. jr4real says: Feb 13, 2014 1:03 PM

    Holgrem, Lombardi, Banner all are terrible.

    Browns much better off now.

  8. bsizemore68 says: Feb 13, 2014 1:05 PM

    I guess there is another team worst then my Dolphins, second place is not so bad. Bill

  9. MichaelEdits says: Feb 13, 2014 1:51 PM

    He stank in Seattle and he stank in Cleveland. What did he do without Favre?

  10. meatcarroll says: Feb 13, 2014 2:04 PM

    Holmgren stank in Seattle? They won like 4 straight division titles under him, made the playoffs 5 times, had the franchise’s best season at 13-3, and took the Seahawks to their first Super Bowl using a foundation of talent that he largely constructed.

    Yes, he was underwhelming in Cleveland, but that’s no excuse to peddle revisionist history of an illustrious career.

  11. dfb1955 says: Feb 13, 2014 2:20 PM

    First, the Browns did not go “back” to Cleveland. The original Browns are now the Baltimore Ravens. The current Browns were an expansion team that used the old name.

    Secondly, I’m not a big fan of Holmgren, but the writer who suggests he did nothing in Seattle is ignoring the truth. The Seahawks consistently made the playoffs under him, and won an NFC title.

  12. JP says: Feb 13, 2014 2:48 PM

    Holmgren’s success ended about a decade before his career. His words ring hollow.

  13. kingfish2013 says: Feb 13, 2014 3:05 PM

    The man sat in a golf cart wearing a Hawaiian shirt looking like he was constantly on vacation,which he was. Only collecting a paycheck surrounding himself with fall guys when things wouldn’t work out.Keeping Mangini on for another year?Really?Not to mention that we weren’t good enough for his coaching expertise.All we were was a 401 k retirement plan.

  14. audient says: Feb 13, 2014 4:25 PM

    As a Browns fan I had high hopes for the team when Holmgren came in. Then Holmgren brought us Jake Delhomme, Seneca Wallace, and Colt McCoy to be the quarterbacks. Holmgren inherited Mangini, and kept him an extra fruitless year, and then fired Mangini just to hire Pat Shurmur to be the coach. Tom Heckert was a bright spot — compared to these others — but probably only then.

    Holmgren’s Packers years were great, and his Seahawks years weren’t shabby. The Browns years are something else entirely, and seem so out of character for what he’d done before.

  15. axespray says: Feb 13, 2014 4:59 PM

    “….You have to weather the storm with a couple of tough years if you have good people. But they have never done that in Cleveland. Every two years they blow everything up and blam off you go.”
    ——————-
    Truth Right there.
    The Packers with Thompson committed to the rebuilding and had two tough years (05-06) til they got back in the grove of things.

    The Seahawks were patient with Schneider when he first arrived.

    Could you imagine if those teams fired those guys after a 1 or 2?

  16. wiseliver says: Feb 13, 2014 5:17 PM

    Yeah, well, I’m stunned you hired that walking moron, Shurmur. But your reasoning for hiring him was the real stunner, he was the nephew of your former coordinator. And if I’m not mistaken, you were also stunned when the Browns traded Richardson to Indy. I agree with the other post who said you were a great coach and a bad GM. I guess that’s why we have the Peter Principle, so you have some place to go after coaching.

  17. rajbais says: Feb 13, 2014 5:23 PM

    He’s only surprised because Lerner didn’t fire coaches sooner.

    Haslam = Crazy person.

    Lerner = Just inept.

  18. campcouch says: Feb 13, 2014 9:35 PM

    I’ll thank the late Mr.Lerner for funding the restart of the franchise. Yes he wasn’t a “football” guy like most owners as Holmgren points out and he thought he had hired good football minds (including Holmgren). Holmgren’s draft choices weren’t the best nor were his coaching selections. Unfortunately Mr.Lerner’s son wasn’t as passionate about football as his other interests so things did not improve for 14 years. Haslam has been the owner for a year and 5 months. He realized he made some wrong choices and instead of just letting it continue,he changed it. No different than a GM signing a player and giving him guaranteed money,realizing he sucks and releasing him. In fact I don’t know why other owners of “lousy” teams don’t do this. Holmgren should be glad he left when he did because Haslam might have Donald Trumped him too instead of that graceful “step-down into retirement”

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