Randy Lerner hints at making a new hire

The good news (then again, getting a buyout might be the best news) for Browns coach Eric Mangini is that owner Randy Lerner won’t be using the bye week to change coaches of his 1-7 team.

The bad news for Mangini is that there seems to be no guarantee beyond 2009.  (Then again, buyout.)

And the confusing news is that Lerner seems to be interested in hiring someone who’ll offer the kind of day-to-day guidance and voice that Lerner simply isn’t willing to provide.

“The highest priority that I have is a strong, credible, serious leader
within the building to guide decisions in a far more conspicuous, open
transparent way,” Lerner said after Sunday’s 30-6 loss to the Bears, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.  “I can maybe defend decisions by saying I’ve sought
advice and I’ve brought people in, and we’ve gone to see people — and
I think my highest priority is to have a stable figure that represents
the voice that explains the decisions.”

Basically, the owner seems to be interested in hiring someone who’d offer a presence similar to Bill Parcells in Miami, but with greater visibility.  The person would need to have strong NFL street cred and an ability to help guide the decisions made by the coach and/or the General Manger — and when necessary to talk about the job security of the coach and/or the General Manager.

With so many complaints about Mangini and G.M. George Kokinis, Lerner is the only person currently in position to talk about the situation, and Lerner simply doesn’t want to do it.  And that’s his prerogative.

The problem, however, is that hiring someone who’ll fill the role that Lerner envisions will surely want to fire Mangini and Kokinis and hire his own coach and personnel executive.

And as Peter King pointed out earlier tonight during NBC’s Football Night In America, a decision not to fire Mangini and Kokinis after one season could create a situation in which the current regime drafts a quarterback high in round one, the current regime gets fired after 2010, and the new regime as of 2011 wants a different quarterback.

Still, Lerner seems to be on the right track.  Men and women who have accumulated and/or inherited a great deal of wealth are not necessarily suited to make sound decisions regarding the hiring of football coaches and other football executives.  In Mangini’s case, Lerner locked onto Mangini at a time when no one else was interested.

And so the Browns’ current admiral now seems to be out of ammo when it comes to answering the simple question of why he hired a coach who had been freshly fired by the Jets and unwanted by any other teams with head-coaching vacancies.

Of course, Lerner still must hire the person who would be responsible for hiring the coach and the G.M.  And there’s no guarantee that a good decision will be made in that regard.

At some point, frankly, Lerner needs to make once and for all a decision that apparently is long overdue.

Should Randy Lerner continue to be in the football business, or should he sell the team to someone who might do a better job of running the franchise which has only a single one-and-down playoff appearance to show for 11 years back in the league?

We’ve got a feeling that we know how Browns fans would resolve that dilemma.

23 responses to “Randy Lerner hints at making a new hire

  1. They should give that role to Jim Brown. It wouldn’t help the product on the field, but it would be entertaining as hell to watch!

  2. Didn’t the Lerners make their fortune in the credit card and banking industries?
    Look at how that’s going.
    Not that hard to add 2+2 and see they haven’t a clue how to make sound business decisions.
    They should promote the head janitor to GM and let him have 1 year to turn it around. They could make it a reality show if they want.

  3. Lerner continues to fail to answer the question thousands of fans and football insiders have been asking all along: why was he so hell-bent for leather to hire a man of Mangini’s miniscule stature?
    What was it that Mangini demonstrated in New York that so thoroughly convinced Lerner to rush out and hire him?

  4. Mangini put in Brady Quinn with 3 minutes to play after Derek Anderson put up a horrifically bad performance. And I’m being kind in saying that it was horrifically bad. He’s a complete moron.

  5. Don’t waste your money, Randy. Ride out the season, dump the staff and make the hire you should have made last offseason: a real GM who’ll have the authority and knowledge to hire a real head coach, and who doesn’t consider raiding the Jets of their third stringers the optimal way to build a roster (who, I might add, are a mediocre team to begin with).
    Also who in their right mind would take the job (other than bankrupt Bernie Kosar)?

  6. As a lifelong Cleveland fan, Lerner is exactly the kind of owner that I want. Somebody with deep pockets who doesn’t think that he knows everything about football. Since the Lerner family has owned the Browns, they haven’t had a good team. But I haven’t seen Jerry Jones and Daniel Snyder win any Super Bowls since then either.
    You can’t fix this team in one year. A culture has to built. The kind that Baltimore and Pittsburgh have; where it’s seen as an honor to be a starter on defense. It’s not just handed to a rookie. He has to earn it.
    I think Mangini is on the right track. He’s weeded out the problem players and brought in a couple guys with promise. We need a veteran qb, like Kurt Warner, who can lead the offense.

  7. You guys can have Packers GM Ted Thompson. No draft pick compensation needed.
    It seems like something the Browns would do.
    (Then we can get Ron Wolf back).

  8. Lerner needs to do what I suggested Al Davis do (which he will not): hire a former NFL GM with a proven track to serve as a “transitional” consultant. The consultant can get a feel for what the owner is trying to accomplish (duh, wins and butts in the seats, while trying to avoid getting lynched by the Brownies). He would probably do a better job than Lerner at screening potential candidates. Also, he could lend a fresher perspective on the state of the team. A guy like Ron Wolf comes to mind. Since Al Davis won’t be bright enough to look him up, Lerner might as well.
    It’s either go this route or bring in a proven GM from the get-go looking for a new challenge. Someone like a Bill Polian or someone from the Pittsburgh front office.

  9. I remember in the off-season there were reports that Randy Lerner actually made a rather lucrative offer to Bill Cowher to come be head coach and general manager and he said no, he wasn’t returning to football. I remember someone actually asked Schottenheimer in an interview if he had been contacted by the Browns and if he was interested in coming back as a GM and he said he had no interest in being a general manager. I have no doubt Mangini was 2nd or 3rd on Lerner’s list of possible coaches. The real question is, is there a guy out there right now who he thinks could do a better job. With names like Holmgren,Shanahan,Cowher, and Gruden all out there…it definitely makes you wonder if Lerner would quietly try to contact these men and see if they are interested in running the Browns.

  10. # Ammo says: November 1, 2009 10:55 PM
    I wish Lerner would sell to Youngstown native Eddie DeBartolo.
    Wishful thinking at best. I believe eddie D is banned form ever being part on an nfl franchise again. that’s why he had to turn the niners over to his sister

  11. Only one man is fully suited for this position:
    Matt Millen.
    It’s a short commute from Western PA to Cleveland. And, he’s fully demonstrated he can lead a team in a new direction.

  12. Randy Lerner didn’t accumulate shit for wealth. He inherited it when his father Al Lerned died.

  13. Canyonero says:
    November 1, 2009 10:54 PM
    Didn’t the Lerners make their fortune in the credit card and banking industries?
    Look at how that’s going.
    Not that hard to add 2+2 and see they haven’t a clue how to make sound business decisions.
    They should promote the head janitor to GM and let him have 1 year to turn it around. They could make it a reality show if they want.
    Lets see Lerner is a Billionaire, thats right a billionaire. Last time I checked MBNA was one of the few stable banking entities in this country. Lerner is a good man and a good business man. He is not able to run a football franchise he never wanted or cared about. We as Browns fans have supported this shit year end and year out making this franchise worth 1.3 billion dollars, one of the richest in sports. Randy please sell the team and give us Browns fans a winning organization!

  14. You can get a pulse of the Cleveland fans by visiting sellthebrowns.com.
    But please, let’s not sell the team to some mobster from Youngstown.

  15. Let’s look at who you have out there.
    Cowher would be ideal, but could you imagine the hatred in Pittsburgh for him? You think Favre is hated in GB…..nothing compared to what he would get. Besides, my money is Cowher winds up in Carolina.
    Shanahan. Actually a good choice. Long track record. Plus, remember when the Broncos signed like every Cleveland D Lineman that the Browns had cut?
    Chuckie (Gruden). I would say no only because he is best when the QB situation is resolved. That is definitely not Cleveland.
    Holmgren. Probably going to Dallas. I think his best days are behind him any how.
    Schottenheimer. Has Cleveland roots, but let’s fact it, he’s not a guy who could be there 10 years from now.
    “Hot” Assistants–Not sure there are that many right now.
    College Coaches–Child, please.
    My wildcard–the one guy I would want the most is…..Jimmy Johnson. Would he do it? I doubt it, but if you want to make a splash……there it is.

  16. As a Steeler fan, the situation in Cleveland is just fine, all we ask is that people in Cleveland be patient and give it 15 – 20 more years to resolve itself

  17. What the Browns need is Rex Ryan. He’s such a mans man compared to Mangini. The Jet players are so much happier now.
    Rex may be the new Lombardi.
    If the Browns can lure Rex away from the Jets, and Mike Greenberg’s *&%, then they will have the instant improvement that is clearly seen by the new Jets and their much improved record. The record speaks for itself.
    Wait, I’ve been in a coma for the past 5 weeks…what happened?

  18. Should Randy Lerner continue to be in the football business
    If he is finally now realizing that he is not capable of making top personnel decisions he is still ahead of quite a few other owners. Better now than never. Considering he has deep pockets and is not afraid to dig into them could work out well. Should be interesting regardless.

  19. I keep hearing this angle of “the new coach will wan tto bring in his own QB.” When does that happen if the QB has not already shown to be incapable? Sure, Denver is the one example where it happened.
    Did Mora replace Hasselbeck? Did Mora replace Vick? Peyton seems to have surprived the coaching change. Anderson and Quinn survived the Cleveland coaching change. Kansas City replaced crap. Tampa kept most of their bakers dozen of lousy QB’s. Heck it even appears the bad QB’s dont get replaced when the coach comes in apparently wanting his own guy.
    St. Louis had a coaching change, yep Bulger is still there. Detroit, the new coach replaced a QB who was nothing special last year. Oakland, sure they dumped Garcia, but they are still going with the same two never was’. And again, what is Garcia at this stage?
    So really do new coaches bring in their own QB?

  20. Too bad “Cash For Clunkers” has ended – If I were Lerner I would 3000 dollars trade in on Mangirli in a heartbeat. I think the time to make a move is now. With Cowher, Gruden and Billick beginning available now, its time to cut bait with Mangirli and bring a coach who can actually handle the media let alone make sound player/personnel decisions. Mangirli can do neither. Hiring Schottenheimer as a director of football operations would be better than nothing however.

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