Browns coach Eric Mangini met with the media on Tuesday to discuss the decision to part ways with G.M. George Kokinis.
“I can tell you that, for a variety of reasons,” Mangini said in remarks shown during ESPN’s SportsCenter, “things didn’t work out. And you never go into a situation like this with the intention of it not working out. But we felt that organizationally this was the best decision in order to move forward.”
But what didn’t work out? Was it Kokinis who decided to keep quarterback Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn? Was it Kokinis who picked Quinn as the Week One starter? Was it Kokinis who decided to bench him after only ten quarters?
Was it Kokinis who decided to trade Braylon Edwards? Was it Kokinis who decided to round up a bunch of Jets players who were good enough to get Mangini fired in New York?
And how can Mangini stand at a podium and say he has “respect” for his “friend” amid unrebutted reports that Kokinis was fired “with cause”?
As we pointed out last night, the Browns had to give Kokinis final say over the roster and the draft in order to hire him away from the Ravens. Kokinis apparently believed that the contract meant what it said. Mangini apparently believed that he was still calling the shots.
And it apparently went downhill from “hello.”
Given that Mangini and Kokinis were close friends before attempting earlier this year to coexist professionally, it’s hard to imagine anyone other than an even closer friend of Mangini’s faring any better.
Bottom line? Mangini needs to go, and the Browns need to not put the cart before the horse when replacing both men.
Owner Randy Lerner should hire a G.M., then hire a coach.
More importantly, he should try not to screw it up. Again.