One of the rumors making the rounds in connection with Mike Holmgren’s possible return to Seattle was that Holmgren would then try to lure Jon Gruden, a former Holmgren assistant in Green Bay, out of the broadcast booth.
But he’s the latest theory that is snaking through the NFL rumor mill. If Holmgren decides to keep coach Eric Mangini in place for a year, Holmgren then can pursue Gruden after the 2010 season.
The risk, of course, is that if the Browns have a strong season, Mangini will be bulletproof. Moreover, Holmgren would need to be concerned that Mangini might try to parlay his popularity into power within the organization.
It’s a delicate situation for Holmgren. If he’s looking to hire a guy who has previously worked for him, Holmgren’s options for 2010 are limited to guys like Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, Redskins coach Jim Zorn, and Seahawks coach Jim Mora.
But what about former 49ers and Lions coach Steve Mariucci? Mooch served as quarterbacks coach in Green Bay from 1992 through 1995 before a one-year stint as the head coach at Cal, which led to his tenure as head coach of the 49ers and thereafter the Lions.
Still, if Gruden is the guy whom Holmgren wants and Gruden doesn’t want to coach in 2010, Holmgren needs another plan.
In our view, the least attractive strategy would be to keep Mangini around.