Mike Holmgren nearly hired himself to coach the Browns


Before and after Browns president Mike Holmgren fired coach Eric Mangini, the Big Show had been dropping big hints about the possibility that the best man for the job could be the man deciding who will fill it.  In the end, Holmgren hired Pat Shurmur.

But Holmgren tells Dave “Softy” Mahler of KJR in Seattle that the former Packers and Seahawks coach ran the idea of coaching the Browns past his staff — and his staff agreed.  In the end, Holmgren decided against it after talking to his wife and “pray[ing] about it a little bit.”

The full audio is available at the KJR website.

Though it’s unclear whether he’ll ever coach again, the fact that Shurmur has no offensive coordinator and will be calling the plays bolsters our belief that Holmgren will have a large wooden spoon in the stew — something that Shurmur surely knew when he agreed to take the job.

Given Holmgren’s accomplishments, Shurmur surely isn’t complaining, either.

29 responses to “Mike Holmgren nearly hired himself to coach the Browns

  1. The Browns just can’t get a break. Then again they had to know what they were getting when they brought this guy in. How do you coach under this guy?

    What’s worse? A boss who hasn’t done what you are doing or a boss who has and has a large enough ego to believe he could be doing it better?

    If you are Shurmur do you want this guy standing over you giving you pointers on X’s and O’s thinking he can do it better?

    “Well Pat, I have coached in three Super Bowls…”

    Yeah. That’ll end well.

  2. “Mike Holmgren nearly hired himself to coach the Browns”


    I wish he had.

  3. No one even had to tell me Pat Shurmur’s name when I heard the news. All I saw was “St. Louis Rams Offensive Coordinator” and I knew this year was going to be a disaster for Cleveland.

  4. Since the Browns came back they have needed one thing more than any other. Not a coach, but someone in charge who knows what he is doing.
    Randy Lerner, though he tried, just didn’t have the skill set or the people around him that could put a stable, successful organization together.
    Getting Holmgren as that man in charge was brilliant. He knows from so many points of view what it takes to create a solid foundation. Will he put his two cents into the coaching mix, maybe, but if done correctly there is nothing bad about that.
    Just like young players benefit from an experienced mentor, so can Shurmur benefit from a successful mentor.

  5. That would be an interesting interview…….

    Mike: So Mike, tell me a little bit about yourself.

    Mike: Well Mike, I’m overweight, have a horrible mustache and have molded talents like Koren Robinson, Jerramy Stevens and Marcus Tubbs….who I all drafted in the first round might I add.

    Mike: Interesting. We have a lot in common. I think you’ll fit right in here in Cleveland.

  6. That’s funny I ran it past my staff and they agreed. Of course they agreed, they want jobs. He is going to coach soon. He will replace he recent hire when that goes south.

  7. If only it was that easy… Just to wake up one day and decide you want a job so you hire yourself. Poor Cleveland! They just can’t catch a break. Why would Big Mike even make this known?

  8. In another word, if the team succeed in the next 2 years Holmgren will get credit for running the show. If the team fail he will then fire himself at his current position and hire himself as the coach with all the pieces already in place.

  9. What has Holmgren really accomplished since he left Green Bay and Favre. How does this guy continue to get this much credit for something that happened 15 years ago.

  10. Just get McCoy some help and stay out of the x’s and o’s. Colt overcame basically no offensive coordinator at UT.

  11. Too bad he didn’t hit the dump button on Mangini and step into the position after 2009. I wish he had come back instead of hiring Shurmur.

  12. “Mike Holmgren Nearly Hired Himself to Coach the

    This headline could have been written the day he was hired as President and put into a folder for when it would eventually be needed.

  13. It’s a brilliant move – to hire puppets to do all the daily grind, and still have power to make major decisions. At first, I thought not hiring an OC was fine with it – but now if you think about it – Shurmer is the OC, and Big Show is the real coach. He gets to make all major decisions on personnel (with Heckert) and on scheme and system with (Shurmur on offense and Jauron/Rhodes on defense).

    I think it looks pretty damn good on paper…

  14. Mike almost hired himself. But the interview went horribly wrong. The team President told the coaching candidate he should lose some weight. The coaching candidate responded by mocking the President’s 60’s stache and his mottled red complexion. This led the President to needle the coaching candidate about his frequent gastric disturbances and the resulting odor. That really got the coaching candidate worked up and………..

  15. Don’t worry Browns fans. You’ll start the process of running Shurmer out of two after his first loss. Then you can get Mike to take the job and start running him out of town after he loses his first game as coach.

    That approach has worked well so far, hasn’t it?

  16. Mangini was part of the plan – he knew he would keep him and use him as the scape-goat after one year. It was the perfect storm. Now, we’ve had one good draft under the Holmgren regime – unfortnately we traded away pretty valuable players to me in Harrison and Wimbley – we could use both now.

    I think Holmgren has a master plan – always has had, and he is planning years ahead of time.

    Cleveland is on the right track – now that LeBron has left this FOOTBALL TOWN not basketball

  17. It really worries me that grown, educated men make huge life decisions by conversing with an invisible sky genie who never answers.

  18. sudzy11 says:
    Mar 3, 2011 4:11 PM

    What has Holmgren really accomplished since he left Green Bay and Favre.
    Well, let’s see. He went to a different team that had never reached the Super Bowl, coached that team to their first Super Bowl (that was only 6 years ago, btw), and also put together 7 winning seasons out of the 10 he coached there.

    Any other questions you’d like to try and slide past, hoping no one will actuallly know or look up the answer that makes you and your question look dumb?

  19. Translation, I don’t want to do all the heavy lifting and take all the criticism, which would undoubtedly be louder in Cleveland since I’m actually dealing with fans who know their stuff because I’d actually get fired if I went 5 years between playoff stints like back in Seattle.

    therefore, I’ll let this guy intern from me and then take it as soon as we find a QB and a few good players, then I can swoop in and take all the glory similar to Pat Riley did from Stan Van Gundy in the NBA.

  20. pkrlvr: with you on that one.

    trickbunny: with you on that one too. He took a Seahawks team most people thought was actually in the CFL, built it up over the years until it flat-out owned the division for four years straight and consistently made it to the second round of the playoffs.

  21. Almost? Seems to me he did, he just hasn’t publicly admitted it.

    We have a rookie hc who is running the west coast offense with a team president whose “door is always open”.

    Not that its a bad thing, in fact, I’m much more comfortable with this theory.

    To me though, the notion that Holmgren isn’t holding Shurmur’s hand beyond a word or two of advice is as thinly veiled as WMDs in Iraq during GWBs term in office.

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