Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

07 Jan 2010

Mangini To Coach Browns In 2010

"Over the past few weeks, Eric and I have had a chance to talk on a number of occasions, including our meetings over the last two days," [Browns president Mike] Holmgren said in a statement released by the team. "I was able to gain some tremendous insight into his thought process and philosophies, and came away from our meetings very impressed. In my opinion, Eric has gained the respect and admiration of players, coaches and others in the organization, and with him continuing to lead the team, I feel that we are headed in the right direction. Working together, our goal is to build on the strong tradition of this franchise and help get the Browns back to the playoffs."

Posted by: Vincent Verhei on 07 Jan 2010

59 comments, Last at 09 Jan 2010, 4:11am by MC2


by jayinalaska :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 6:06pm

I said in an earlier thread that I thought Mangini's job hinged on his ability to sell himself to Holmgren. Looks like Mangini did one hell of a sell job. Notwithstanding my previous comment, this move still surprises me.

Time will tell if the sell job was really a snow job.

by Key19 :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 6:11pm

Yeah, you're definitely right in that assessment. Not sure this is a good move, but I'd like to see it work.

by Theo :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 6:27pm

snow job?

by Suckup (not verified) :: Fri, 01/08/2010 - 12:19pm

I wonder if this link is more apt, especially the "not to be confused with" entry:


by Key19 :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 6:47pm

Come on, the dude's from Alaska! lol

by Raiderjoe :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 6:57pm

M Holmgren look like Santra Claus. Also Holgren and Mangini's teams faced off in snow bowl in 2008 game which Seattle won 13-3 vs jets.

by The Ninjalectual :: Fri, 01/08/2010 - 10:56am

M Holmgren look like a walrus. I was watching a nature video and in the walrus scene I couldn't help but pretend that all the walruses were Holmgren

"Just look at that pumpkin."
-John Madden, looking at the moon.

by Temo :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 6:18pm

Mangini must have the best interview skills ever, being able to get the job with the Jets having little experience, then getting the Browns job despite having to succeed another member of the diseased Belichick coaching tree, and now being able to keep his job despite Holmgren having a blank check to change whatever he wants.

And at every step of the way people talk about how impressed they were by his knowledge and intellect. I'd like to learn from him.

by C (not verified) :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 6:47pm

I thought Mangini went to an Ivy League school, had a quick stint on Wall Street before chasing his dream of football. His intellect impressed Bellicheck and he worked his way up the ranks of the Patriots from ball boy to DC. I'd say that those people saying he's smart are probably correct.

Holmgren really must have liked him. I mean, it's not like Mangini had his team is in place, or that the players were set to him or anything like that. Holgren had a perfect chance to rip up the team and start over fresh with a new coach and pocket full of draft picks. If he had somebody in mind, he could have easily dumped Maggiano and brought in his own guy. So it wasn't like Mangini just had to make the cut, he was really interviewing against EVERYBODY. Holgrenn probably liked his plan.

by sundown (not verified) :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 7:44pm

The ball boy part you got right...only it was with the Browns, not the Pats. He went to the same (non-Ivy League) college and was in the same frat as the Hooded One. Wall Street is fiction, though he did pick up a Nobel Peace Prize before becoming a ball boy.

by C (not verified) :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 10:15pm

Thanks for clarifying that, I knew there were some interesting tidbits to the Pizza boy. Seems like they are passing those Nobel Peace Prizes away like candy now a days.

by Theo :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 6:25pm

What, exactly, did 'Eric' do to help the browns?

QB: Unclear
HB: "that backup looks pretty good"
WR: A rookie, a kick returner/gadget play specialist and a safety. RJ would call this a receiving corpse.
OLine: pretty good

DLine: name one...
LB: hasn't improved...
Secondary: hasn't improved...

This team is a mess and Mangini didn't do anything to make it any better, so I guess he put some awesome drugs in Holmgren's coffee during the talk.

by ammek :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 6:40pm

I don't agree. If D'Qwell Jackson returns to health, the defense is very talented all through the middle. Corey Williams had a good season. I still like Brandon McDonald, too. It's one of those units that only needs a couple of extra parts (a pass rusher, most of all) and some injury luck to make a quick turnaround. If they'd have drafted Clay Matthews, it would look much better already.

On offense, half of the line is outstanding. But then there's Eric Steinbach. Perhaps they've found their franchise running back, and why not give Quinn and Massaquoi a chance? Plus you have the best special teams in years. On paper, I'd argue, the Browns look promising.

The problem is: they always seem to be less than the sum of their parts. Personnel decisions, from managing the Winslow-Edwards-and-Cribbs demands to sticking with Anderson and Lewis over Quinn and Harrison, don't make sense. All of that falls on the coaching, which is why I'm surprised Mangini has been kept on.

by Phil Osopher :: Fri, 01/08/2010 - 11:17am

McDonald is nickel back at best. We need CBs very badly. Corey Williams did not have a good year for $8M, he was a bench player and borderline non-factor in most games.

We need a S or two and a CB or three. We need a true rush LB/DE hybrid for the 3-4. Roth will get one of those positions, but we still need some depth there. a true 3-4 DE would be nice.

A QB that isn't the worst in the league would also be nice. A RB that can spell Harrison. Letting Harrison actually play a full season and not making him inactive for no reason.

Singing Josh Cribbs for 2.5-3M a year!!!! The fans need this, his teammates need this, and most of all the Browns need this. Stupid Browns are still run by idiots.

I dont know what you are talking about the line. Steinbach is a very good player. You must mean St. Clair as he sucks at RT. so we need a new better RT.

Also, we need some WRs that can actually play NFL level ball. A chance Robiskie actually can learn and play next year, but Massoqua can't catch that well and he needs some help.

So, in conclusion the Browns needs are:

new QB
and depth all over, oh yeah and some TE's that can play TE

Hmmm....seems we need a lot of luck to have a winning season next year.

by KJT :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 6:42pm

The secondary has improved a little. I like the physical style of their cornerback tandem.

Remember though that it took a season-ending injury to Jamal Lewis and the third-best rushing performance in NFL history for Jerome Harrison to finally land the job securely. Mangini stuck with Jamal Lewis for far too long.

by Temo :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 7:10pm

DLine: name one

Easy: Shaun Rogers.

All of Mangini's picks last year were concentrated on offense. But I mean, in terms of the future, they can build with D'Qwell Jackson, Brandon McDonald, and Brodney Pool (previous administration hold overs who have performed quite well in recent games).

by Nathan :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 7:10pm

Massaquoi will be decent in a year or two...

by drobviousso :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 7:01pm

They managed to get a few things to go their way at the end of the year, but I really don't see how Manginni could be seen as a 'good' coach. If there were no front office shake ups, then yeah sure, you let the guy have a little time to establish his system. But with a new guy who was called in to establish a new, winning tradition, why on Earth not start from the ground up.

There is very little to like about the current Browns, outside of their O-Line, the middle of their defense, and Cribbs. Sometimes, change for changes sake really does make sense.

It's easy to say it when my hide isn't on the line, but I'd be much more impressed if they did something drastic, like bringing in Mike Leach, bring Shottenheimer back, or called up Dan Henning to turn Josh Cribbs into the world's most dangerous wildcat back.

by Temo :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 7:12pm

Well, they hired Holmgren to make that decision and he feels that Mangini is his best pick. They didn't make him keep him, as far as we know.

by Snowglare :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 7:22pm

Ugh. Another year in the cellar. Poor Browns, they were so close to respectability. If he has such a great plan, why didn't he show a hint of it all season? Running 100 times against lousy defenses is not a plan, nor is collecting castoffs from the Jets, nor waffling between a mediocre QB and a miserable one.

I fear the winning streak at the end has too much (read: anything) to do with this. If Mangini goes 1-15 or, say, 3-13, does he get another year? Especially if the Lions loss or the shutout the Ravens handed them in their own house happen in Week 16/17.

If Lewis doesn't retire, he'll probably be back in Cleveland, and it's near certain that Anderson will get a seventh chance at QB.

by Raiderjoe :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 7:44pm

Jamal Lewis?

Didnt already annoucne reteirment?

by Snowglare :: Fri, 01/08/2010 - 12:42am

He did, but with the Browns luck, I'm not ruling out a change of mind.

by BroncosGuy (not verified) :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 7:22pm

Mangini To Coach Browns In 2010

After sitting out 2009

by sundown (not verified) :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 7:46pm

After the final month your team had, it seems like you'd have a little more respect for somebody who actually won in the final month of the season.

by BroncosGuy (not verified) :: Fri, 01/08/2010 - 7:25pm

It's a joke, people. Sheesh. Lighten up.

by Raiderjoe :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 7:50pm

Raiders helped wreeck boncos seaosn last two years

by MilkmanDanimal :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 7:56pm

Al Davis helped wreck the Raiders season last eight years.

by Raiderjoe :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 8:34pm

wrong. Al Davis is reason Raiders win gams. Team lost games beccause of horrible coaches N Turner, Shell (first version good but 2nd go around was crap, clearly Shell not caring as much anymore; looked like beached drugged walrus on sideline during games)and Kiffin. kiffin- complete clown. Good move by Davis to hire a guy with greta football mind. But more to coaching than football knowledge as Davis find out about kiffin. Once Davis rrealize kiffin was jerk Davis fired him. T Cable much better man for job.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 9:30pm

Golly, I had no idea that it was an Al impersonator which resulted in the hiring of Turner, Shell, and Kiffin.

by Theo :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 9:51pm

are you... arnold schwarzenegger?!

by Raiderjoe :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 10:05pm

Point is that Ak Davis made good hires. Problem was the coaches did not coach good enough. Then Davis made even better move by firing them.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 10:10pm

The guy who made the Hindenberg made good zeppelins. The problem was that it exploded when it was used.

by Phil Osopher :: Fri, 01/08/2010 - 11:21am

Good point.

Al Davis makes good coaching decisions, just that the coaches suck at coaching and get fired. Another good Al Davis decision.

Can't wait til he sells the Raiders and buys the Browns. Maybe him and Lerner can drink goat blood together.

by The Ninjalectual :: Fri, 01/08/2010 - 11:30am

Point is that Ak Davis made good hires. Problem was the coaches did not coach good enough. Then Davis made even better move by firing them.

Brilliant! Just like how Coca-Cola started making "new Coke," and when everybody hated it they brought back "Coke Classic," and made millions!!! Bwahahahahaha

"Just look at that pumpkin."
-John Madden, looking at the moon.

by MilkmanDanimal :: Fri, 01/08/2010 - 11:53am

It's all a conspiracy against Al. Just like DVOA cheats for Philadelphia, DYAR cheats against Oakland. That's the only reason two of the bottom five WRs appear in the worst receiver list in Quick Reads for the year.

Al Davis once roundhouse kicked Chuck Norris so hard he made Chuck cry.

by Vince (not verified) :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 8:42pm

This could simply be a financial move by the team. I don't know what Mangini's contract is, but obviously they don't want to pay him while paying another coach, especially if there's a strike/lockout. I suppose Mangini could have blown it if he tried, but given how well the team finished, he's earned at least another year, or until the CB is resolved.

by Theo :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 9:55pm

I thought that it was so easy to fire someone in the US.

Mangini is so bad, he got rid of his entire receiving corpse. I can only laugh about it. What a moron.

by drobviousso :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 10:47pm

It is, unless there is a contract specifying conditions. Most (all?) pro coaches have one of these.

by drobviousso :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 10:47pm

It is, unless there is a contract specifying conditions. Most (all?) pro coaches have one of these.

by Hurt Bones :: Fri, 01/08/2010 - 9:18am

"entire receiving corpse"

Interesting, I'm guessing this means Braylon Edwards will be staying at Giants Stadium after this season and checking into a room next to Jimmy Hoffa.

by Vince (not verified) :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 8:47pm

Oh, and Al Davis is reason Raiders win games, except for all those times he hired bad coaches. Apparently he's also the reason Chargers are now winning games.

by AnonymousB10Fan (not verified) :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 10:30pm

Well, Al probably has a significant role in at least two Charger wins each year.

by 3.14159265 (not verified) :: Fri, 01/08/2010 - 12:46am

Al Davis is one of the reasons the Patriots win games:
Raiders trade Moss to Patriots for 4th-round pick

by Raiderjoe :: Fri, 01/08/2010 - 12:53am

Raiders with more clean super bowl appearances in 2000s. Raiders got there by hard work and greateness from Al Davis. Pates got to super bowls by cheating.

by 3.14159265 (not verified) :: Fri, 01/08/2010 - 6:22am

Is poster drunk? Is there a tear in poster's beer?

by frozeatthefinalhomegame (not verified) :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 10:51pm

shaun rogers is overrated. he's a 400lb. 3-technique who can't control gaps. he just pushes the center into the backfield and creates even bigger gaps because the ends can't control gaps either. rubin's the way to go at NT if we're sticking with the 3-4. i just can't believe the coordinators survived as well. i know there's a severe lack of talent, but i saw nothing that made me think either of those guys is going to be a success. dqwell jackson cannot cover. brodney pool will be out of football due to concussions. apparently, robiskie is lazy. harrison is still too small for 20 carries a game for a whole season. neither qb is accurate or intelligent. mike adams constantly does dumb shit. cribbs is vital because of his impact on field position as a returner and tackler, not due his receiving or wildcatting. i hope he comes to his senses and signs for less than hester money, but more than the offer they made him.

by Phil Osopher :: Fri, 01/08/2010 - 11:59am

He was asking for 2.5-3 a year. That is much less than Hester money as reasonable for what he brings to the table. In fact, I believe he will be getting Robert Royal money.

Browns are still run by idiots

by jack :: Fri, 01/08/2010 - 12:29pm

Completely agree that Daboll needed to go. Ryan was great in that he got everything possible from his defense, but Daboll's play calling was terrible. Here's hoping San Fran or Sea wants to trade up....

by Dice :: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 11:55pm

They did luck out and get Matt Roth on waivers, who was making some plays for them.

by Basilicus (not verified) :: Fri, 01/08/2010 - 12:50am

He took over a 4-12 Jets team and had two winning seasons in three years, going 23-25 overall. Not world-beating, but hardly a bad job with that team.

He took over a 4-12 Browns team and went 5-11. You can't draw much from that. I'm all for giving him at least another year.

I've never gotten how Mangini went from being lauded as a genius in his first year to being everyone's punching bag. My jury's still out on the guy.

by MC2 :: Sat, 01/09/2010 - 4:11am

Most of the people who called him "Mangenius" after his first year ignored just how ridiculously easy the Jets' schedule was that year. Pulling out close wins over bad teams does not a Mangenius make.

by Emcee (SD/ATL) (not verified) :: Fri, 01/08/2010 - 4:21am

He perfected Kevin Nealon's Subliminal Man.

by dryheat :: Fri, 01/08/2010 - 9:08am

My only question is why Holmgren is doing this backwards. The Browns F'd up last offseason by hiring a HC and then hiring a GM. I would think that Holmgren would first want to hire a GM and let said GM, with the blessing of Holmgren, hire whomever he wanted as coach. Forcing coaches on GMs (or asst coaches on head coaches) is never a good idea.

I also wonder how well the Browns are going to do in free agency after all the bs Mangini put his players through. Between the forced road trips to his summer camp, making players go through full-contact practices without pads, holding out Brady Quinn long enough so he wouldn't hit contract escalators, dicking around with Josh Cribbs, etc, I sure wouldn't want to play for him, and I thought for that reason, if no other, he'd be gone. Let alone his borderline coaching competence and his immaturity.

by mawbrew :: Fri, 01/08/2010 - 9:55am

If you're hiring a GM that has final say on players then I think you're right about needing to hire the GM first. If you have somebody else making the decision (like Philly, NE, Miami) as you do here (Holmgren) I don't think it's necesary. This is set up pretty much like it is in Miami.

by dryheat :: Fri, 01/08/2010 - 10:15am

I see your point, but in New England, the GM is Belichick, so that's a bad example. I'm not sure how the hiring in Philly went down...although I'm pretty sure Heckert was elevated to GM post-Reid hiring (Didn't the previous GM resign? Or now that I think about it, Reid was originally GM-HC and later had GM duties removed?). However, in Miami, which I agree seems to be the best parallel, Parcells hired GM Ireland first, and Ireland (at least nominally) hired Sparano. Granted, in Miami's case, I think Ireland has a job so Parcells can take naps and long weekends with the knowledge that somebody's minding the store, and I'm sure Holmgren will be the de facto GM as far as personnel goes, but unless he wants his GM to be a cap specialist or attorney in function, I still think he needed to hire a GM first instead of forcing a head coach on one. In that case, Holmgren should assume the GM title himself. Especially since Holmgren had a GM forced on him in Seattle when his GM duties were removed from his GM-HC job.

by huston720 :: Fri, 01/08/2010 - 2:01pm

I don't really think that is such a big deal in this instance. Keeping Mangini isn't the same as Holmgren hiring a new coach before the GM. Worst case they simply get rid of Mangini next year and hire a new coach, (or Holmgren takes over) which essentially gives them a scapegoat if needed next year.

Also a lot of the stuff reported about Mangini this year was overblown. The bus trip was a mistake, but not one likely to be repeated, and only the rookies went through it anyway. There were no forced extra practices, just chances for practice squad players to show off in drills after practice. (Which seemed to help a lot of them contribute at the end of the season) The Cribbs situation hasn't been handled well by either side, but I expect it to resolve itself. And ultimately I don't think they want players with diva attitudes on the team anyway.

In the end I think this was the right move, and will keep the team moving in the right direction.

by MIkegut (not verified) :: Fri, 01/08/2010 - 12:17pm

The biggest question will be which offensive/defensive philosphy the team has next year. 3-4 and a run first offense is certainly Mangini's style, 4-3 and west coast is Holmgren's.

Moving to a 4-3 requires bringing in a new DE, and OLB (not sure how Roth, who's a free agent, Wimbley, and now Bernard fit into that either of those positions.

Clearly, the biggest need regardless of the front 7 alignment is S. Pool may not return, and the other starter is a free agent WR. It's a shame that the win against the Jags, while possibly saving the franchise some guaranteed money for signing a top 5 pick, will cost them a chance at the player they need most, Eric Berry.

by MIkegut (not verified) :: Fri, 01/08/2010 - 12:53pm

to clarify, Elam is a FA in 2010.