The Browns are very eager to interview former New York Jets head coach Eric Mangini as he is going to be a hot commodity around the league. The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of Mangini being the head coach in Cleveland. Some may wonder why Randy Lerner is looking at at hiring a coach before a GM is even in place, but I think I understand what’s going on. Both Eric Mangini and Scott Pioli (whom I talked about in the last post) are familiar with each other, having worked with each other in New England and Cleveland. It would make some sense that those two could work well together, despite the Spygate controversy that pitted Mangini as the Patriots’ mortal enemy.
Like I said, I’m warming to the idea of Mangini as a potential coach. The main reason is the fact that he already has head coaching experience. I don’t think the right direction would be to make the Browns the first head coaching gig for yet another coordinator, as could be the case with Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and a host of other potential candidates. It did not work with Crennel and would not be something I could get excited about, no matter how successful any of these names being thrown around have been under someone else’s regime.
Mangini also seems to get the respect of his players. He can be arrogant, but he knows what he’s doing. That’s what the Browns really need right now: a hard-nosed leader that commands respect and gets the most out of his players. And if you don’t think you’d like someone who might be called a douchebag in certain circles, would you have expected gumdrops and lollipops from Bill Cowher?
You can’t blame Mangini for the Jets’ collapse, either. He was forced to endure Brett Favre’s collapse in a season where it was never his decision or in his best interest to have Favre on the team. Mangini was also probably just a victim of the fickle New York media and fanbase; after all, there was talk of him getting a contract extension earlier in the season. He’s a solid coach on a thin list of good candidates and could be a good fit in Cleveland.
But, if not Mangini, who would you want to see as the next head coach of the Browns? McDaniels? Spagnuolo? Ryan?