Now, I know that the Cleveland Browns are only 3-5, but there was a point in the season – when the Browns were 1-5 – that it seemed more likely that we would see Mike Holmgren get naked and run around on the field during a game than see Eric Mangini as head coach for another season. Then the Browns placed firm beatings on both the New Orleans Saints and the New England Patriots.
In these two huge wins, the Browns looked prepared and executed all facets of the game everything perfectly. Adjustments were made throughout these games (which has always been a knock on this coaching staff) and the team was actually able to hold onto fourth quarter leads. All in all, this might be the best two-game stretch the Browns have had since returning to the NFL in 1999.
That being said, is it safe to say that head coach Eric Mangini has secured his job for another season? The Browns are 7-5 in their last 12 games and have begun to develop a punishing running game. There is an obvious identity this team is trying to form, and we shouldn’t underestimate the value of having a clear plan for the future. For once, there are a number of teams that look far more lost than the Browns.
Sure, some credit will be given to Mike Holmgren, but the attitude of this team started with Mangini. It was evident even last season that these players will work hard for Mangini, and now it is starting to pay off. Another year of tweaking talent has allowed the Browns to finally take a step in the right direction, and firing Mangini would only be a step back at this point.
The coaching staff has been calling the games of their lives in recent weeks, and it doesn’t get any easier this week against the New York Jets. The thought of beating the Jets now seems like a real possibility but, win or lose, it seems safe to say that Eric Mangini’s future with the Browns is no longer riding on a “let’s see how this week goes” basis.