Does Cleveland Browns President Mike Holmgren Have the Guts?


http://browns.ohio.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Mike-Holmgren-and-Colt-McCoy.jpgHave you ever had one of those days where everything is going horribly wrong, and you wish could just go back in time, and try the whole day all over again?

That’s how I feel about the Eric Mangini era in Cleveland––Two wasted years of my life I can’t have back.

What was gained from that smudge in time? It feels like we’re right back where we were in 2009. New coaches, new systems, rebuilding for another year, delayed.

And part of this delay is Mike Holmgren’s fault.In his first full year as President of the Cleveland Browns, Holmgren faced the difficult decision of whether or not to fire his incumbent coach in Mangini.

He played the nice guy.

As a former coach himself, he felt firing Mangini after only one year on the job would be unfair. He said this. The rebuilding process takes time and even Eric Mangini should be given the chance to prove himself.

So instead of starting fresh, Browns fans got strapped to a chair, had their eyes pinned open, and were forced to watch the Holmgren-Mangini Experiment. Last year was just a test. Mangini failed, and now we start all over again.

In hindsight, what a waste of time. Had Holmgren just come in and fired Mangini right away, we’d be a year farther along today. They had different philosophies and were never going to be on the same page anyway.The Jayme Mitchell trade basically confirmed this plan was in their back pocket all along.

But no, Holmgren wouldn’t do Mangini like that.

Let’s hope he doesn’t make the same mistake with Colt McCoy, who has quietly become Tim Tebow 2.0. Author, man of God, and too good a person to be criticized.

Every comment, every scouting report you find only mentions his mental attributes. Good person, strong makeup, the ability to lead. All important things, but half the battle still. Can he throw, can he rack up the points?

I worry Holmgren & Company, like the rest of us, are fans of Colt the person, and that will make them hesitant to move on quickly if they need to. And you know what I mean by move on…

You’ve got Andrew Luck on the board next year, you can’t be giving sub-par players extra chances just because they are good people.

I can just hear the excuses now:

Colt didn’t get enough time to develop, he was learning a new system, he had no receivers, he has the intangibles, he just never got a shot.

Pulling the plug on Colt McCoy (and possibly the season) would be an unpopular decision, making Holmgren the bad guy for the first time, putting his authority in doubt.

Nobody wants to talk about tanking, nobody wants to hear anything negative about Colt McCoy, nobody wants to face another winter without hope. Neither do I, and neither does Mike Holmgren, but that’s the kind of leader the Browns need right now.

Someone with the guts to make unpopular decisions in the short term, to properly position the organization long term.

If Colt plays well and the Browns are winning, then cheers to everyone, they did it. But if they are dropping games to the Bengals, Dolphins, Raiders, and Seahawks, nice guy or not, the Browns need not make excuses.

No more wondering, no more delays, no more deserving experiments. Drastic measures to fix a drastic situation.

Let’s hope Mike Holmgren has the guts to pull the trigger if he has to.

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Tags: Andrew Luck Cleveland Browns Colt McCoy Draft Eric Mangini Mike Holmgren

  • elee62652

    uhhh… not sure what your point is. are you calling for the pulling of mccoy from the lineup if he falls short, if so, go with wallace? or are you calling for holmgren and company to tank the season if mccoy cant cut it? in MHO your article makes little sense if you cannot clarify what you’re asking for. either way, if mccoy doesnt cut it i dont see holmgren keeping him around as no. 1 next year, or is that your point? lol… (confused… shaking head…)

  • Go3rowns!

    I’m glad the Browns don’t consult you before considering a move. Both Holmgren and McCoy have long track records of consistent winning against serious competition. Mistakes are made and corrected by winning teams. That’s the way winners operate.

    It’s your job – you obviously had to write something even if it made no since at all.

  • monte W

    Great article. No excuses. We are tired of waiting and we having nothing to lose.

  • monte W

    @Go3rowns! How long do we wait for “the corrections” to kick-in? We are not a winning organization so it’s time to have guts and take big chances. Why must we continue to accept mediocrity? Let’s hold these guys accountable now.

  • monte W

    @elee62652 The point is Holgrem already has one strike for keeping Mangini. Will he have the guts to yank Colt if it comes to it? It’s time to show the fans we have a real braintrust and are headed in the right direction. So far all I see is us standing still.

  • elee62652

    @monte W im not sure how fast i would pull mccoy. that would depend upon just how bad it may get. for one thing, in my opinion, it would have to be very bad for me to put wallace into the starting job. what has he ever done? but looking back at the track record of holmgren, i dont think we have much to worry about there. i mean he nurtured the career of one of the greatest QBs of all time, favre. do you remember the glory years of the packers w/holmgren? we honestly need to give this guy a little time. mccoy may not be the answer, but there is not many around that i would trust more to figure that out than holmgren. as browns fans we have suffered thru too many years of frustration. this is hard. it wont get turned around in one season. i do expect a marked improvement tho, and i think we will see it.

  • robtmd10

    I think Holmgren let Mangini stick around in 2010 in order to get a mulligan to push the time when he’s expected to get real results at least one more year down the line. Show Mangini the door after 2010, bring in a new batch of coaches and therefore get another mulligan year for 2011. Keep his Pres gig for 2012 because you can’t just clean house after the latest coaching staff’s inaugural season. So, stay on Randy Learner’s fat FO payroll through at least 2012 at a bare minimum. Maybe even longer if McCoy lays an egg in 2011, switch to Luck in 2012 and squeeze out a couple of more years waiting for the latest savior at QB to pan out.

    It’s good work if you can get it.