Does Cleveland Browns President Mike Holmgren Have the Guts?


Have 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.