Thursday, January 13, 2011

Give Shurmur time

I have no idea whether Pat Shurmur will be a good head coach for the Browns. How could anyone say definitively, one way or another, what kind of job Shurmur will do?

I do know this: He is starting ahead of  where Eric Mangini was two years ago for two reasons. The team is better than it was when Mangini took over a condemned property in 1999 and he shares the same philosophy as General Manager Tom Heckert, who is in charge of player acquisition. Imagine that.

Mangini' first year was wasted because he did not have a legitimate starting quarterback. Shurmur won't have to worry about that because he has Colt McCoy established as the starter.

Shurmur won't have to run the entire football operation as Mangini chose to do in 2009. Holmgren runs the show and Heckert picks the players. Shurmur has to coach. That's it.

Holmgren won't be quick to get rid of Shurmur if Shurmur struggles early. He'll probably give him more than the two years Mangini got - only one of those from Holmgren.

But if Shurmur doesn't succeed in three years, Holmgren should hire himself as head coach.


Monday, January 3, 2011

Holmgren had no choice

Mike Holmgren wanted Eric Mangini to succeed, but when the Browns lost their last four games he had no choice. He had to fire him.

I am amazed how many fans wanted Mangini to stay, because usually fans change their opinions Monday to Monday depending on what happened the day before. Fans are concerned about continuity, but Holmgren will at least maintain continuity in quarterback Colt McCoy.

Players agree Mangini has left the Browns on the brink of being successful, but losing to Buffalo, Cincinnati, Baltimore and Pittsburgh to finish the season and going 1-5 in the AFC North doomed Mangini.

Players grew to like Mangini after a stormy 2009. Mangini relaxed. The offense never got untracked,.and that proved to be Mangini's undoing. He was loyal to all his assistants. Had he replaced Brian Daboll a year ago he might still be head coach today.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Judgment day for Mangini

In all likelihood this is the last day Eric Mangini will be a head coach in the NFL. If so, he is leaving behind a team on the brink of winning.

I would like to see Mike Holmgren give Mangini one more season, and I think part of Holmgren wants to, but losing to Buffalo and Cincinnati makes that difficult. The Bengals followed their Browns victory by beating the Chargers, but still, the Bengals had lost 10 straight before beating the Browns. That makes it difficult for Holmgren to convince anyone the Browns are heading in the right direction.

Mangini instilled discipline and a work ethic in a team that lacked both. With that already in place and Holmgren along with Tom Heckert supplying good players the Browns would be on their way to playoff contention. Mangini deserves a chance to continue the transition, but I don't expect him to get it.