Since Hurricane Lerner tore through the Cleveland Browns front office, the one thing that we all agreed on at this here site was that we wanted a General Manager and a head coach that had strong communication and believe in the same system. Typically, to get that done, you hire the general manager first and have him choose who he wants to steer the ship. But with Eric Mangini receiving an “exceeds expectations” on his interview for the HC gig, the Browns are finding themselves running out of options for said GM slot.
Randy Lerner did his best at justifying the selection of a head coach following yesterday’s press conference.
“When you are going out to hire a head coach and a General Manager, it seemed to me that the head coach hire is the more urgent one,” Lerner said. “The longer you wait, the less people are available.”
But as we pointed out, as well as Mike Florio, there was no one else even considering Mangini at this point in the search for filling vacancies. But with the tendency of a general manager to want to have say in things (crazy notion, I know), we now have once-possible GMs pulling thier name out of the ring. Tom Heckert, currently a member of the Philadelphia Eagles front office was considered for the job – but has since canceled his interview, which was scheduled for today. Reportedly, he was a fan of Steve Spagnuolo (NY Giants) and was “uncomfortable” with the choice of Mangini.
Couple this with the fact that Scott Pioli was not only anti-Mangini (allegedly, due to “Spygate”), but wanted even more control than any of the other names on the board, and he would not be coming to Cleveland any time soon.
ProFootballTalk hints that Lerner may actually want Mangini to have more control than the whomever fills the GM slot – which I’m not sure will woo many other candidates over to Cleveland. Baltimore has been very touchy on George Kokinis as Ozzie Newsome is getting tired with Lerner fishing in his pond. Reportedly, Kokinis will not be allowed to even consider the move without a clear, defined role ahead of time.
The PD reported last week that current Browns director of player personnel T.J. McCreight, Phil Savage’s (former) “right hand man.” Perhaps this is just a warm body to fill the role that will ultimately be run by Mangini? Or perhaps it is the last resort for a position that was thought by many to have quite an impact on the team. I cannot speak for Lerner in this one, but one thing that I do know is that our GM choices are slowly disappearing. If Kokinis decides to not come to Cleveland, or (worse yet) Baltimore does not allow him to, expect a mad dash for anyone willing to take on the job. Internal or not. You know, since those “internal” worked out so well over the past few years…