Let’s be up front and honest here. This race is way way way too early to call. Still, as I was watching the scroll on ESPN yesterday proclaiming that Brandon Marshall has demanded a trade from the Denver Broncos, I couldn’t help but think about it. I vowed after the off-season hiring of Mangini and Kokinis to monitor the other high profile situations in Denver and Kansas City where regime changes were taking place. After a rocky start, I think you would have to say so far so good for Eric Mangini. I also think you would have to take his early returns as Browns fans over the early “returns” of McDaniels in Denver.
Granted Mangini got off to a real rocky start with one of the only bona fide Pro Bowlers on the team in Shaun Rogers. Granted there were questions about his trade of Kellen Winslow. Granted Mangini seems almost magically drawn to previous Jets players. But even with all that said, he hasn’t run a Pro Bowl caliber QB and now a Pro Bowl caliber wide receiver out of town. And as soon as Winslow signed that super duper expensive deal making him the highest paid tight end in the league (IN THE LEAGUE) even the angriest of Browns fans had to give Mangini a pass on trading K2.
Again, I will say it is early and the story is far from over. It may end up being that everybody involved ends up with good coaches and good teams. Still, it is hard not to sit here thinking that the Browns are a bit better off with the Eric Mangini story than Denver is with the Josh McDaniels story. They are set to start the season with Kyle Orton in the mix as their starting QB. They seemingly haven’t fixed their defense. Now they appear to be on the verge of losing the most productive receiver on the team. For all the questionable moves and interesting pickups and signings, you have to feel that the Browns are at least a deeper team today than they were last year even if they haven’t answered a whole lot of questions yet.
Again, much too early to call, but I am not exactly pining away for Josh McDaniels right about now.