Browns Bye Week Bullets: Mike Holmgren’s Job, More Kokinis Talk and the 2010 NFL Draft

Mike Holmgren 2Is there possibly a more dysfunctional organizational in the NFL these days? After being trampled by a combined score of 62-9 in their last two games against Green Bay and Chicago, the Browns decided to shake things up in their week without a game.

Halfway through the season, owner Randy Lerner already decided that he had seen enough of GM George Kokinis and the team on the field stands at a sorrowful 1-7. There are no immediate signs of turning things around either and this could easily end up being the worst season since the franchise returned from the dead in 1999.

Since Craig usually covers the bullets recapping the actual Browns week, I decided to take a twist on this by detailing some of the bye week stories surrounding the team in bullet format.

As always, these are not meant to specifically cover every single depressing topic about your favorite football franchise but are only a select list of news items and personal thoughts. Feel free to leave your own thoughts in the comments.

  • First we thought Ernie Accorsi would be the new “football czar,” but numerous reports shot that down immediately. The story of the hour now, according to ESPN, is that former Seahawks head coach Mike Holmgren is the leading candidate for a new front office job with the franchise.  Word on the street is that it will be a similar position as to what Bill Parcells does for the Miami Dolphins.
  • I am not sure how I feel about having another coach in the front office such as Holmgren. Well, I guess it certainly can’t hurt to have somebody making sure Eric Mangini knows what he is doing, but wouldn’t it have just been better to give Holmgren a look for the head coaching job? He definitely has more experience than Mangini but I don’t recall his name being mentioned last season.
  • Owner Randy Lerner is probably hoping that Holmgren will scare the sense back into Mangini. Who knows how many things he has done wrong in his tenure with this franchise, but somebody new needs to help clean up this mess. For a once storied franchise to be 1-7 and with no direction for the future is absolutely abysmal and it is good to see Lerner finally being proactive to fix things.
  • I take serious issue with this sentence from Patrick McManamon’s Sunday report on the Browns in the Akron Beacon Journal: “One source told a story of Kokinis being called into coach Eric Mangini’s office shortly after his hiring, and Mangini laying down the rules under which he would have to operate.”
  • There have been many other similar statements in the media recently, but it is incredibly alarming in the fan base to see such a thing happen. I mean, how can Randy Lerner still be satisfied with Mangini as his head coach after such conduct? Did he seriously expect this would happen and if not, why was Mangini not the one fired instead of “pleasant and nonconfrontational” Kokinis.
  • Looking at the NFL Standings right now, there are currently six teams with one win or less on the season. Considering the fact that Cleveland still has to play Baltimore, Cincinnati, San Diego, Jacksonville and Pittsburgh, I think you would be hard-pressed to find an individual that thinks this team will win more than four games. The rest of the schedule is actually fairly easy with road dates in Detroit and Kansas City and a home contest against the Oakland Raiders.
  • Thus, the evidence points to the Browns easily having a top eight pick at worst in this year’s NFL Draft. There are many areas of concern for this team not specifically limited to the following: a) quarterback of the future since Quinn is not starting yet, b) running back of the future since Jamal Lewis is retiring, c) a premier wide receiver now that Edwards is gone, d) a second Pro Bowl-caliber lineman with Joe Thomas, e) an intimidating force on the defensive line to help Sean Rogers, f) an aggressive linebacker the likes of which we haven’t seen since Jamir Miller and g) any sort of tackling, play maker in the secondary.
  • That list pretty much covers every single aspect of the team for the future I suppose… But the fact of the matter is that this team needs a lot of help and this year’s draft will not make us even close to a playoff team. You can BOOK IT. Keeping an eye on the draft however, I encourage you to take a look at these impressive Web sites for their mock drafts and big boards: Walter Football, New NFL DraftDraft Countdown, My NFL Draft, and Draft Debacled.
  • The majority of these sites have us selecting a quarterback and specifically, either Jake Locker out of Washington or Jimmy Claussen out of Notre Dame. Personally, I feel like even Peyton Manning could not lead this current roster to the playoffs and thus item of need a) from above is actually not the most important. Some individuals that do intrigue me are safety Eric Berry, offensive tackle Russel Okung, safety Taylor Mays and defensive end Carlos Dunlap.
  • The dark horse in this entire draft, let alone just Cleveland’s strategy, will certainly be wide receiver Dez Bryant out of Oklahoma State. He recently declared for the NFL Draft after not being allowed to play for the Cowboys by the NCAA. He is next year’s Michael Crabtree and if the Browns have alternative plans to fix their lines, he could certainly be on the radar.

(The picture of Mike Holmgren above was found at this link here.)

  • RW

    If Browns draft Jimmy Clausen I will flip my (WFNY EDIT) “Stuff.”

  • bobby

    I would love to see a big name D playmaker get drafted. Maybe it might happen this time… doubt it.

  • Scott

    Schefter was all over the Browns today. If Holmgren does in fact take the gig and brings in *his* own GM, I can’t see how Eric Mangini makes it to next season unless Lerner forces them to work together for financial reasons.

    He also reported that the Browns have confiscated Kokinis’ cell phone and ordered him to counseling due to his “distance” from the team. I still don’t see how this is his fault… Its like being robbed and then being cited for it because you allowed it to happen.

  • dwhit

    1. The Raiders are more dysfunctional.
    2. Holmgren wasn’t mentioned for the vacancy last season because he had just finished coaching with Seattle and it was widely reported that he wanted a year off.
    3. At least Holmgren has experience as a front office guy since he filled that dual role in Seattle.
    4. Completely agree on not drafting a QB… at least not in Rd 1.

  • Josh

    Taaaaaaaaaaaaylor Mays! PLEASE!

  • Jewpants

    holmgren would be great cause he wears two belts at a time – literally

  • Jacob Rosen

    Haha that is awesome. Comment of the weekend right there! Definitely did not notice that in the picture when I first found it…

  • Mark

    Josh – I would much rather have Eric Berry than Taylor Mays. Berry is a much better defender against the pass and still hits like a truck.

    Here is the thing about Kokinis behavior that I dont get and have not really seen anyone address. Let say the stories of his passivity are true (we have no way of really knowing), why would we want to keep him? Does anyone want a GM who wont fight for his job? The SI article by Don Banks has anonymous sources who state he didnt have the personality to fight Mangini. “George gets there and finds out he’s a glorified personnel director. He gets out-voted on every front, and he doesn’t really have the personality to fight that. He went along with it and hoped it worked out, but it didn’t.”

    Why shouldnt Lerner can him? I really think Lerner believed he had a GM who would be a check on the head coach. Was it foolish of Lerner to believe that Kokinis was that guy? Probably. But it seems to me, again if all of this is true, that Kokinis didnt do his job and should have been fired.

  • bobby

    I would like Holmgren as a VP or coach. Schefter also mentioned Wolf, the ex-packers GM as one of the top 4 prospects for the VP, so I could see the two ex-packers working together again.

  • Ricky

    Only thing I have to say is that Taylor Mays has really been disappointing this year if you have been watching him, he doesn’t make plays in coverage and while he is a great run stopper I feel like he is just another Mike Doss. Eric Berry though is the truth, he hasn’t gotten as many picks this year because he has been playing against the run more, but we know he is a ballhawk because of his work last year

  • JackGonzo

    Right now I am of the following thoughts when it comes to the draft.

    1. Eric Berry
    2. Jordan Shipely or Colt McCoy
    3a. Colt McCoy or Jordan Shipley

    basically we need to draft both of them together, bring that chemistry immediately to the team. This all depends on how high Colt is estimated as going. Some say top ten other say fourth round.

    3b. Best tackle available and make them the right tackle.

  • JackGonzo

    Oh, and an update, Braylon has 13 catches in 4 games, doesn’t look like he’ll reach 55 with the team unless he gets hot this second half of the season.

  • DKH

    Agreed with #10 Ricky on Taylor Mays. He hasn’t played well this season. Hasn’t been very good in pass coverage and is becoming a bit of a cheap shot artist. I don’t know anything about Eric Berry, but I definitely wouldn’t care much for Mays.

  • P@

    Wouldn’t that be hilarious if we took Claussen? Isn’t he basically the same player as Brady Quinn out of the same college system from the same head coach? I submit that he is. I want Taylor Mays.

  • P@

    Or Eric Berry, although I worry about Berry’s size at the NFL level.

  • AdapterDesign

    You don’t see how it’s his fault, or you don’t see how the Browns are trying to make it his fault to negate his contract?

    If you’re upset about how a team is doing mid-season, the coach would be the first head to roll, not the ineffectual GM.

  • Desert Wahoo

    In talking about the 2010 draft I would like to see us drafting linemen in the early part of the draft. O-line and D-line. As for a franchise qb I really think that we should not spend a high draft pick on a qb this year. I say try to pry a back-up from one of the other teams. Find a way to dump both DA and BQ. Pick up a qb in a middle round for backup purposes and look at 2011 when there will be better prospects at that position.

  • bobby

    I think Kolb is a FA this year… what are the chances Philly is gonna want to pay him to continue being back-up?

  • Ricky

    Bobby, it depends on what they do with Vick. Kolb would be a good pickup though, there is a decent track record of young backup QBs changing teams in free agency and then doing well (Delhomme, Schaub). I actually would much prefer signing Kolb to spending a high draft pick on a QB

  • S-Dub

    There is NO WAY we take Claussen. I mean Claussen? He isn’t even good. Sure his numbers might be kind of impressive but we all know Golden Tate is carrying that team. He has a rocket arm but just isn’t that good, plus he’s like 5’10.

    I love Taylor Mays, the guy can actually tackle and can run down ANYONE on the field. I need to watch more tape on both Berry and Mays, but after a season of Abe Elam how can any of us be upset with either of those guys.

    Brandon Spikes is a guy who isn’t getting much play in these parts for some reason. That guy is mean, nasty can hit, and makes huge plays. Everyone always says how we need a Ray Lewis in our 3-4. Well here he is gentleman.

    I was touting Aaron Curry last year, we would’ve drafted him had he fallen to us, but my how we could use him now. The point is to LOAD UP on D. We need it badly.

  • JM

    Browns will screw up the draft again book it!!! Haha just kidding everyone. Jacob said it all, the Browns basically need a player at every position and I mean every single position.

  • Alex

    We should absolutely, positively NOT take any offensive linemen early or in round 1. We are set at 3 of the spots for years. we have a set of vets who could be serviceable at RG. We need a RT – round 1 is NOT when you take a right tackle. Every single o-lineman worthy of round 1 is a C, LT, or guard, and this happens routinely. Picking a RT would be a terrible move.

  • Team Brady

    drafting a lineman to play rt and you’ll see an immediate improvement at QB and RB. this should be priority #1 and then pick up a DB with the next pick…

  • S-Dub

    @Alex: I don’t think drafting a RT in the top 5 is a logical move either, so don’t worry it won’t happen.

  • Alex

    No. Not at the top of the first round. Absolutely not. The top of the first round is for playmakers and franchise-builders. We need a right tackle but not at the top of the first. Maybe towards the end of the first, and in later rounds, absolutely yes. But there is no way we should or will take a RT at the top of the first.

  • Alex

    Obviously post 25 was directed at #23, not 24.

  • bobby

    I agree you shouldnt be looking at a RT with our projected top pick. If for some reason we trade down into the 20s again, then I could see it, but I would rather see a D playmaker, then a RT in round 2 or 3. If the Eagles let Kolb go, then I would want him to take over QB, and test a season out with Harrison and Davis, because I dont think theres any real great RB coming out this year. In 2011, go after Ingram.

  • MC

    Hating Claussen because he plays for ND and not OSU is stupid. He’s not 5’10, he’s 6’3. He has a rocket arm, and is unreal accurate. He’s one of the top rated passers in the country and is nothing like Quinn was at ND…and every quarterback, at all levels, is a “system” quarterback.

    I realize that people will argue that he plays against teams x,y, and z and that those teams stink…that argument is narrow in it’s scope because everyone plays against bad teams in CFB, it’s the way the system is set up. No one plays against good teams.

    So please, if you’re going to hate the Browns drafting Claussen, that’s fine, you’re allowed to, but please base your criticisms on facts and not some “I hate all ND players, not matter what” bias.

  • whipjacka

    What kind of pick could they get if they traded rogers. It seems to me that he will be on the way out by the time the browns get any better, so I think they should trade him at the end of the season.

  • JackGonzo

    We could conceivably get a first and third rounder for Rogers based on the Roy Williams trade last year. The only question is who would be willing to pay that price? The only team that really jumps to my mind is the Texans as it could very possibly solidify their defense.

    #28-the same thing was said about Quinn coming out of college too. The problem is if he wasn’t playing at ND and had the same numbers, would he even be in the conversation?

    #20-Spikes will be an inside linebacker, and his stock probably took a huge hit with the eye poking incident last week

  • S-Dub

    I know Spikes will be an ILB, Ray Lewis is an ILB. IT’s why I like Spikes. And, if you think an NFL team won’t draft a guy b/c he poked a guys eyes in the pile then you’re delusional. There’s WAY more dirtier stuff that goes on in high school games than that.

  • Willf6

    Not a ND fan…. but I am just curious why people think Notre Dame doesn’t play anybody? What is the difference between their schedule and Ohio State’s this year? They play 3 or 4 of the exact same teams and the rest are pretty much interchangeable. As for Quinn and Clausen comparisons, there aren’t too many. If you could combine Quinn’s head and Clausen’s arm, however, I would take that w/ our top 5 pick.

  • TampaBrett

    Lets let another team draft for us.

  • Hk14


    I haven’t seen him play much but Eric Berry is the same size as Troy Polamalu, Ed Reed and Champ Bailey. Just sayin’

  • JackGonzo

    I never said he wouldn’t be drafted I said his stock would drop cause of it. Ask Marcus Vick how well stuff like that goes over. How many more ILBs do we need though? I’d like to find a outside linebacker with some speed to replace Bowens.

  • BrianRut4

    Taylor Mays is losing himself alot of money this year. He is horrible in pass coverage. There have been several critical plays where it looked like Mays was going to bring the wood and break up the play and he ended up throwing a halfhearted elbow instead. He is the classic “looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane” player and could be a huge bust if drafted in the early part of the first round.

    Berry is really nice and i would not be upset with that pick. However, a safety is not going to have a huge impact on this Browns team if he has to make every tackle because our front seven isnt getting the job done in run defense.

    I think pairing Ndamakong Suh with Shaun Rodgers would dramatically improve our defense.

  • AMC

    Turning back to the possibility of a Holmgren hire – isn’t this the same guy that was fired by the Seahawks from the joint GM/coaching role? Granted he wouldn’t be overextended in the same way (assuming he didn’t fire Mangini to take over on the sidelines himself), but I still don’t think he’s a proven entity like Parcells when it comes to actually constructing a winning team from the front office.

  • AMC

    I should also add – look at the Seahawks now: they’re not very good.

  • kreep

    * mc was correct, nd bias should not come into this debate. claussen is the real deal, quite possibly the best qb ever to play for nd {yes, better than theisman and montana while at nd}. he is 6’3 223 lbs. plenty big for nfl and will get stronger. he will finish in top 3 for heisman. the 3 int’s he’s thrown this were not his fault, he is incredibly accurate. i have never seen a more accurate qb at the college level. sorry to say fellas, but… claussen > quinn. not even close.
    * having said that, i hope the browns take eric berry, not claussen. berry > mays. no doubt. ballhawk who hits like a truck for his size. love this kid.
    * agree w poster on loading up on d. i hope we draft 2 stud lb’s in addition to berry.
    ol and dl through free agency??

  • DannyN

    I think we should trade out of the first round, given our track record since ’99. In fact, the Browns have the worst percentage of 1st round players remaining on current rosters in that time frame in the entire league. See:

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