Browns Coaching Rumors: Mangini, Mornhinweg, Rob Ryan and Rooney

Apparently Eric Mangini hasn’t been fired over night, but it is clearly open season for talking about the Browns coaching job.  Who am I kidding?  It has been open season for most people for the last few weeks.  Let’s discuss the swirling talk.

Terry Pluto wrote his post-game article and all but said that the Browns would be hiring a new coach.  He said it kind of like it was an opinion, but kind of like he knew something as well.  He wouldn’t say anything concrete or attribute anything to sources, but he said it just the same. “Be it team president Mike Holmgren or someone else, the new coach will be the sixth in 13 years since the franchise returned.”  Sounds pretty definite.

Peter King then went on record saying Marty Mornhinweg would be tops on Mike Holmgren’s list of potential replacements for Eric Mangini.  That piece of news led to an Internet meme of epic proportions.  The thesis of the meme was, “Marty Mornhinweg must stink because he stunk in Detroit eight years ago and he chose to go with the wind instead of taking the ball in an overtime coin toss.”

Look, I don’t know why I have been cast in the role of Marty Mornhinweg’s defender. I don’t want the job.  That being said, it is completely unfair to not provide a bit of color and perspective to his tenure in Detroit.   The guy coached under Matt Millen. His two starting QBs were Charlie Batch and Joey Harrington on his way to a 5-27 record over two seasons. His best receiver in year two was Az Hakim.

Let’s say for the sake of argument that Marty was truly the worst coach in the history of NFL head coaching.  That was eight years ago.  Since that time, he has been doing something new in Philly with Andy Reid.  Yet in many people’s minds Mornhinweg is stuck in a time capsule in Detroit as if people aren’t human and learn new things.  Last time I checked, most of us gain new experience every single year.

I am not saying I want Marty Mornhinweg, but you don’t think an older, presumably wiser man with eight years of experience working closely with Andy Reid would be different than the one who left Detroit after the 2002 NFL season? And then would getting to work under Mike Holmgren be at least remarkably different than the runaway train that occurred in Detroit with Matt Millen shoveling the coal in the engine?  I say probably.  Maybe he deserves another interview, right?

Again, I don’t want the job as Mornhinweg’s defender, but I refuse to ignore reasonability and logic.

Speaking of logic, don’t forget that if Eric Mangini is fired the Browns will have to comply with the “Rooney Rule.”  This means they will have to interview minority candidates even if Holmgren already knows he wants that “sub-par human” Marty Mornhinweg.  Ironically the Detroit Lions were fined for not complying with that rule when they hired Steve Mariucci almost immediately after firing… Marty Mornhinweg.

Meanwhile, yesterday, Mary Kay Cabot reported that Rob Ryan is on the list of interviewees for Carolina’s head coaching job, recently vacated by John Fox’ employers.  So even if Mangini isn’t somehow fired, he could lose his defensive coordinator.  What?  Nobody wants to interview Brian Daboll for the plethora of open head coaching positions?

As of this moment these are the things we know.  As always, we will keep you up to date as best we can and try to provide as much sanity as humanly possible along the way.

  • Voodoo

    “His two starting QBs were Charlie Batch and Joey Harrington on his way to a 5-27 record over two seasons. His best receiver in year two was Az Hakim.”

    If this is a valid argument, couldn’t you argue that Mangini had Derek Anderson and Jake Delhomme with a best receiver of Mo Massaquoi (Ben W being a tight end)? And, Mangini won 10 games to Morninwheg’s 5?

    Sorry, I’m just tired of being the test bed for every coach that has never won anything before. Whether Marty’s a decent coach or not, there are so many better, proven candidates out there.

  • Mark

    Moratorium is over! It’s now time to play, “Who Will Be Our Next Coach?” here at WFNY! Let the speculation begin!

    I’ll put my 2 cents in – No to Mornhinweg. In typical reactionary fashion, because we just had a re-tread HC who didn’t succeed in his 1st head coaching job, I say go the opposite! Young coordinator time, because that’s never failed before…

  • stin4u

    I guess I trust in Holmgren here. This would probably be one of the least sexy moves in NFL history but if it gets us winning games I could’nt really care less.

  • Stevo

    “Last time I checked, most of us gain new experience every single year.”

    Using this logic, Mangini keeps his job.

    “His two starting QBs were Charlie Batch and Joey Harrington on his way to a 5-27 record over two seasons. His best receiver in year two was Az Hakim.”

    Mangini’s FIVE starting QBs were DEREK ANDERSON, BRADY QUINN, JAKE DELHOMME, SENECA WALLACE, and COLT MCCOY on his way to a 10-22 record over two seasons. His best receiver in year two was MOHAMED MASSAQUOI.

    Why should Mornhinweg replace Mangini then?

  • Stevo

    James Walker makes a good point. The Browns have “the brutal task” of facing the Steelers and Ravens twice a year. The big names in coaching have plenty of better options than the Browns, leaving them to select from the leftovers and coordinators… again.

  • MattyFos

    Mangini’s best receivers were Kellen Winslow and Braylon Edwards. But he traded them away because he didn’t like their character…

  • Mark Ira Kaufman

    Craig, you’re 100% correct when you note, “Last time I checked, most of us gain new experience every single year.”

    In the context of head coaches, there is no better proof of this than Bill Belichick, who stunk on ice as the head coach of the Browns.

  • C-Bus Kevin

    This is what it’s come down to? Marty Mornhinweg? Today is possibly the start of the most depressing year ever for Cleveland sports fans.

    NFL is done…possibly through 2012.
    Cavs stink
    Indians stink

    It may be time to find a new hobby for the next 18 months or so. At the very least, it’s probably time to find a better use for my entertainment funds.

  • Alexander

    Hopefully whatever regime we have going forward is able to retain Rob Ryan as DC or HC (and bring in a Holmgren-guy to run the offense). He is far and away the most valuable member of the coaching staff, and I fear other teams will recognize that and offer him an HC job.

  • Reggie Ruckus

    I think even Mangini knew the gig was up yesterday when he gave his postgame news conference. Criticize the guy all you want but it takes brass stones to stand there and answer questions on losing your job in front of the whole world.

    As for his replacement, Mornhinweg won’t excite the fanbase. I’m not excited by John Fox either. Both lost their jobs as head coaches due to a lack of talent being provided to them by their respective GM’s but good luck to Holmgren on convincing the fans that these two guys are going to turn things around here. I’d like Holmgren to take over but he’s 62 and can’t see him coaching for long so we could be looking at replacing another coach in a couple years. So who then should coach the team? My vote is for Jon Gruden but I just don’t see it happening.

    Nothing like a Browns offseason.

  • 216in614

    firing him and then bringing in one of these other guys with extensive experience in losing makes no sense.

  • CoachA12

    Hit the nail on the head re: Mornhinweg. The same people who plead patience for Mangini & The Process are about to jump off a bridge at the thought of Marty Mornhinweg. Let me ask all of you this: What choice do you have? If you love this team and you trust in Holmgren (like you did 12 months ago) then you must believe in his choice. Why? Because he’s still the most intelligent and respected ‘football guy’ we’ve had in charge since The Return. If he says ‘Mornhinweg is my guy’, then so be it. Call him a Cult Leader all you want Frownies. He’s the man in charge of the team I follow most ardently. Until he proves otherwise, I will trust him and follow him. Again, what choice do I have?

  • CapGG

    If (when?) Mangini is fired, the message I’m hearing from the Browns is anything less than the playoffs and competing for a division crown is unacceptable. I will hold the organization to this standard.

    Improvement from 5-11 and being competive in almost every day will certainly not be enogh.

  • Mark

    Chris Mortensen is reporting the Mangini is already fired. Probably the most unsurprising news of the day.

  • TSR3000

    @9- Did you watch the last 8 games of the season? Rob Ryan leaving would be a blessing in disguise.

  • Stevo

    Cowherd just said Mangini’s done.

  • DP

    The Browns just said Mangini’s done. More coming ASAP!

  • Denny


  • sealedhuman

    I would not be excited about Mornhinweg or Fox, but I trust that Holmgren knows more than me and could convince myself to buy into it. The same goes for keeping Mangini. I personally think that he should be fired, but I trust Holmgren’s judgment.

    I would be thrilled with Gruden or Holmgren…

  • C-Bus Kevin

    I’m not huge on “Rah! Rah!” coaches, but can the Browns please hire someone that has a little fire in the belly?

    While watching the Bears/Packers game yesterday, the announcers made the comment that when Lovie Smith was hired, he said it would be his top priority to beat the Packers.

    And wouldn’t you know it…with nothing to gain, Smith left in his starters til the bitter end yesterday to try to beat the Pack. Why? Because when you coach the Bears, the Packers are your bitter rival and you will be judged by your ability or inability to beat them.

    While the Browns/Steelers rivalry seems to be dormant, I’m pretty sure Tomlin considers beating the Browns brains in a “top priority.” Hence, the challenge late in the game yesterday to attempt to prevent a Browns score.

  • Ron from Akron

    Do the Steelers have stability? Yes. Ravens? ditto. This coaching carousel in Cleveland needs to stop! Doing this fire-search-hire exercise every two years has proven to be counter-productive. Enough already.

  • Will

    Detroit went 9-7 the year before Mornhinweg got there with Charlie Batch. They also won eight games the year before that behind Gus Frerotte. Sorry, dude is flat out garbage as a head coach. Detroit is “Detroit” because of this guy, not just Matt Millen.

  • VooDoo

    @21 I think everyone knows this and lets see what Holmgren does first. I do believe this will be his first coaching hire.

  • bobby

    2 Things- There still is stability within the organization that hasnt been there in other firings.

    Also- not that I want Mornhinweg, but there was an interesting last january from ESPN. it requires INsider to read here, but you could always find a copy of the january 2010 magazine and take a read. Essentially they look at all the coaching hires, their history coaching, age, etc. and look at people who fit the criteria. Guess you guys can figure out who won right?

  • Fernando

    If Holmgren truly has no budget and can spend as much as needed to bring in a coach that will lead the team to a championship one day, then I’d like to see him go out and get Bill Cowher.

    We won’t win the AFC North running a West Coast offense, especially when the weather gets cold and snowy. Take a look at Baltimore and Pittsburgh. You win this division (and a lot of other games) by playing suffocating, attacking defense and employing a run-the-ball-down-the-defense’s-throat mentality. Bill Cowher is the coach who fits that description.