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.