It seems to be no better fit that the start of 2011 might bring some resolution to the long-term coaching plans for the Cleveland Browns organization. With a Week 17 showdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday, the Browns are expected to begin offseason decision-making as soon as possible afterward.
Mary Kay Cabot reported yesterday that head coach Eric Mangini expects to meet with team president Mike Holmgren and potentially others Monday about his future with the team. His job has been on the hot seat for well over 12 months now, and a current three-game losing streak en route to a 5-10 record has been unsettling after the incredible optimism at the end of last season.
The main rumors surrounding the Browns head coaching seat include Jon Gruden, Holmgren himself or even an outside chance of Mangini staying in place. Tom Withers wrote two days ago of Holmgren’s potential move back down to the coaching side, and his name has always been circulating the web in connection to a potential job with the San Francisco 49ers.
Overall, many such as Adam Schefter expect there to be tons of coaching changes within the next few weeks in the NFL. After only three firings last offseason, there were five already during this current regular season, and potentially six to nine more in the coming days and weeks.
Some of the highlights from Cabot’s article include the following:
Mangini admitted that even his six-year-old son, Jake, is getting anxious about what might happen with his dad’s job.
“He asked if we were moving,” said Mangini. “I said, ‘don’t worry about it Jake, we’ll figure it out.’ So when you get those type of questions … you don’t think ‘okay, how am I going to explain the situation to my six-year old?’ That’s part of the human element.”
“I feel really good about this week. I feel really good about the way it’s been consistent. There is uncertainty with things and the guys have responded exactly the way I’ve asked them to: to be consistent in their preparation, in the meetings, at practice, all of those things. You want the guys to enjoy and appreciate the week for a variety of reasons. There’s so much change that happens at the end of the season anyway whether it’s free agency or retirement.”
Whatever happens Sunday, Browns fans should expect some start of a decision within the next few days. With Pittsburgh already locked into the playoffs, a Browns upset would not mean much in the playoff race, and it might not mean much for Mangini’s future in Cleveland.
(Photo above via AP Photo/Tony Dejak)