Mike Holmgren Asked His Staff About Coaching Browns This Off-Season

Mike Holmgren talked to a Seattle radio show today on 950 AM KJR and there were a few revelations.  Here’s a shortlist.

  • Holmgren misses being a teacher and a coach
  • Holmgren admits that he thought about becoming the Browns’ head coach
  • He discussed it with his staff and asked if he should make himself a candidate
  • His staff thought it would have been a good idea if Holmgren wanted to do that
  • Ultimately it seems like his wife helped him come to the decision not to do it
  • When asked if Holmgren thinks he passed his last opportunity to be a head coach by hiring Pat Shurmur, Holmgren still will never say never, but that his age remains a prohibitive factor.
  • Randy Lerner told Holmgren that he had his back if he wanted to go that way.
  • Holmgren said that he talked to Cowher and Gruden
  • Gruden said he would come back for Mike Holmgren, but apparently didn’t sound eager to want to coach again for himself.

Click below for the audio of a couple of the meaty questions…

Holmgren Edited

So just as many expected, Mike Holmgren considered coaching the team himself.  Not surprisingly his direct reports who were hand-picked didn’t tell him it was a bad idea.  Shocker!

Also in the interview, Holmgren claims that he always asked Eric Mangini’s permission to talk with players.  Give the show host credit though.  He prodded Holmgren into admitting that he never really expected to be told “no” and he would have been mad about it if he had been.

So there you have it. Mike Holmgren was closer to returning to coaching than maybe some thought he was.  Ultimately his wife talked him out of it.

The rest of the interview was about the labor situation.  Mostly just “the company line” type of stuff there.

(H/T to Rotoworld)


  • Mark

    Uh oh. I’m not very happy about this. Did this interview really reveal anything we didn’t already suspect? No, but still, I don’t like how serious Holmgren was about returning to the sidelines and how close he came to doing it. Why? It’s not the job he was hired to do. He was hired to run the whole organization, a much more important job. The best NFL teams have an organization that is stable, and can plug in new coaches without disrupting the whole system. Like Pittsburgh and Baltimore, unfortunately. If Holmgrem had left the front office to coach, I wonder how much that would have disrupted everything I hoped they were building. It leaves me wondering if they truly know how to build an organization for the long haul, not just for the short run.

    I didn’t mind the Shurmur hiring because it seemed to fit into the idea of getting a complete organization/system/structure in place. Now it seems we may have lucked into it, thanks to Mike Holmgren’s wife.

  • Stinkfist

    I wonder if this served as any reason in firing Mangini, so he could open the door for himself. Hope not

  • Shane

    It’s clear that his decision to fire Mangini had nothing to do with his desire to coach. Or else he would be the coach right now. He thought about it and decided it was better to bring in a young coach who matched his coaching philosophy more closely. Mangini is great at stabalizing teams but the bottom line is he doesn’t have the X’s & O’s strength to be a Head Coach. Ryan’s defense was RYAN’S DEFENSE. And we all know that while showing glimpses of brilliance this year the Browns lost at least 4 games directly because of poor decision making on offense. It finally caught up to him in the Jets game and the team ended up demoralized because of it.

  • bobby

    I would tend to agree with Shane. I dont have any problems with Holmgren talking about how things are or were at the time. We all know what happened. Maybe Holmgren came to his senses and knew that to do his job properly (Pres) he had to get a coach that could be here for the long haul and he obviously is not that coach. I am appreciating this openess from the new FO, and its all just saying what we all thought. Whats the real problem?

  • TSR3000

    That last bullet point makes little sense and it is the one thing I was curious about.

  • Lyon

    TSR, I took it to mean Gruden would coach if Holmgren really wanted him to, but he’d rather not.

  • http://sportstheblog.blogspot.com ddish81

    I hope there is a team to coach next season. All the news on labor negotiations is that there is no news. Nothing seems to be getting done and its getting old hearing about guys fighting over 9 billion dollars! Come on man.


  • whipjacka

    hmm, ‘Company Line’. Good band