Yesterday, Mike Holmgren called the media together to have a chat about the Browns and what is (or isn’t) going on with the NFL labor situation. In the end, Holmgren didn’t really say a whole heck of a lot.
He told everyone not to “discount” any potential draft picks. Either it is more of a Cam Newton smokescreen or it isn’t. No way to say for sure. He told us that injured players are allowed to meet with surgeons, but aren’t allowed to rehab injuries at team facilities. We know that Colt McCoy was given a playbook. We know that all talks with veteran players and their agents have ceased. Lastly, he told us that fans would receive ticket money back for any games that aren’t played, with interest. None of what he said mitigates the deafening sound of crickets emanating from NFL buildings nationwide right now.
Even in telling us almost nothing of import, Mike Holmgren still shows us what we’ve been missing in Cleveland for far too long. Whether you are a person who says, “In Holmgren we trust!” or not, one thing is for sure. Mike Holmgren plays the role the right way. This isn’t a guarantee of success as team President. That is a whole other conversation. This willingness to engage the media – and the fans – was sorely lacking in Berea before Holmgren showed up.
It is especially important because Holmgren talked directly to the fans. It might have been lip service. It might not even make any of us feel better as we are left to wonder if there will be any games played this season.
Said Holmgren, “I just want to encourage our fans to hang in there. They’ve been so good so far in the year-plus that I’ve been here. They’re a sense of encouragement to me. I appreciate that. This will have a good ending, as well. We’ll get back to playing football like we all want.”
This morning when I left the gym, the receptionist told me “Good job!” on my way out. She didn’t see me working out. She has no idea if I did a good job or not. Just like Mike Holmgren, she realizes the power of an occasional “Atta boy!” That’s what Mike Holmgren did for the fans yesterday with his press conference.
There is never a guarantee of success on the field with any front office. All we can do is analyze what they’re doing right and wrong along the way. It is hard to see how talking to the fans like this could ever be considered a bad thing.