One thing that has been abundantly clear from Mike Holmgren’s time with the Browns is that until the team starts winning, there are fans who will doubt everything he does or doesn’t do. In fact many have wondered, what, exactly, it is that he does do for the Browns. When Mike Holmgren had a chance to talk to Tony Rizzo and Aaron Goldhammer from The Really Big Show on ESPN Cleveland today, he mentioned that people mistake his job for the role that Bill Parcells played in Miami.
“The job sometimes gets confused I think because coach Parcells went into Miami just a few years before I took this job.” Holmgren said. “I’ve talked to Bill about what he did there and he was football and personnel. He didn’t coach the team you’ll remember, but he was involved with the personnel even though he had a general manager and all those things.”
In Holmgren’s role with the Browns he is responsible for the business side of things including stadium issues like suites and repairs. Holmgren acknowledged the learning curve but made clear to delineate between that role he fills for the Browns as team President and what Parcells did as Executive Vice President of Football Operations.
It is an important distinction because while Holmgren’s fingerprints are on this team, it certainly seems that he has allowed Tom Heckert to be the actual general manager. Also different is the style of building the team. As Parcells chased star players like Jason Taylor, the Browns have brought in some veterans, but focused more on building through the draft and with youth.
Holmgren did say that he meets with Tom Heckert and Pat Shurmur every day, but it was a rare day that he gets to sit in on a coaching meeting. It is good to hear from Holmgren and get some clarification on how he conducts the business of the Cleveland Browns, but ultimately none of it will matter to most fans until they start winning games.
Holmgren has yet to deliver a season as good as Parcells’ 11-5 season and playoff appearance in 2008, but hopefully when the rebuild is complete one playoff appearance won’t be Holmgren’s legacy with the team. If you were to talk to most Dolphins fans, I think they’d be sorely disappointed that Parcells delivered one playoff appearance before sinking to back-to-back 7-9 seasons in 2009 and 2010.