There continue to be strong signs that Mike Holmgren could soon settle into a role as a “football czar” or team president of the Cleveland Browns. Holmgren’s agent, Bob Lamonte, has remained in close contact with Browns owner Randy Lerner.
Lamonte accompanied Holmgren on a two-day visit with the Browns, and Holmgren is very interested in the position, according to sources, while Lerner is quite enthused about the prospect of having the former Super Bowl-winning coach run his organization.
Should Holmgren come on board, however, numerous league executives anticipate that it would spell the end of Eric Mangini’s brief tenure as the Browns’ head coach. Mangini, a controversial hire before the 2009 season, has won just two of 13 games, and though the Browns have played with more gusto down the stretch, the team has struggled mightily on both sides of the ball this season.
Holmgren, retired for a year and nearing the end of his football career, likely would want a fresh direction for the team and his own coach. Specifically, he is likely to reach back to his Bill Walsh/West Coast family tree for his coach, seeking someone who shares the same philosophies, terminology, vernacular and football ideology.
Mangini comes from the Bill Belichick/Bill Parcells tree, which is the inverse as Walsh’s tree in many ways. Mangini also has been a controversial figure in Cleveland during his one year there, making it all the more likely that a new president might want to start from scratch with the coaching staff.
It isn’t unprecedented for a team to part with a coach after only one season, with the Miami Dolphins, for instance, recently making a change from Cam Cameron after one season (2007) to Tony Sparano.