Eric Mangini’s seat wasn’t even cold yet when Browns president Mike Holmgren took the podium Monday to meet with Cleveland-area reporters. The hot question, is Holmgren going to be the next coach of the Browns?
Not “right now.”
A phrase that Holmgren repeated during the press conference while explaining that while he can’t truthfully say he’ll never coach again, it’s not his current direction.
At least not right now.
“I was hired to be the president of the Cleveland Browns,” Holmgren said. “And I think this year I’ve grown into the job, I think learned a lot about a lot of the things I hadn’t paid a lot of attention to before. Having said that, I’m a coach. I’ve always been a coach. People in the build call me ‘coach.’ To say that I’ll never coach again, whether it’s here or any palce, it probably wouldn’t be honest.
“But as of right now, I’m the president of the Cleveland Browns, and it’s my job to find the best coach of the Cleveland Browns.”
It was suggested the best choice might be to chose himself.
“That’s very nice of you to say,” Holmgren said. ”It’s just at this stage of my life, that’s not what my first priority is. It really isn’t. I’m relishing the role that Randy Lerner had confidence to give me. I would like to continue getting better, continue to guide the organization and get us to where we want to get from that position. So, I’m going to approach this a certain way. I think I’m a pretty good coach, but there are a lot of good coaches, a lot of young coaches. I want to speak to them and see how it goes.”
As for the mystery candidates, Holmgren said he’d cast a wide net and he “started the ball rolling today” on the league protocol to talk to “a few fellas.” A number of names continue to be closely linked to the job, but determining a frontrunner is difficult. Michael Lombardi told NFL Network he believes it’s Eagles OC Marty Mornhinweg. Sources tell Jason La Canfora it’s John Fox. Albert Breer hears the buzz on Jon Gruden.
Or, maybe Holmgren.