Browns mum on Mangini-Holmgren meeting
CLEVELAND (AP) – Eric Mangini drove away from the Cleveland Browns’ team headquarters. It’s not known if he’s coming back.
The embattled coach left the Browns’ training facility at 5:35 p.m. on Wednesday evening after presumably having his big meeting with new team president Mike Holmgren. As he drove away in his car, Mangini did not stop to speak with reporters outside.
Team spokesman Bill Bonsiewicz would not confirm if Mangini, who is fighting for his job, got to make his case to Holmgren. The team is not expected to comment on Mangini’s situation until there’s an announcement.
On Tuesday, his first day running the Browns, Holmgren said Mangini had a legitimate shot of returning for a second season in Cleveland. Holmgren wants to make a decision about Mangini’s future by the end of the week.
On his second day in Cleveland, Holmgren did interview Philadelphia general manager Tom Heckert for the Browns’ GM vacancy.
Heckert took a break from the Eagles’ preparations for this Saturday’s playoff game at Dallas to meet with Holmgren, who is expected to conduct other interviews this week.
Holmgren did not reveal the names of any potential candidates. Some names that have been floated as possibilities include: San Diego senior executive Randy Mueller, Green Bay co-directors of football operations John Schneider and Reggie McKenzie, Seattle pro personnel director Will Lewis and Seahawks director of pro personnel Lake Dawson.
Lewis and Dawson both worked with Holmgren in Seattle.
Holmgren served as both Seattle’s coach and GM for four seasons, a span that didn’t go as well as he hoped. Holmgren said he has learned not to take on more than he can handle. He also said any decisions on free agency or drafts would be made by a consensus of voices – not just his.
“I could do it all if I wanted to,” he said. “I don’t want to. I am going to hire a general manager. Very few teams, none that I’ve been associated with, with high-powered personnel people or presidents or whatever you want to call them, does the guy come in, pound the desk and say, ‘We are taking this guy and I don’t care what anybody thinks.’
“There’s one team I can think of that does that, but no one else.”
Heckert talked with the Atlanta Falcons last year about their GM job and was lined up to speak with the Browns but backed out when the team hired George Kokinis. Heckert, whose father, Tom, worked as a scout for the Browns in the 1980s, has been the Eagles’ GM since 2003.
In order to join the Browns, Heckert would have to be given final say on Cleveland’s roster in order for the NFL to approve the lateral move. Heckert defers roster decisions in Philadelphia to coach Andy Reid, who has ultimate control of team personnel.
Holmgren and Heckert have the same agent, Bob LaMonte.