Red Right 88

Cleveland sports fan and sports writer

Location: Cleveland, Ohio, United States

quit my job decided to drive west

Monday, January 12, 2009

Wait who hired a coach before a GM?

So I have been reading a lot of criticism of the Browns hiring of Eric Mangini. Most of seems to be focused on one of two issues. First that the Browns did not hire a GM first and second that the Browns selected yet another coordinator from New England.

There has been a definite backlash and some nasty quotes. I have read that one than one Browns fan has declared they are no longer a fan. Well good riddance. No one cares. For those that have stayed, many are still flabbergasted that Randy Lerner would dare to hire a coach without a GM, what is he thinking?

Yet today in Denver Pat Bowlen, who is considered one of the best owners in sports, hired a 32-year old New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels as the Broncos head coach. He did this before he hired a GM.

Why? He said because he felt he had the right guy and he wanted to get started hiring coaches and starting the process of fixing the Broncos.

Which is basically what Lerner said. And many here jumped all over him for that statement.

Now I don't know if Mangini will turn around the Browns. No one does. But I don't think a GM is more important than a coach. It is important to have a voice and face for a franchise. Lerner decided that Mangini is that guy. Now Mangini needs to build a staff and Lerner needs to find a GM who understands what Mangini wants. The fact Mangini wants a defense in the same vein that the Browns wanted before is a bonus. We should have more spare parts that should fit.

The truth is the Browns had the right guys in concept but not in execution. Savage and Crennel were perfect on paper. It just turned out Savage was good at talent evaluation but not playing well with others. Crennel was a great man who couldn't get players to do what he wanted them to do. The Baltimore/New England way wasn't flawed the men picked to follow it through were. It happens. It could happen again. But I feel like Mangini is the true protegee of Belichick not Crennel. Belchick failed here because he was stubborn and you could argue he had the wrong cook picking the ingredients in Mike Lombardi. Belichick learned from his mistakes and he got lucky in uncovering Tom Brady. One hopes Mangini learns his lessons and someone in the front office can egolessly pick the players that Mangini needs for his offense and defense to work.

I can't see the future. But I am willing to wait and see if Randy Lerner is right about Eric Mangini and whoever ends up the GM. I feel better about that than I do about McDaniels and Mike Nolan and an unknown GM in Denver.