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Eric Mangini: Should He Stay or Should He Go?

Posted By Joseph Hopkins On Dec 16 2010 @ 9:37 am In Cleveland Browns | 4 Comments

In reference to the repetitive Toyota ad campaign, “Fumbleathon” is an accurate way to sum up the Browns performance against the Bills on Sunday. “Peyton?!” “Josh?!” “Jake?!” “Erik Estrada???!” Yes, I’m talking to all of you.

Bad play calling, and very sloppy play.

The defense bent but didn’t break, despite struggling to stop their running game. The offense just killed us.

Which brings me to this question: Should Holmgren bring Eric Mangini back as head coach next year? In my opinion, yes.

There’s a huge difference between the 2010 Cleveland Browns, than well, almost all the other ones since returning. They still play hard for him. You can’t help looking at the offensive talent on the field. Peyton Hillis is the Browns only weapon, and the Dolphins and Bills sure knew it.

At this point, Jake Delhomme is nothing more than a coach. He just looked awful, and the coaching staff doesn’t seem to have any faith in him. Really makes you miss Colt McCoy, doesn’t it? Heck, I miss Charlie Frye after that performance. Jake’s throws were way off target. Absolutely terrible.

It doesn’t help with the receivers we have. The only ones that might be in league five years from now are Mohammed Massaquoi and Josh Cribbs. I only include Cribbs for his return abilities.

Keeping offensive coordinator Brian Daboll for a second year was a mistake. His play calling hasn’t impressed anyone. He’s often too conservative and predictable. I understand he has little to work with, and that anytime Delhomme heaves it anywhere past five yards, you have to hold your breath; but you have to take a chance every once in a while. You hate to have McCoy learn another system, but Daboll just hasn’t worked out.

So how much of this 5-8 record is on Mangini? It’s tough to say. One question I wish I knew the answer to was who made the final decisions in the 2009 draft. Was it George Kokinis or Mangini? The popular theory was that Mangini controlled the entire show, but he insists that Kokinis did. Mangini never once played second round pick David Veikune, and another choice in that round, Brian Robiskie, has finally started to receive playing time the last couple weeks. So it makes you wonder if these were really Mangini’s guys. Wouldn’t he have played them at least a little more?

That draft is an important subject on the Browns current state of affairs. We walked out of that draft with a first round choice, and three more in the second round. Only Alex Mack and Massaqoui are moderately productive, and we passed on a son of a Browns legend and NFL sacks leader, Clay Mathews, to get Mack. Had they not screwed up those picks, it’s not a stretch that we’d be a playoff team.

So what should be the benchmark be? 7-9 is pretty reasonable. He’d need to win at least two of the three final games. Having them against division rivals makes it a fair and legitimate test.

If he finishes 6-10 or worse, I’ll understand if Holmgren lets him go. Not that I’d 100% agree with that choice, but I’d understand.

Other Notable Topics:

~Congratulations goes out to Peyton Hillis for becoming the first white NFL player to rush for 1,000 yards since 1985, when Craig James last did it. This hasn’t received hardly any recognition, maybe because it’s not the most politically correct thing to bring up. I disagree with that mindset though. I didn’t think this was possible, especially after the experience Browns fans had with Tommy Vardell. Got to give the guy credit, he broke a color barrier that fans haven’t seen broken since the Reagan Administration. It should be recognized the same way Tony Dungy’s historical Super Bowl win was.

~I look forward to the new Pro Football Hall of Fame renovations recently announced. If you’ve never gone, you need to. It’s an excellent exhibit.  

~Congratulations to the University of Akron men’s soccer team on their national championship win. Not American football related, but still an amazing accomplishment for a MAC sports team. How often does a team in the Cleveland/Akron area win a championship? Not often.

Sunday Prediction:

 Browns 14 Bengals 17

Yikes. Have I lost confidence after that Bills game or what? Not sure. The Bengals are on a ten-game losing streak, it’s got to end eventually. It’s a home game for them, and the Browns are arguably their biggest rivals. If McCoy plays though, and I think he will, the Browns should win. Just a gut feeling pick that I hope is wrong.

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