next2nothing Posted October 26, 2010 Report Share Posted October 26, 2010 Simply as a coach, Eric Mangini is deserving of more time to determine his future: Terry Pluto Published: Monday, October 25, 2010, 9:30 PM Terry Pluto, The Plain Dealer Joshua Gunter / The Plain Dealer Browns fans don't want to hear about rebuilding and incremental improvement, says Terry Pluto. But the truth is that Mangini is doing what most coaches should do â€” coaching the players and leading his assistants. CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The moment it was announced Eric Mangini was returning to coach in 2010, some Browns fans couldn't wait until the bye week. They were certain the Browns would stumble to a slow start and new team president Mike Holmgren would replace Mangini on the sidelines. A Hall of Fame-caliber coach, Holmgren is much smarter than to take over a losing team in the middle of the schedule. He knows that unless a team is in complete chaos, you don't change coaches during the season. The Browns' 30-17 victory at New Orleans underlines the point that Mangini will finish the season. It also demonstrates that Mangini and his staff have the respect of the players. How else could they have marched into the Superdome with a variety of trick plays that demand attention to detail and pull them off in front of a screeching, hostile crowd against the defending Super Bowl champions? A team not sold on the coach and the plans of his staff easily could have destroyed that gutsy game plan. I know, the Browns are 2-5. But I also know that this team is an upgrade over last season's 5-11 model. There are reasons to expect to see better results in the second half. Yes, I know about an abused fan base that saw its franchise move to Baltimore. It has seen only one playoff appearance since 1999. In six of the last season seasons, the Browns have lost at least 10 games. Browns fans don't want to hear about rebuilding and incremental improvement. They say they don't care that only one game (28-10 at Pittsburgh) was decided before the fourth quarter. They don't want to hear about the Browns having the second-toughest schedule so far. They just want to win. And win now. If that doesn't happen quick, they want a new coach. A new quarterback. A new front office. Thanks to the hiring of Holmgren and General Manager Tom Heckert in January, there is a new front office in place. You can criticize Mangini the general manager. His 2009 draft (other than Alex Mack) appears to be a disaster. But he no longer is picking players. Mangini is doing what most coaches should do -- coaching the players and leading his assistants. With T.J. Ward and Colt McCoy starting while first rounder Joe Haden plays often, the 2010 draft already has delivered more than the previous two years of picks and trades. Mangini can't be faulted to dealing malcontents such as Kellen Winslow and Braylon Edwards, but the team has been hurt by a failure to capitalize on those trades by using the new draft picks wisely. Holmgren decided to retain Mangini, whose Cleveland coaching career now covers 23 games and five quarterbacks. Think about that for a moment -- 23 games, five quarterbacks. Fans may want to blame Mangini for the constant quarterback change, but that would not be fair. He inherited Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson. He tried to give the job to either player. Neither could hold it. You can fairly criticize him for his poor handling of the "quarterback competition" last season. But given that Anderson has already won and lost the starting job in Arizona and Quinn is No. 3 in Denver, it shows the real problems were not the Browns coaching staff. That's especially true because Holmgren shipped out both of them, then brought in Seneca Wallace, Jake Delhomme and McCoy. Four games and two sprained ankles later, the Browns were down to McCoy -- the fifth starter in Mangini's brief tenure. It's too soon to say McCoy can be like the reliable and shrewd Chad Pennington, the former Jets quarterback who had a 10-6 record under Mangini in 2007. Assuming the Texas rookie continues to play with poise, the Browns should find out. There is no reason to turn back to a 35-year-old Delhomme. Wallace is a superb backup and decent spot starter. But the last nine games are time for the front office to see how Mangini and his coaches develop McCoy and keep the team moving forward. David Blue e-mailed that Mangini's teams have a 16-26 record before the bye week, 20-16 after. Yes, I'm making the case for more time for Mangini, more patience from the fans. There's no reason to rush to judgment about him or the team. Not with nine games left and yet a new quarterback in place. Simply as a coach, Eric Mangini is deserving of more time to determine his future: Terry Pluto | cleveland.com Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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