OconRecon Posted January 3, 2009 Report Share Posted January 3, 2009 Sources: Mangini had 'compelling' interview By Chris Mortensen ESPN.com Updated: January 3, 2009, 4:55 PM ET Eric Mangini, fired Monday by the New York Jets, is emerging as the favorite to become the next head coach of the Cleveland Browns, team and league sources said Saturday. The Browns have continued their search process, interviewing other candidates, but sources say Mangini had a "compelling" interview and owner Randy Lerner is fascinated with him. If Mangini gets the job to replace the fired Romeo Crennel, the sources said the favorite to become the team's general manager would be George Kokinis, who is the director of pro personnel for the Baltimore Ravens. Kokinis and Mangini each were members of the Browns organization when Bill Belichick was coach. Mangini formally joined the staff as an assistant coach in 1995. Kokinis was a scout from 1991 to 1995 before moving with the team to Baltimore. Scott Pioli, the Patriots' executive vice president of player personnel, has been considered the favorite for the GM job, but sources say his demands were "extreme," and Lerner is hesitant to accept the terms unless there is some level of compromise. Pioli is scheduled to interview with the Kansas City Chiefs no later than Monday. If Pioli is hired, the leading head coaching candidates are believed to be Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz and Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who also has interviewed with Lerner. McDaniels has not been ruled out after an impressive interview Friday, one team source said. As the list of names indicate, Lerner keeps reaching for the Belichick tree -- from Pioli, to Ferentz (who worked with Pioli in Cleveland), to Mangini, to Kokinis, to McDaniels. Even though Kokinis would be the leading GM candidate with Mangini as coach, current Browns director of player personnel T.J. McCreight also is in the running. Lerner's firing of former GM Phil Savage had little or nothing to do with Savage's personnel decisions; Lerner specifically said the dismissal stemmed from a difference in "management style." Chris Mortensen is a senior NFL analyst for ESPN. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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