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Rumor: Lerner Have Met with Holmgren


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Jim Brown: Cleveland Browns owner Randy Lerner meeting with top football mind

By Tony Grossi

November 17, 2009, 3:02PM


Updated at 4:49 p.m.


CLEVELAND -- Browns owner Randy Lerner could be stepping up his efforts to land a new head of football operations.


At a luncheon this afternoon, Jim Brown, who holds the title of executive advisor with the club, said that Lerner was interviewing somebody to turn around the Browns' fortunes.


"At this moment, right now Randy Lerner is meeting with one of the great football minds in this country," Brown said in remarks prior to and during the luncheon. "And if things work out, that person will come in to run the football side of the Browns."


Brown would not disclose who it was. When somebody asked if it was Mike Holmgren, Brown responded coyly, "You said it ... and I heard it."


Brown made his remarks at a luncheon of Our Lady by the Wayside, who presented him with the organization's Starlight Guardian Humanitarian Award.


Holmgren, the former Green Bay and Seattle coach, has been rumored to be No. 1 on Lerner's wish list to hire a "serious, credible leader" to reorganize his football operations.


An NFL source close to Holmgren said he was unaware of a meeting with Lerner, but did not discount it could happen.


The source said, however, that Holmgren intends to wait until the 2009 season is over "to see how the dust settles" before making a decision on his future.


Holmgren was contacted by Lerner a year ago, but he said he would take the '09 season off. He coached in Seattle for 10 years after seven in Green Bay. He took both teams to the Super Bowl, winning one and losing one with the Packers, and losing one with the Seahawks.


For the first five years in Seattle, Holmgren held titles such as president and general manager, along with coaching the team. He was stripped of much of his authority in 2005 when Tim Ruskell was hired as president and GM of the franchise.


The NFL source said that Holmgren wants to wait until after the '09 season to determine whether he wants to coach, serve as a football czar a la Bill Parcells -- or do both.


"He has a full palette of things to choose from," said the source. "I know he wants to come back."


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