Jump to content

Great read from the Cleveland Frowns website


Recommended Posts

This story is posted on The Cleveland Frowns website..I'm not a conspiracy theory guy but this is just about proof positive Belichick is behind this slander and Lombardi is a low life with his own agenda




Michael Lombardi's Unsupported Claims about Eric Mangini's Last Season with the New England Patriots


One of the most incredible lines we hear from the Mangini witch-hunt is the one that tries to minimize Mangini's nine years of experience working under NFL coaching legend Bill Belichick, including Mangini's promotion by Belichick to defensive coordinator of the New England Patriots in 2005.


Of course, one might reasonably conclude that a coach as successful as Belichick would have surrounded himself with competent help, and that a promotion by the likes of Belichick to a coordinator position should speak especially highly of a coach's ability. For those like us who've been impressed with what Mangini accomplished in his short time with the New York Jets* and with the rebuilding project he appears to have effectively under way here in Cleveland with the Browns, it's easy enough to see why Belichick would have held Mangini in such high esteem.


To get around this inconvenient fact, the Mangini witch-hunt has taken to arguing that a coordinator position under Belichick is a "do-nothing job," as though Belichick would have filled such a position with any bum off the street. Along these lines, they've taken to comparing Mangini to former Belichick coordinators Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel, ignoring obvious differences, including that neither of these men was known as Belichick's protege like Mangini was; and also that new Broncos head coach and former Belichick coordinator Josh McDaniels is just as likely a better comparison.


Perhaps recognizing that the Mangini-hunt needed fortification on this front, one of its most esteemed participants, former NFL player personnel exec Michael Lombardi who now writes at the National Football Post, recently hurled a new stone in Mangini's direction. In attempting to dismiss Eric Mangini's ability to consecutively land a defensive coordinator position and two NFL head coaching jobs as "luck," in what was otherwise a cookie-cutter** Mangini hit-piece, Lombardi claims that:


[Mangini] sold the Jets and his good friend, general manager Mike Tannenbaum, on the fact he was a bright young coordinator and a budding star when the reality was, at the time, Mangini was removed from his defensive coordinator responsibilities while he was in New England.


So the truth is, according to Mike Lombardi, that Mangini was not in fact a bright young coordinator, but rather, what? A hustler? A con man? A liar? Interesting stuff about a guy who Josh Cribbs recently touted as a "family oriented" guy whose values are rubbing off on the team. It's worth noting here that Belichick didn't promote anyone to the offensive coordinator that same year on Crennel's and Weis' departure, and that Mangini turned down the defensive coordinator positions in Cleveland, Miami, and Oakland before taking the Patriots job in 2005. So on Lombardi's view, these franchises were duped along with the Randy Lerner, Mike Tannenbaum and the Jets, and Belichick, the NFL coaching legend who had worked with Mangini for eight years before elevating him to the coordinator position.


Lombardi's report of Mangini's amazing trickery seemed incredible and potentially damning enough for us to look into it further, starting with research that revealed absolutely no evidence of this claim anywhere else. As far as we know, Lombardi is the only source for it.


So where did Lombardi get this information?


He's not telling.


Emails from Lombardi confirmed that his source is anonymous, and that he won't reveal it, other than to say that it's "someone who knows very well."


Lombardi then went on to point out, as he did in his Mangini hit piece, that:


The Patriots [defense] under Mangini in 2005 gave up too many big plays down the field and were so poorly synchronized that head coach Bill Belichick was forced to take over the defense in mid-stream. Every time Mangini was given more responsibility in New England, he was not successful.


One might wonder especially about that last sentence, and why anyone who was so repeatedly unsuccessful would have so repeatedly been entrusted with more responsibility. No word from Lombardi on that.


But perhaps even worse, Lombardi fails to say a word about the personnel losses that decimated the Patriots defense in 2005. It seems to be at least worth mentioning in criticizing the coach of a defense that "gave up too many big plays down the field," that that same defense lost perhaps its best player to injury, a safety, Rodney Harrison, in the season's third week. Those Pats also lost Pro Bowl CB Ty Law in a cost-cutting move, LB Tedi Bruschi to a pre-season stroke, LB Ted Johnson to surprise retirement on the eve of training camp, as well as perennial starters Roman Pfifer (LB) and Keith Traylor (NT).


Also notable, "unlike past Patriots offseasons, the 2005 offseason did not bring the arrival of any would-be full-time starters." And that even despite this personnel shakeup, these Patriots won their division with a 10-6 record, finishing with a five game winning streak before resting their starters in the season's final game. The Pats' defense even remained stout in the team's playoff loss that season, giving up only 286 total yards to a Broncos team that was the beneficiary of five turnovers by the Patriots offense.


Are we to believe that Mangini had no fingerprints on the defense by that point in the season? Even with Belichick coaching without an offensive coordinator? It makes one wonder what Lombardi's vague phrase "removed from responsibility" means, as Belichick might simply have decided to turn more attention to the defense in view of the hefty personnel losses. How much more attention, who knows? But when you run an NFL rumor mill based on anonymous sources, why ask the hard questions? Why not just take it and run?


But the fact remains that not only does Lombardi's report come with nobody else willing to stand behind it, but the claim itself is undermined by highly relevant facts that Lombardi chooses to ignore.


It turns out that Lombardi interviewed Bill Belichick himself, right around the time he floated this Mangini rumor, which leads us to believe that Belichick or one of his people might be Lombardi's anonymous source. Given that there's no love lost between the Belichick and Mangini camps, and that the source remains anonymous, we're not inclined to view the rumor as any more credible just because it might have come from Belichick's corner.


It's all enough to make one question the motives of a reporter who held a player-personnel job in the NFL as recently as 2007, and might want back in The League.


And plenty to show that Lombardi's claims about Mangini's last year in New England are highly questionable.


Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...