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CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Scribbles in Terry Pluto's Browns notebook after the official announcement of Tom Heckert as general manager ...


1. I was very curious about how president Mike Holmgren was going to explain his management team of coach Eric Mangini and Heckert. Mangini is in charge of coaching, picking his staff and will have some input on the final roster, but picking the players is under the authority of Heckert. But in reality, it comes down to Holmgren, who called himself "The tiebreaker."


2. Here's how I think that will work. Suppose Mangini wants a defensive back high in the draft -- and don't be surprised if that's his top priority. Suppose Heckert favors a receiver for the same spot. That's when Holmgren will step in. After talking to both guys, he'll make the pick between the two choices.


3. Holmgren's own words on this: "I'm the big boss. I told you that the other day. ... We're looking at it as a partnership. I'm there to break the ties. If we do this right, and we're going to do everything in our power to do it correctly, while we might disagree at the end of the day when we pick a player or we make a decision or a cut, it's for the Cleveland Browns. We will all do it as a group and together. They will have absolute responsibilities. They're bright guys. I'd be making a huge mistake if I didn't use all the people I have. I'd rather not say whose boss is who. Let's just say, I get to be the boss."



5. I checked with top NFL personnel man about Heckert, my main question being "Did he run the draft in Philadelphia?" The NFL executive said, "My impression is that Tom did it with Andy Reid. He had a lot to do with their drafts, and they usually do a good job. They find pieces to help their team." With the Eagles, 13 of the 22 starters who finished this season were drafted during Heckert's regime (2001-09). Two more were undrafted free agents, and they also had three members of their 2009 draft playing key roles on an 11-5 playoff team.


6. Holmgren said Heckert "will set up the draft board." He also said Heckert will be able to make changes to the scouting staff. As we evaluate the next few drafts, we are looking right at Heckert. In his year out of football, Holmgren was not scouting college players. Neither was Mangini, who was coaching every day.


7. A coach can make a draft look better, especially those low-round picks. I believe this is part of the reason Holmgren kept Mangini. He saw the rise of Ahtyba Rubin, Evan Moore, Marcus Benard, Brian Schaefering, Chris Jennings, Michael Gaines and Jason Trusnik. None were high on anyone's radar screen before coming to the Browns. Claiming Matt Roth off waivers from Miami was a major move.


8. Talking to some people who know Holmgren, they said it was a misconception to think he was married to the 4-3 defense. In fact, he had some troubles with defense over the years. He simply wants a defense to stop the other team, and more than once he mentioned Mangini as a "defensive coach." That means the 3-4 is fine with Holmgren, assuming it continues to improve.


9. Holmgren's impact will be on the offense. He has definite ideas about what a quarterback should do, how he should be coached and what makes a good offense. While Holmgren said Mangini was "pleased" with the current staff and no major changes were planned, he added "as of now." I expect some changes, especially as some veteran assistants with Holmgren ties become available. Mangini had to put together his Cleveland staff quickly last season, and I'm sure he also is open to make the right upgrade on his staff.


10. On the conference call, there was much discussion about Mangini being on a one-year trial, despite having a contract that runs through 2012. But the fact is when you are 5-11 in your first season, you better improve in Year 2 or you probably will be gone -- no matter how long your contract or who is the team president. As Holmgren said, "We are accountable."


11. Yes, that was just a first offer to Joshua Cribbs. So let's see what comes next as Holmgren keeps putting his team together.


12. It's just a pleasure listening to Holmgren talk about the team because he speaks with confidence, stays away from corporate lingo and has a track record of major turnarounds in Seattle and Green Bay. He did that as a coach, so this is a different role. But the man also knows this is a chance to build a real legacy. Just imagine how Holmgren will be revered here if the Browns make the playoffs in two of the next three years.

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I think Holmgren is terrific, and heckert appears to be the perfect guy to step in


and be a part of a terrific team.


- I am still not happy with doofusbol. His playcalling is very predictable at times, certain games.


- He is the only thing I think will be gone, unless there is some very strange reason he did what he did.


- so far, maybe not so much the last four games, I sneeze in his direction.

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