The Cleveland Browns are currently grinding through a 5-9 season and head coach Eric Mangini may be in his last few weeks with the team. In fact, it is almost certain that he will be gone at the end of the season.
So who would the Browns turn to in the event they need to find a new coach? Well there are a few things to consider.
Given the football-mad nature of Cleveland and the recent sports-related disappointments for the city, the Browns need to hit a home run.
The Browns have Colt McCoy and Peyton Hillis, who against all odds have emerged as pieces to build around for the franchise. This season they’ve not only developed into solid players, but also leaders. Following the team’s 19-17 loss to the Bengals on Sunday McCoy and Hillis spoke out about the team’s failures.
“I thought early on we lacked a little bit of energy – we lacked a little bit of intensity. And that stems from me, that stems from the older guys on this team, and it stems from all of us coming together and really playing with a lot of energy and a lot of focus,” McCoy said. Hillis echoed those remarks as well.
So there are two players on the team that care about its direction and righting the ship. That will be very attractive to a potential coaching candidate.
So who can come in and take over? The name we keep hearing is Jon Gruden.
Gruden would love the chance to develop a young quarterback like McCoy and have a guy with the ability to pound the football like a young Mike Alstott in Hillis.
Gruden is from Sandusky, Ohio and is obviously looking to get back into coaching.
While someone like Steve Mariucci is also a possibility, he hasn’t been rumored as often as Gruden.
A top assistant like Marty Mornhinweg or a retread like Jim Zorn or Brad Childress wouldn’t exactly inspire confidence from a disaffected fanbase.
Gruden would be the home run hire for Mike Holmgren, and all of Cleveland.