Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Joe Posnanski SI nee Kansas City Star columnist just produced an article discussing the disaster that Mangini is inflicting on the Browns. We just discussed a few of his points here, a few others are already legendary but Posnanski puts it together in his typical way, including a coach-by-coach comparison of why Mangini is the worst coaching hire of all time (hyperbole intended).

"Another one of those fan maybe-overstatement-maybe-not thoughts: Eric Mangini was the worst NFL head coach hire in 25 years."

Now, I'll admit -- that's pure fanbole. I cannot stand what Eric Mangini has done to the Browns, the team of my childhood. I cannot stand the lack of respect he has shown for the team's history, the Mickey Mouse game he plays with quarterbacks, the amazing knack he has for getting his players to not play hard for him or the stupid fines he hands out like he's Principal Vernon from "The Breakfast Club." Don't mess with the bull, young man, you'll get the horns.


1. Mangini had just been fired in New York, where he had done a terrible job. He had a losing record. His team had collapsed down the stretch, he had alienated his players, he was a pain in the neck to deal with. Point is: He'd already PROVEN how much damage he could do as a coach.

2. He came right out of the school of Bill Belichick ... and that didn't work THE FIRST TIME in Cleveland. It seems to me that Cleveland is a working-class town and Browns fans want a working-class coach -- not some pompous know-it-all who doesn't feel like he should have to explain to the commoners what he's doing.

3. What had he ever done to convince anyone he could be a head coach in the first place? Why, because he was a defensive coordinator for the Patriots under Belichick for one season? The Browns had JUST HIRED Romeo Crennel, who was ALSO defensive coordinator under Belichick. Attention Cleveland Browns owners, here's a good hint: BILL BELICHICK IS HIS OWN DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR.

More, of course. Posnanski is a great writer. I think out of his column though the (new) thing that struck me most is that it is very possible, even likely, that the Jets went from having the worst coach in the league to making the best new hire. That and that the Browns are due for an intervention.


  1. I only got a line or so into the quote, but I just want to say that I adore the neologism "fanbole".
    Would it be better with another syllable? "Fanperbole"? I dunno.

  2. I was going to say Kotite. I still remember the unbearable poignance of owner Leon Hess saying at the press conference that he hired Kotite because he didn't have a lot of time left and wanted to win now. Win now! With Kotite!

    But Pos is right. Kotite did technically have a winning record in Philly. He took Buddy Ryan's buzzsaw of a roster and got worse every year; but he was still 8 games over .500 when they fired him in Philly. You can make the case he was a better hire than Mangini.

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  4. I read this article when it was posted to SI yesterday or the day before or whenever and really enjoyed it. However, I think he's not correct about the Mangini hire being the worst.

    In retrospect it might be, but while he calls out some of the people he compares the hire to as results oriented thinking making them bad hires, he's actually doing much the same with Mangini. Let's face it, Mangini didn't say in his interviews that he was going to tear down that players mural.

    My personal opinion is that Jim Zorn is the worst that I can remember, though I'll admit my "memory" on such things only goes back around a decade. So for instance, I don't remember enough about the Kotite hire to compare it.

    But Zorn was just a disaster on his hire. He was already controvertial as an offensive coordinator. Snyder brought him on prior to even having a HC, which is enough of a damning indictment...who wants to come in and be a head coach when they aren't allowed to build their own staff, particularly when saddled with someone not really though of as being capable of handling the position they're given?

    It was at that point that Snyder had tremendous difficulty actually hiring a head coach. The two names most remembered in that search had to be Jim Fassel and Steve Spagnuolo. I don't remember off the top of my head what happened with Fassel. I think there was a lot of discussion around him and Snyder said "We don't want him" or something like that? Spags was a disaster. Snyder wined and dined him for two-plus days and wound up making an announcement the next day saying "We mutually agreed he wasn't the right fit." Good God, how much more obvious can you get that Spags said "Um, hell no."

    It was basically after exhausting all options that Snyder turned to Zorn and offered him the job. The Mangini hire was questioned by some while others said "That's not a bad move." The Zorn hire, from what I remember, had literally no supporters. It was universally called a terrible hire if not simply laughed at, a testament to how terribly the organization is run.

    Mangini may turn out to be one of the worst, although I think it might require him actually walking onto the field in the middle of a game, taking a dump on whoever he's decided is his quarterback for that series, and walking out of the stadium to overthrow Petrino's lock on that status. But looking at the hire by itself, no results in consideration? Zorn has Mangini beat be a pretty wide margin.

    At least in my opinion.


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