Keane observations about life, politics and sports.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Breaking News: Cleveland Browns fire Head Coach Mangini

News just out of Berea is that Mike Holmgren has fired Eric Mangini as Browns coach.

The Browns finished ugly losing their last four games including getting trounced by the Steelers in the season finale. Despite the awful finish I saw signs of improvement. In 2009 they hardly seemed competitive until the last month of the season. This season the only two blowouts were the two losses to Pittsburgh.

I thought there was a chance they could bring Mangini back with some changes to his coaching staff. No matter what the decision was going to be with Mangini it was clear that offensive coordinator Brian Daboll was not going to be retained. Some of the other coaches have a chance to stay.

Obviously, there is still a talent gap between the Browns and the top teams. Making things worse were the ankle injuries suffered by the quarterbacks. Starter Jake DelHomme and his backup Senaca Wallace both incurred ankle injuries forcing the team to play rookie Colt McCoy sooner than desired and then McCoy also went out for several games with an ankle injury of his own. Another injury that really hurt was a knee injury to LB Scott Fujita. Fujita was a leader on defense. This team is not that far away, but must have another good draft to close the talent gap. Good teams become great when they have the depth of talent to weather injuries.

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