Mike Holmgren Has His Hands Full In Cleveland
New Cleveland Browns President Mike Holmgren sure has his hands full. The former Seahawks and Packers great opted to retain head coach Eric Mangini for the 2010 season, but there’s reason to believe Mangini will be on a short leash, particularly after you hear Holmgren’s latest radio interview in which he praises Bill Parcells for bringing in the right kind of people to help him down in Miami. Then there’s the quarterback situation, which Holmgren also questions in his latest interview. To draft Tebow or not to draft Tebow? Holmgren also ponders that question.It’s all on the mind of Holmgren, who joined KJR in his former hometown of Seattle with Mitch Levy to talk about the above topics, as well his departure with the Seahawks and what he thought of the end to Brett Favre’s otherwise magical 2009 season.
On the rumor that the Browns are interested in Tim Tebow and if the former Florida standout is just one of those special players who will succeed no matter what:
“Well he is absolutely one of those guys. Now I read…I got a little message about him yesterday because Tom Heckert who’s of course our general manager, was at the Senior Bowl. And Tim is one of the greatest college players of all time. So, doing our due diligence, we’re going to look at him hard. Our quarterback situation in Cleveland is interesting to say the least, and so we’re going to look at all the college quarterbacks as well. But I think he’s a fabulous player. How it equates to the game at our level? We’ll have to see. We have to see about that.”
On Bill Parcells and the job he’s done as an executive down in Miami:
“Well first of all he’s a very, very talented guy. Over the years there have been two or three people where if I have a question or need a little advice on something, I phone. And he’s one of them. He’s just been very good to me in that way, and I just respect him tremendously. And I think I would start with the people he has hired. I think when you’re in a position like Bill’s, or now, my position, it’s very, very important to get your upper management people and your coach, and they’re the right people. That’s a big, big step and I think in Miami, Bill was clearly comfortable with the people he hired; he knew them, they were his type if you will; his type of football coaches and personnel people and I think that’s helped turn things around very, very quickly.
And then the second thing is Bill’s a very shrewd personnel guy. And as a coach, he was always very involved with setting up his team, knowing what kind of players he wanted for that particular team. And so those two things I think he’s done very, very well. Then the third thing I asked him, which is a difficult thing for him, is he’s tried to not dive in there and interfere once it’s set up. That was the promise he made when he hired those guys. And so I’m kind of sticking with that blueprint a little bit. The difference is…or I think the difference is that my owner Randy Lerner wants me to be very involved with the business side of it as well. So it’s not just football for me. That’s partly a work in progress and I’m learning every day. So my job is a little different than Bill’s in Miami.”
On if it’s too early in the process for him in Cleveland to draw on his experiences in Seattle putting a team together:
“I think it’s important that if you get a chance, a second chance if you will to do some of these things again, that if you don’t refer to your first experience and kind of analyze the good and the bad, then you’re making a huge mistake, again. I’ve tried to look back and say ‘okay, that wasn’t very good, I wish I hadn’t done that, and now I’m trying not to make the same mistake again. The other difference is now the responsibility is different than in Seattle even though I had a great deal of responsibility when I first came, there were some layers on top of me that..it didn’t alter the process but it was involved in the process. Here in Cleveland, there’s no layers. I’m the top of chain. So if I decide to make a decision, that’s the decision. So while there’s tremendous responsibility there, there’s tremendous freedom as well.”
On his former pupil Brett Favre’s end to the 2009 season:
“I just thought it was too bad. He and I had talked a number of times during the season. More than normal because he was just…more than normal. So when I saw him drop back and roll to the right on that play, I’d seen that same play and so did you in a number of games this season, and most recently in a playoff game, where he would do that and then Sidney Rice would fall back inside and make that play. You saw him complete that same play in games previously. And so did New Orleans. Once he started rolling to the right, you saw that defensive back go here it comes…”