After firing coach Eric Mangini this morning, Browns President Mike Holmgren met with reporters this afternoon. Here are some of the highlights from the press conference.
Holmgren said he met with Mangini this morning and had a good but tough conversation. Holmgren thanked Mangini.
Holmgren said, "We will begin a search for a new coach immediately. ... Not locking myself into any timetable."
Holmgren didn't rule out coaching in Cleveland or anywhere else in future, but right now he said he's searching for someone else. He said he's ruling himself out as a coaching candidate at the present time.
Holmgren said he has contacted some coaching candidates based on league protocol and is now waiting for responses.
Holmgren said he won't reveal candidates until they interview. He vows to discuss them after the interviews.
When asked when he decided to fire Mangini, Holmgren said "probably this morning."
Holmgren said college coaches won't be excluded from the search.
Holmgren said the Browns didn't win enough this year, and he wants a winner. He said he tried not to base his decision on any one game. "I have high expectations, and I'm just not gonna settle," he said.
Holmgren said his whole focus is putting together a list of candidates and interviewing them.
Holmgren said he and General Manager Tom Heckert will be the point people during the interview process.
Holmgren said his timetable for hiring a coach won't be affected by the labor situation.
Holmgren said he met with assistant coaches today, told them to take the week off and will meet with them again Monday. They're all under contract with the team, Holmgren said.
Holmgren said he hasn't yet spoken to either Jon Gruden or John Fox. He's not ruling them out as candidates, either.
Holmgren said one of the considerations in the search will be if quarterback Colt McCoy is "the guy."
Holmgren said he won't force a new coach to run a West Coast system, but it will be another factor he considers.
Holmgren on the importance of hiring the right coach: "Huge. I don't want to do this again."
Holmgren said "it certainly would be easier" if new coach runs West Coast system, but he doesn't think it's fair to limit a coach.
Holmgren said he doesn't think the franchise is starting all over, but he understands the "here we go again feeling."
Holmgren said Browns owner Randy Lerner asked him if he wanted to coach again. "Yeah, we did have those conversations," Holmgren said.
Holmgren said "there was nothing good" about the Browns' 41-9 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the season finale. However, Holmgren said he didn't base his decision on any single game, including the recent blowout loss to the Steelers.
Holmgren said he didn't want to paint himself into a corner in terms of picking an offensive or defensive coach.
Holmgren said there is no budget for the coaching hire. Lerner told him "we are to do what we feel we have to do."