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Browns receive permission to interview Heckert

By Marla Ridenour Published: January 5, 2010

The Browns have received permission from the Philadelphia Eagles to interview Tom Heckert for their general manager position, a fact confirmed Tuesday by new Browns president Mike Holgren.

Duiring Holmgren's  introduction to the Cleveland area media at a packed 4 p.m. press conference, Holmgren said he and Heckert have a scheduled meeting Wednesday. 

Heckert was a candidate to become the Browns general manager a year ago, but withdrew his name from consideration when coach Eric Mangini was hired on Jan. 8.

Heckert is familiar with the West Coast offensive system Holmgren favored during his 17 years as coach of the Seahawks and Packers.

According to published reports, Heckert and former Seahawks vice president of football operations Randy Mueller, a senior executive in San Diego, are Holmgren's top choices for the position.

Heckert has been in Philadelphia for nine years. His first job was as director of player personnel in 2001 and he was promoted to vice president of player personnel in 2003 and GM in 2006. Before joining the Eagles, he spent 10 years with the Miami Dolphins.

A former personnel chief/general manager in Seattle, New Orleans and Miami who has been repeatedly mentioned by the NFL Network's Mike Lombardi for this job, Mueller has the credentials, but spent only one season with Holmgren. That came in 1999, when Holmgren served as coach and general manager. Mueller had been in Seattle since 1983 and was promoted to vice president of football operations in 1995. Their '99 draft, which brought defensive end Lamar King, quarterback Brock Huard and receiver Karsten Bailey with the first three picks, was seriously criticized.

''Our first draft was less than spectacular because I had really two groups giving me information, the existing group that had been there and the new group that came in with me,'' Holmgren said in a Dec. 28 conference call. ''We didn’t do a good job with the draft, because I didn’t. I learned from that. Those types of errors, I won’t make again.''

Most recently, Mueller spent 2005-07 in Miami, but was fired after a 1-15 season in 2007, with Parcells arriving that December. Mueller was not in charge of personnel decisions during his first two years, with then-coach Nick Saban holding that power.

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