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Marla Ridenour on Sports

Holmgren nearly hired himself

By Marla Published: March 3, 2011

In a Thursday interview with Seattle radio station KJR, Browns president Mike Holmgren said he considered returning to the sideline after he fired coach Eric Mangini and even posed the question to his executive staff, which included general manager Tom Heckert and executive vice president Bryan Wiedmeier.

"When we were putting the list together, I said, 'I'm going to ask you a question tomorrow. Should I be a candidate for this? Be honest and if you don't think it's the right thing to do for our football team, you can say that,''' Holmgren told Dave "Softy" Mahler,who hosted Holmgren's weekly show during his 10 years in Seattle. "I came back the next day and they all thought it would be a pretty good idea. My other responsibilities, Bryan could accept some of those.

"I went home and talked about it with (wife) Kathy and prayed about it a little bit. I realized that I came here to do a certain job and I want to fulfill that promise to my owner, see if in another role I can get the thing done.''

Holmgren said he discussed the issue extensively with owner Randy Lerner. Holmgren said owner Randy Lerner said, "'If you want to go that way, I'm with you.'''

Holmgren told Mahler he also contacted former Steelers coach Bill Cowher, now with CBS, and former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden, now with ESPN, before hiring St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur.

Cowher told Holmgren he wasn't ready to come back.

"Gruden said he'd come back for me, but I said I need a little more than that,'' Holmgren said on KJR. "I said, 'You shouldn't just do this for me.' He really enjoys TV and he's good at it.''

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