Browns owner Randy Lerner has not discussed the idea of coaching again with president Mike Holmgren and will leave the decision on coach Eric Mangini's future up to Holmgren, Lerner said in an interview this week with the Associated Press.
"Part of bringing Mike in and part of my explicit understanding with Mike is that the evaluation of coaches and evaluation of other people in our football business is his," Lerner told the AP's Tom Withers. "Having said that, I know Eric and I am naturally pulling for Eric for all the obvious reasons. I'm seeing a guy who is open to ideas, open to change, wants to enjoy being coach of the Browns and I would say he has acted in a way consistent in wanting change and being open to ideas."
Lerner was upbeat about the 2-5 Browns and rookie quarterback Colt McCoy, who recorded his first NFL victory Sunday in New Orleans when both Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace were sidelined with high ankle sprains.
"I'm excited," Lerner said of McCoy. "The game doesn't seem too big for him. He is clearly very, very hard on himself, which obviously too much is not a good thing. He's got an amazing relationship with Jake Delhomme right now, which is very meaningful. In Mike Holmgren, you've got one of the real, proven quarterback evaluators of modern football. I have a good feeling."
As Cleveland seeks its first major professional sports championship since 1964, Lerner has faith in Holmgren and the direction the Browns are heading.
Sometimes things take time," Lerner told AP. "But if you keep planning on winning and believing you'll win, then that's what it takes. It takes believing. If you work hard enough and you stay focused and get the right people it will happen rather than allowing yourself to feel somehow jinxed.
"It's part of what leadership is about," he said. "It's part of what Mike Holmgren's leadership is about. Mike went to two organizations that were struggling and he turned them around. Simple as that. So, we have a chance that maybe this will be his third one. He wouldn't have come here if he didn't think it could be."