CLEVELAND: Although victories were rare during his reign in Cleveland, Mike Holmgren will leave the Browns as a winner.
A team spokesman said the Browns’ 20-14 victory Sunday over the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers was Holmgren’s last game with the organization. After the game, Holmgren talked to players and new Browns owner Jimmy Haslam in the locker room.
“He told me to come up to his office and holler at him,” cornerback Joe Haden said of Holmgren. “So, you know, when the big man wants to see you, I’ll be there tomorrow.”
Holmgren will presumably break the news to Haden. He is also scheduled to address the media this afternoon.
During his farewell-Cleveland news conference Oct. 23, Holmgren said he planned to stay with the Browns through the end of the season. But he never ruled out an earlier departure, either.
“I feel very good about what we did here,” Holmgren said during the news conference. “We didn’t win enough games, though. I’m hoping that table is set for the future.”
In the past couple of weeks, multiple reports have tied Holmgren to the Dallas Cowboys’ coaching job if it becomes available. Holmgren told reporters he hasn’t inquired about coaching the Cowboys, but he never said he wouldn’t be interested if the opportunity presented itself. As a coach, Holmgren guided the Green Bay Packers to two Super Bowls and the Seattle Seahawks to another. He has not ruled out another coaching stint.
The Browns are 12-31 since Holmgren took control of the franchise. Hired by Randy Lerner, Holmgren signed a five-year contract worth about $40 million Jan. 5, 2010.
On Aug. 2, Haslam struck a deal to buy the Browns from Lerner for about $1 billion. On Oct. 16, Haslam announced CEO Joe Banner would serve as his top executive, signaling the end of Holmgren’s tenure.