Mangini: Taking the Next Step

By Michael Reghi

Browns fans, simply put, whether you have been an advocate of Eric Mangini’s coaching style and philosophies with the Browns, or if you’ve been on the other side, not being enamored with his ways….you must know that the man has been true to the culture he’s wanted to create with his football team, hasn’t wavered from its’ course, and as a head coach, through his preparation, work ethic, and BELIEFS THAT HIS SYSTEM WORKS….has done a helluva solid job in making this organization relevant on the field, a team that approaches each week EXPECTING TO WIN. The atmosphere he’s created now should have you, as Browns fans, excited about its’ growth potential!  The man has that part of it down cold.

Now, where I’m going to watch Mangini very closely, and totally separate from the above is simply this. How does he in game, react to, and make decisions with what THAT GAME has presented him, and how it will ultimately reflect on winning and losing. You see it’s one thing to game plan for all week what personnel groups, and schemes, and looks, and yes, even ‘gadget plays’ on special teams can be successful, and he’s been terrific with that, it is another thing altogether to make the quick decisions, based on how that game has unfolded, to put your team in the best position to win.

And that is why I steadfastedly maintain, that given the way the game against the Jets unfolded, is EXACTLY WHY, Eric Mangini needed to give serious, serious consideration to lining his offense up at 20-19 down, following the Colt McCoy led superb touchdown drive, and return the confidence in his football team that he speaks of daily.

Now, I always come with sound reasoning for why Mangini should have…so here goes, again, remember…with cause and effect of the way THAT game had played out, what he, Eric Mangini., had witnessed as a head coach.

1. The New York Jets completely dominated the second half. They had the football for 24 of the 30 minutes in the 2nd half. A 10 minute, 19 play drive to start the third quarter, in which the defense couldn’t get off the field..they were gassed, and let’s be completely honest, without the ineptitude of Jets field goal kicker Nick Folk, who missed three field goals, and a 24 yard chip shot at the end of that third quarter drive, we wouldn’t even be discussing this, the Jets should have been up double figures.

2. The Browns offense, save McCoy’s tremendous final drive, did this in the 2nd half….10 plays, 14 yards, and three, 3 and outs. They were not moving the football. That was painfully obvious against an adjusted Jets defense.

3. Missing three key components, two on the defensive side, in Scott Fujita, Sheldon Brown, and offensive specialist Josh Cribbs. Not to mention the Jets have just come off an overtime win in Detroit last week, and all their experience in end game, meaningful situations, as in the run to the AFC Championship game last year. And sorry, LaDanian Tomlinson, Shonn Greene, Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes, Jerricho Cotchery and Dustin Keller, give the Jets a decided advantage in overtime, against a depleted and gassed Browns defense. They have the better players and decidedly more opportunities and ways to use them.

4. If your one this morning who is siding with Mangini to go for the win with 1:38 left in overtime, backed up at your own 2 yard, and throwing out of the end zone on first and third downs, when a holding penalty there means game over, and I AGREE WITH YOU, DON’T EVER WANT TO START SETTLING OR PLAYING FOR TIES, then why the hell would you have a problem with ‘the let’s win right here’ confidence Mangini could have shown his football team, when they were on the only second half ‘high’ they experienced, the td drive that had the place rocking!

5. Don’t try to sell me on the ‘what if he didn’t make it’, ‘how does that reflect on his job status’ nonsense! Players would have LOVED that belief he could have shown in them!

6. Lastly, I’m not a conventional guy, I’m going to take my shots, roll the dice when I can give my team an injection of life, and let them know I’ve got their backs, like they’ve given Mangini in working ‘extremely hard’, Mangini’s words, in seeing his ‘process’ through.

So, maybe you’re the kind of guy, or gal, that wouldn’t want me as your head coach. I’m not going to go by ‘the book’…that’s for losers. You have to make some tough decisions instinctually, and have the conviction to not worry about looking back.

Eric Mangini is a fabulous preparation guy, which he’s proven. Now, he needs to expand his boundaries into being a ‘no holds barred’, this is how the Browns roll, in game decision maker.

I’ll continue to watch this part of the process very, very closely.

Bring it Strong, Cleveland!



  1. The one thing I know as a life long Cleveland fan is that it dosn’t matter what decision any coach makes, if they don’t win the fans and the press will always talk bad about them. If he went for 2 at the end of regulation and made it, everyone would be singing his praises, if he didn’t he would have been “too got caught up in the excitement of the moment and made a bad decision based on emotion”. He went for the tie and made it. If they won in overtime, it would have been the right decision but since they lost, Mangini’s decision was wrong and now we need a new coach. No one ever remembers that if it wasn’t for the 2 missed field goals by the Jets, we wouldn’t have even been in this situation. I love the Browns, I’m not 100% sold on Mangini as a coach but I feel he made the right call.

  2. Sorry Reghi, the right call was made. The call after the touchdown to get the game within a point is a double edged sword. Sure the offensive players are happy because the coaching staff has confidence that they can convert that 2 pt conversion. If that play fails, do the defensive players get irritated because not going for the tie shows them the HC has no confidence that the D could stop the Jets when needed in OT.

    You seem to forget that the Browns did stop the Jets on their first possession of OT and were moving the ball when Stuckey fumbled it back to the Jets. Stuckey was within a few yards of getting Dawson a 50 yd try. If you’re going to throw out that Folk should have made 1 FG, than don’t discount the early part of OT. If Stuckey hangs on, the Browns run consecutive plays in the middle of the field to get Dawson a chance to win it.

  3. Wrong Reghi!!!!!!! You are way off on this one…. Actually if Stuckey does not fumble we win so your theory is completely wrong. You can’t argue we were not moving the ball when in OT we moved it right down the field again….

    Browns fans love the Browns agian and this is the guy who runs this team. You can’t have one without the other. I like Mangini a lot and want him here long term. For fans who say they love the team and the growth, but don’t like Mangini makes no sense. If he is fired this is not the team you have moving forward. You get a whole new team and philosophy.

  4. should have went for two..your already 3-5..just go for the win..players respect coaches who will take chances on them

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