A Stay Of Execution

By Michael Reghi

****I’m Reflecting On*******

The discerning eye of Mike Holmgren

How the discerning eye of Mike Holmgren, with his seventeen seasons of NFL head coaching expertise, is viewing this Browns roller coaster ride of a season, and how it might affect the decisions he makes beginning on January 3rd, 2011, following the season ending game against Pittsburgh.

With five games remaining, and sitting at 4-7, you want to believe the 2009 win total of 5 will be surpassed, a 2-3 finish secures that, yet I firmly believe just the win-loss column will not be the be all end all determining factor for Holmgren when assessing Eric Mangini and his coaching staff.

Simply the obvious? While brining back head coach Eric Mangini and his staff for the 2010 season, Holmgren was explicit in expressing his amazement at how Mangini and his staff won four games to finish ’09, with zero contributions from quarterbacks who considered the forward pass to be detrimental to winning, not aiding it! That simply doesn’t fit the Holmgren philosophy offensively.

He mandates they select Colt McCoy, with high value as a third round choice, and after declaring this a ‘redshirt’ season for McCoy, injuries force him the rookie from Texas into the line of fire…and the young man responds with a tremendous feel for the game, quarterbacking acumen ‘wise beyond his years’…and in five starts, is on a fast track to reassuring one and all in Brownsdom…that the position should be solid for years to come.

Win a couple of football games against New Orleans and New England, and as I mentioned to you here a month ago….the level of expectation has now been raised by Holmgren to get off the roller coaster, the uneven performance level week to week, and begin to play consistently, and more importantly…COACH CONSISTENTLY!

You heard me tell you four weeks ago, and I’ve tried to educate you in this almost daily, there is a huge separation between putting a system in as a head coach and a staff, preparing a football team from Wednesday-Saturday, being game plan specific for your opponent, then getting to Sunday, and having very uneven disjointed coaching performances during the game. They are two completely different elements, please don’t kid yourself. Decision making on Sundays is an enormous part of the job!

So I ask you, if your Mike Holmgren today, don’t you feel reasonably positive that Mangini and his lieutenants ‘pass’ the weekday, preparation, game planning portion of the exam, while coming up short in the ‘on game day’ faction of what a head coach needs to accomplish? I do. As I told you four weeks ago, I’m going to be watching that very, very closely. I’m sure Mike Holmgren is doing exactly the same. They are vastly separate entities. You need both to be a consistent winning NFL head coach. Mike Holmgren will continue to monitor, and so will I!

***I’m reflecting on*****

Ohio State’s Buckeyes doing the expected, racking up Michigan, yet again, 9th time in 10 tries for Jim Tressel, and now setting their sights on a BCS bowl, most likely the Sugar Bowl against Arkansas, which will be intriguing, as former Michigan quarterback Ryan Mallet leads an explosive ‘Hogs offense, which sets up an intriguing get together with Ohio State’s staunch and sturdy defense.

I very much admire Jim Tressel’s fire and intensity when it comes to the yearlong approach he takes to the Michigan game. It is Woody Hayes-Bo Shembechler ‘esque’, old school in every regard, and it’s the ‘right way’ from the Ohio State perspective. Tressel doesn’t let Michigan’s shortcomings, and fall from the ranks of college football’s elite to short-circuit his demands from his players in how they treat ‘the game’. Watching and listening to Tressel, you would believe it’s the 70’s and 80’s again, when each and every year, a Big Ten championship, and trip to the Rose Bowl was on the line for the two exalted programs. Give Tressel ‘big ups’ for this…..all of you parents, and educators know how very difficult it can be to maintain young people’s attention when they can easily see the competition isn’t up to your caliber. Jim Tressel has maintained the significance of a storied rivalry. He always will while Ohio State football is under his watch. Hell, it’s the very reason why Ohio State decision makers finally pulled the plug on John Cooper after just two wins in 13 tries against the Maize and Blue. Tressel has justified that and then some!



1 Comment

  1. I am still waiting for you to “Bring it Strong” with your rants…. Why do you throw love at Holmgren for McCoy, but no babrbs for his joke pick up of Delhomme. This guy is a tunover machine who is worth a pick 6 each game. This team has had to change QB’s 4 times, and they are playing the #1 hardest schedule in the NFL. Carolina is the only team all year we have played that has a losing record when we played them. Tampa has yet to beat a team with a winnig record, St Louis has played 9 of 11 games against losing teams.

    Your boy Bernie has said 500 times…. The Browns don’t have the talent yet to make halftime changes as other teams… we are over our heads with lack of talent. Bernie says that is why we start fast, but in the end talent usually wins out…

    Holmgren himself went 4-12 in a year where he had a lot of injuries and that was in a JOKE NFC West. I know you pray evrery night before bed Mangini is fired, but let it go for now and let’s see where we are at the end of the year

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