Holmgren Is Not A Hugger, He’s A Fighter

By: Will Burge

What is it that people actually want? Do fans and residents of Cleveland want the world’s most expensive hug? Would the lack of victories be OK if fans had a warm fuzzy feeling inside knowing Mike Holmgren really loves you and your city?

The fact that Mike Holmgren went on a radio show in Seattle before he talked to anyone in Cleveland does not matter. I hate to break it to you, but in all reality that is what he SHOULD do.

Browns President Mike Holmgren

He has had a relationship with that host for more than 10 years and they did a show together. That is loyalty. There was no underlying shot at Cleveland, just a guy joining a friend on his radio show.

Holmgren made fun of the fact that people were miffed when he used the word “they” instead of “us” when talking about Browns’ fans.  He is not a Browns fan. He is the President of the Cleveland Browns.

What is his job as the President of the Cleveland Browns? His job is to build a stable, winning franchise. That does not mean one good season. That means a team that competes for the playoffs year in and year out. That’s what he told you, the fan, through the media on Thursday.

His job is not to ensure you that he will be in Cleveland for 10 years and move his entire family here. His job is not to tell you that Cleveland in a great place to live. It IS a great place to live and you should not need anyone else to tell you that.

I, for one, don’t want Mike Holmgren to be here for 10 years. If he is here for 10 years than that means it has taken 10 years to get the culture, front office, and roster moving in the same winning direction.

I hope he is gone at the end of his five year contract. That would mean the Browns had made the playoffs for at least two seasons and maybe even three. I don’t need a big verbal hug. I need a victory on Sunday from the football team.

Mike Holmgren did not need to talk to the media on Thursday. The fans WANTED Mike Holmgren to talk to the media. There is a distinct difference.

The reality of the situation is that by talking during a tough time in the season it undermines Pat Shurmur. Whether you like Shurmur or not he is going to be here for a while, so why would his boss rip the power right out of his hands.

Holmgren was forced to talk today because of knee-jerk backlash and ridiculous expectations for the team, coach, and organization. Did anyone really think the Browns would be better than 2-3 at this point in the season? If so, how much better did you think they would be? Maybe 3-2?

This is a re-build. The first real re-build since the Browns have returned to the NFL. A re-build built on solid draft picks and not hastily throwing money at free agents just to help “see if a quarterback has what it takes.”

Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert are football minds, I’m pretty sure they can figure that part out.

This is a bottom line business and for years the bottom line was that people came to Cleveland to collect a check. Finally, there is a football “rock star” here giving the franchise some legitimacy. You may criticize Holmgren but that is what he is. Holmgren is a gridiron “rock star”.

Embrace the fact that the last two drafts have been eerily good. Embrace the fact that this organization has one of the best General Managers in the league, you know the guy no one EVER talks about, in Tom Heckert.

Fans have every right to be mad about losses. Fans have every right to be mad when the locker room closely resembles a Barnum & Bailey production. But try and keep everything in perspective.

Teams that lose always have drama. That’s why the Browns have always had drama.

This is a bottom line business and that bottom line will eventually decide whether or not this regime will be a success. Their success will not be measured by the way they addressed the Cleveland fan base or media.



  1. dude, i can not agree with you more. i have been biting back all week listening to idiots express how upset they are that the president of the cleveland browns chose not to engage our media during a time of “fan doubt”. what you have stated is the most thoughtful and concise opinion i’ve heard (read in your case) thus far…glad you put it out there…from devildog8286lp

  2. As much as he may have wanted to have Pat Shurmur and Tom Heckert be the face of the Browns from this point on. But until our coach is winning i dont see that happening. Fans are seeing the same old thing on Sundays that has been around for 10 years. Terrible football. and Bad coaching. Did i want Holmgren to talk to the media about being on Seattle radio or because of it no. Did i want to know that things will be fixed. yes. did he have to do a 50 minute press confrense. no. but he did and Holmgren isnt undercuttinghis coach. hes cleaning up the mess his coach and a playyers angent created because words werent chosen correcty. and as a Presiident sometimes you have to address the paying customers of your product. thats just good buisness. and doing so when things are rocky is part of the reason Presidents get large paychecks

  3. HORRIBLE article….. He has been here 2 years and we still stink, his hand picked QB and coach are laughing stocks and Will drinks the kool-aid with 2 hands…. what has he done postive Will? Did you like the Jake Delhomme signing? You enjoy the Hillis mess, you like this new O?

    If not for a joke schedule we would be winless. However we somehow have a bunch of Zero win teams to play.

    I pay thousands for season tickets for my family each year and I am sick of it!

  4. So how much is Holmgren paying you to write this garbage?

    “His job is to build a stable, winning franchise. That does not mean one good season. That means a team that competes for the playoffs year in and year out. That’s what he told you, the fan, through the media on Thursday.”

    Yeah, it’s his job to create a winning franchise. So far, in year 2, the QB has regressed due to a bad system, the OL is a weakness instead of a strength, Brian Robeiske is still on the roster and yet we don’t have Brandon Lloyd which might have cost us a 4th round pick? Holmgren is old and is simply enjoying cashing his overpriced paychecks.

    All he did yesterday was prove to Cleveland fans more he really could care less about this team and he’ll gladly flip flop on decisions after one year just to appease the fickle fans, even if it means losing more.

    I called 5-11 due to bad drafts, bad free agency and a bad coach. I think I’ll hit the nail on the head. This team is a model for consistency – consistently bad.

  5. I agree,years and years of bad people and decisions make it hard to buy anything their selling , merchandise or their “system’.,,one thing that no one has brought up is the late game rally’s…2…show that they are not giving up…I don’t know just looking for a small ray of sunshine,,In this sicking mess..they call a football team…just be more competitive,,and I think we will all be happier….go browns

  6. WKNR created this back lash by playing that clip over and over and as usaual beating the heck out of a non-story during a midweek lull in Cleveland sports. I wish we had at least one good sports talk show in Cleveland. Pete Franklin is rolling in his grave.

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