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Recent posts by Mike Wilkening
Last week, Browns president Mike Holmgren was asked how he would evaluate head coach Eric Mangini at season's end.
'It will take thoughtful thinking," Holmgren said, "and I've said this before and I said it when I first came here, (I) think it's important that you take some of the emotion out of it if you can. At the end of the year, everyone catches their breath a little bit, think about it and hopefully make an intelligent decision.
"I also said this — wins and losses are not the only criteria. The crummy part of our business is that most of the time, it is the main one. I thought my last year in Seattle (in 2008), 4-12 on the surface they should have fired me. Based on record, 4-12 is my worst record of all time. It may have been my best coaching job because we were playing with young people that gave me everything they had, but they just weren't good enough, we got so injured.
"If that taught me anything, it taught me that now in my position, there's more to look at. Hopefully, I'll do that properly."
No matter the criteria he'll be judged upon at season's end, Mangini's chances to return in 2011 have been helped the past two games. Even if the Browns can't continue to play as well as they have against New Orleans and New England, it's clear they are better than they were in 2009, and it's clear that they play hard for Mangini, who has prepared his team well all season.
On Sunday, the Browns were clearly better than the Patriots, coached by Mangini's one-time former boss, Bill Belichick. New England had lost but once in its first seven games, but it was clear early Cleveland was going to be difficult to shake. And indeed, the Patriots trailed by double digits for the majority of the game in a 34-14 loss.
"It's a great win for Coach Mangini," Browns FB Lawrence Vickers said Sunday, "standing on his own and doing his own thing right now and saying 'look at the things I've done.' "