Posted on: January 7, 2010 3:46 am
Edited on: January 7, 2010 4:16 am
Posted on: January 4, 2010 12:00 pm
Edited on: January 4, 2010 12:12 pm
Posted on: December 30, 2009 12:45 pm
Edited on: December 30, 2009 2:30 pm
Posted on: December 28, 2009 12:16 pm
Edited on: December 28, 2009 3:46 pm
Posted on: December 21, 2009 8:37 pm
Posted on: December 9, 2009 8:48 am
Posted on: November 9, 2009 2:01 am
Edited on: November 9, 2009 2:11 am
The Cleveland Browns’ search for front office stability continues onward.
According to a report by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Lerner has expressed interest in hiring the 17-year veteran coach. If Holmgren were to accept the offer, he would likely be appointed Executive Vice President of Football Operations, a role he has held in previous stops in Green Bay and Seattle.
Randy Lerner has indicated the need for a “strong, credible leader” to assist and oversee football operations, and Mike Holmgren appears to fit the bill. Holmgren’s experience and fresh perspective would prove invaluable to the Cleveland Browns, but that’s about as far as it would go.
Assuming Randy Lerner holds true to his word and retains Eric Mangini throughout the 2010 season, one has to wonder – how would a Holmgren/Mangini tandem peacefully co-exist over the duration of a full NFL season?
The outlook certainly looks grim.
During his time with the Packers and the Seahawks, Mike Holmgren served as the single authority on all things football. His role as a head coach included the title of executive vice president which essentially gave him complete control of the organization’s football operations.
If Holmgren agreed to a job in Cleveland, he would be asked to work closely with Eric Mangini. Mangini's absolute control over the Browns was publicized in the controversial firing of George Kokinis - the executive Mangini handpicked eight months earlier. Several sources indicated Kokinis and Mangini did not see eye-to-eye on football decisions, a rift which cost the general manager his job.
Mike Holmgren and Eric Mangini have no experience coaching together at any level of football, so it is unlikely the pair would be able to function cohesively on the same staff.
So where could the Browns go from there?
One candidate Randy Lerner may eventually reach out to is former Browns head coach Marty Schottenheimer.
Newly appointed consultant Bernie Kosar has played under Schottenheimer in the past, and would likely provide Lerner with a ringing endorsement of his former head coach. Schottenheimer’s ties to the Lerner family and experience with the organization would make his transition into the Browns front office relatively seamless.
More important than anything else, Marty Schottenheimer and Eric Mangini have a working relationship. Marty has worked in professional football as a coach and a player for more than 35 years.
He made his coaching debut when Mangini was three years old.
Eric Mangini has confided in Marty Schottenheimer in the past, and seems to genuinely respect the 66-year-old former head coach.
“I know Marty pretty well and I like Marty a lot,” Mangini said.
“I talked to him a lot when I was in New York with Brian (Schottenheimer). I feel very good about our relationship and I feel very comfortable with it.”
Marty Schottenheimer’s experience would complement Eric Mangini’s youth and fervor, giving the Browns the unified management tandem they have lacked since their return to the NFL in 1999.
Randy Lerner will likely interview experienced candidates such as Bill Cowher, Mike Shanahan, and Rich McKay in his search for the next executive VP of football operations.
If Lerner intends on going forward with Eric Mangini as the head coach, Marty Schottenheimer seems like the most logical option to oversee future football operations.
Posted on: November 5, 2009 2:05 pm
Edited on: November 9, 2009 2:13 pm
The Cleveland Browns appear hopeless. They have lost seven of their first eight games, fired their general manager during the bye week, and the injuries are stacking up like firewood. Fans are on the verge of a protest and national media types are calling for Eric Mangini’s immediate resignation.
The Browns are in desperate need of a hero.
Or a heroine.
Enter Dawn Aponte, Cleveland Browns Vice President of Football Administration.
Never heard of her? You’re not alone. Aponte is the woman responsible for working behind the scenes to handle the contractual affairs of the Cleveland Browns. In her current role with the team, Aponte’s duties include handling player contract negotiations, player cost budgeting, league compliance, and salary cap management.
SI.com’s Peter King once referred to Aponte as “Capwoman” for her extensive knowledge of the salary cap and the legal ins-and-outs of the NFL.
Aponte’s responsibilities are already similar to that of a general manager. With a vacant management position and an owner desperate for change, look for Dawn Aponte to get the first shot at filling the vacant general manager position.
It would be “Capwoman” to the rescue.
During an era in professional football where the collective bargaining agreement is in shambles and an uncapped year seems more like a reality each day, who better to handle those demands than a salary cap expert?
In an interview with the Plain Dealer’s Tony Grossi, camera-shy owner Randy Lerner was asked about Dawn Aponte and her future role with the organization.
“Dawn is a very talented executive and a good person,” Lerner said.
“My hope is that her role and impact will grow within our organization.”
A promotion of this magnitude would certainly classify as growth. Dawn Aponte is currently the vice president of football administration – a role with similar albeit different duties to that of a general manager. The learning curve may be steep, but then again the Browns have nothing to lose.
Randy Learner has always been sensitive to the public image of his Cleveland Browns. Hiring Dawn Aponte to take over as Browns’ general manager would not only be a great public relations move, but it would shift focus away from the toxicity that has become associated with jobs surrounding Eric Mangini.
Aponte would become the first woman to hold the title of NFL general manager – a story which would deflect attention away from the 1-7 football team she would inherit. Aponte has had experience working with Eric Mangini in New York, and that makes her one of the few people flexible enough to step in and take over where Kokinis left off.
From an internal standpoint, this move makes perfect sense for Eric Mangini. A first-time GM means Mangini would likely retain authority on all personnel and football decisions. From an external standpoint, Randy Lerner looks good by evoking change at the outcry of the fans, all while appearing progressive enough to break down barriers which may have been in place.
It’s a win-win situation.
Hiring Dawn Aponte won’t solve the team’s seemingly endless string of problems on the field. What it would do is equip the Browns with the personnel needed to move forward in the face of a fiscally challenging era of professional football.