There will be no third season for Eric Mangini as coach of the Cleveland Browns, after the team fired it’s head coach on Monday following a humiliating home loss to the rival Pittsburgh Steelers. For the second straight year Mangini lead the Browns to a 5-11 season which left them in third place of the AFC North.
Browns president Mike Holmgen spent days deciding the 39-year-old head coach’s future last season but decided to give him another shot this year. However, the second time around Holmgren wasted little time reaching his decision.
Mangini finished his two seasons in Cleveland with a 10-22 record and ended his tenure with a four game losing streak. The Browns went 2-6 after the biggest upset of the NFL season – a 34-14 shellacking of the New England Patriots on Nov. 7, who were arguably the best team in the league. The franchise hoped it would be a turning point in the season but instead only triggered more poor play.
The former New York Jets coach still had two years and almost $8 million left on his contract but with Sunday’s 41-9 loss didn’t help his cause with Holmgren.
“This decision was not easy for me, and it was one into which I put a great deal of thought,” Holmgren told the Associated Press. “Although we have made improvements this season, my responsibility is to ensure that we establish a program that will allow this team to compete at a championship level. That will continue to be our goal in everything we do.”
Holmgren has made it clear that there is a possibility of a return to coaching. He last coached the Seattle Seahwaks and earned them a trip to the Super Bowl in 2007. He left the team the after the following season to take a one-year sabbatical.
After he was fired, Mangini addressed his players for one last time and Holmgren did not give the team any clue as to who their next boss would be. The Browns have not had much luck with coaches since rejoining the league as an expansion team 12 years ago. They have had just one playoff berth and a record of 64-129 in that span.