Thursday, January 1, 2009

Who Do You Want To Coach The Browns?

by Paul Belfi

The last time I was excited about Cleveland Browns football was when Brady Quinn was FINALLY named the starter for the team. For all intents and purposes the season was over, but it was exciting to see perhaps a glimpse into the future of our franchise QB.

Now that excitement hits me again as I can't wait to see who Browns owner Randy Lerner puts in place to be the new head coach and new general manager of the Cleveland Browns.

It is a foregone conclusion that Scott Pioli will at some point within the next 24-48 hours be named the GM barring an unbelievable collapse between Lerner and Pioli. So for the sake of this topic, let's focus on a new coach for the Browns. The question is simple - who do you want?

Here is a short list of the leading candidates:

Eric Mangini - Known as 'Mangenius' he was at one-time Bill Belichick's 'chosen one' and the 'heir apparent'. Everyone knows how that went down, so there is no need to rehash here. Suffice it to say what happened with Mangini the playoff collapse of the New York Jets was not Mangini's fault. Clearly, there was an issue physically with Brett Favre and it showed in his performance. At the end of the day, the Jets made - in my opinion - a fatal mistake in letting him go. He was a favorite of most of the players and delivered 2 winning seasons in 3 years for the Jets.

Mike Shanahan - 2 Super Bowl championships and a well-run ship in Denver. While his talent evaluation may have left a little to be desired (anyone remember Maurice Clarett?), he was as tenured and respected as it gets in the NFL. Another shocking firing, but perhaps it was time to turn the page in Denver.

Kirk Ferentz - He must be doing something right in Iowa besides winning bowl games as his name is ALWAYS mentioned in NFL coaching circles. A close friend to Scott Pioli, his selection as a head coach would make sense. He has NFL coaching experience along with his impressive collegiate coaching resume.

Steve Spagnuolo - The hot prospect out of the New York Giants and architect of one of the most amazing defenses in the NFL today - there are plenty of teams who covet him - starting with the Giants who do NOT want to see him go anytime soon. The Jets are hot for him as are the Lions. The defensive coordinator is well-liked and respected among his players, who seem genuinely happy he's getting some overdue recognition.

Forget Bill Cowher... PLEASE forget 'Shotty Martinheimer' (been there, done that).

Here are your choices - who do you want and why?

Take a minute and vote on today.

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