Wednesday, September 30, 2009

In Defense (Sort of) of Eric Mangini

So everybody is jumping up and down on Eric Mangini this week. Certainly, that is to be expected given last week's non-performance in Baltimore. The team was not adequately prepared and did not execute in any phase of the game...ultimately that responsibility falls upon the head coach. However, the (utterly predictable) calls for his job by the unwashed masses and Joe Posnanski's inflammatory for the sake of being inflammatory article are utterly ridiculous.

Don't buy into the hyperbole of what the no-talent hacks like Posnanski, Tony Grossi and other members of the media (who admittedly dislike Mangini because he makes their job harder) have to say.

As an example, let's examine Posnanski's claims about why Eric Mangini was a bad hire:

1. Mangini had just been fired in New York, where he had done a terrible job. He had a losing record. His team had collapsed down the stretch, he had alienated his players, he was a pain in the neck to deal with. Point is: He'd already PROVEN how much damage he could do as a coach.

Did Manging do a terrible job in New York? Taking over a 4-12 team, he was 10-6 in his first season, and brought the Jets to the playoffs. After an admittedly bad season in 2007, he had the Jets off to an 8-3 start last year before Favre's injury and ineffectiveness resulted in a 9-7 finish. That is 23-25 in three seasons. I'm not arguing that he did a fantastic job, but a nearly .500 record over three seasons should hardly be called terrible. (also notice how one of Posnaski points is that "he was a pain in the neck to deal with"...again, Mangini does make media members jobs more difficult and they hate him for it...I, for one, couldn't care less).

2. He came right out of the school of Bill Belichick ... and that didn't work THE FIRST TIME in Cleveland. It seems to me that Cleveland is a working-class town and Browns fans want a working-class coach -- not some pompous know-it-all who doesn't feel like he should have to explain to the commoners what he's doing.

The reason Bill Belichick didn't work in Cleveland is because he didn't win enough. Knowing everything you know about Bill Belichick, would you have taken him as the Browns coach in 1999 or even now? I sure would. It is about winning. Belichick, in his second incarnation, became one of the best coaches of all time, in part certainly due to learning from mistakes he made in his first go around as head coach. Could something similar happen with Mangini? Maybe. I can only speak for myself, and I don't know what "working-class" means, but I don't care how much of a prick the Browns coach is as long as they win!

3. What had he ever done to convince anyone he could be a head coach in the first place? Why, because he was a defensive coordinator for the Patriots under Belichick for one season? The Browns had JUST HIRED Romeo Crennel, who was ALSO defensive coordinator under Belichick. Attention Cleveland Browns owners, here's a good hint: BILL BELICHICK IS HIS OWN DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR.

Despite Mangini's expanding girth, comparing he and Romeo is comparing apples and oranges....ok, milky way and cake. Romeo was lauded as a great hire because he had "paid his dues" as an assistant and he had convinced people that he was qualified to be a head coach. And he was a bust! So there is no tried and true way to convince someone that you are qualified to be a head coach. Good head coaches and bad head coaches come from all organizations and all experience levels. And you have no idea what was said in Mangini's interview to convince Woody Johnson and then Randy Lerner that he was qualified to be a head coach, but the bottom line is that the interview likely had much more to do with his hire than his resume.

4. Basically the first thing Mangini did -- first thing -- was have them tear down a mural of great Cleveland Browns players on the wall in the Browns offices. Now, there are differing opinions about what really happened, whose fault it really was, does it all matter, etc. You know what? The Cleveland Browns have never been to a Super Bowl. Never. Not one. But Browns fans still have a whole lot of pride. Browns fans grow up on a glorious history. If you allow something stupid like that to happen on your watch ... just a horrendous hire.

This is laughable and totally irresponsible reporting. Mangini, like almost any new coach, did some rearranging of the locker room and the facility. The mural that Posnanski refers to was actually moved to a much more prominent place in the facility (why the failure to mention that one, Joe?). The Browns organization has reached out to its alumni. Do you see Paul Warfield and Jim Brown on the bench every game? This is a totally salacious and false argument and is only used to drum up a dramatic conclusion.

So there you have it my friends. I'm not saying that Eric Mangini will end up being a great coach for the Browns. There are clearly a lot of holes in the ship. Some of the early season failings are due truly to a lack of NFL talent, while some absolutely fall on the coaching staff and the head coach in particular. But it is important to note that Posnanski and other members of the media already dislike Mangini and are eager to see him fail. But we Browns fans are smarter than that. Let's see how the season continues to play out and what kind of progress the team makes before rushing to judgment. I know last week was dark, but keep your heads up and keeping cheering on Sundays.

Top Dawg

Thursday, August 27, 2009


You heard it here first: The Vikings won't make the playoffs. I never bought it when Favre signed and all the sudden these guys could win it all. Total BS. Just throwin' it out there...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ryan, Kevin, and Mark’s 2009 Draft Report

Welcome, Browns fans, to the 2009 edition of the Draft Report. 2008 was supposed to
be our Christmas morning. Perhaps the most eagerly anticipated Browns season since
the return in 1999, we thought everything was lined up for the Browns to contend for the
division and conference championship. A strong offense would only get stronger with
the addition of Donte Stallworth, and 5 prime time games portended good things for the
orange and brown.

Well, you know how it went. We came downstairs on Christmas morning to find that the
Grinch had taken all of our presents and Romeo ate the Who Roast Beast. Donte’
Stallworth proved to be more fra-geel-lay than an Italian leg lamp and the Browns were
the worst thing on primetime since the first season of “Joey”. Exit Romeo and Phil, enter
the Mangenius.

So here we are again with another new coach telling us that it will take time to build and
that we have to be patient. We’re now working on our fourth “three year plan” in the last
ten years, if anyone was keeping count. I don’t know if it is because it is spring and
anything is possible, or because LeBron has changed us, or just because of all of this
cough syrup(translated Tequila) we’ve been drinking, but we remain optimistic.

Due to high demand fro the publication, high expectations, and more
importantly…laziness, Ryan and Kevin have hired an intern to contribute to this years
draft report. We are happy to welcome a young man out of Pepper Pike, Ohio who is
the long time webmaster and musical director of the Draft Report, former lead singer of
Samson, and the proprietor of (where you can
find this year’s Report online), Mark brings a new voice (and hopefully some new jokes)
to the table. Welcome Mark. The jury is still out on whether his contributions will be up
to the high standards we set for ourselves, so next year we will be accepting resumes
and writing samples for contributing writers. If you are interested please send a cover
letter, resume, writing sample, and results from a urine sample to

This year’s report is dedicated to Eric Turner, Eddie “No Neck” Johnson, Dante Lavelli
and Don Rogers.

Kevin’s Mock Draft:
Team Player POS School
1 Detroit Matthew Stafford QB Georgia
2 St. Louis Jason Smith OT Baylor
3 Kansas City Eugene Monroe OT Virginia
4 Seattle Mark Sanchez QB USC
5 Cleveland Aaron Curry OLB Wake Forest
6 Cincinnati Andre Smith OT Alabama
7 Oakland Michael Crabtree WR Texas Tech
8 Jacksonville Jeremy Maclin WR Missouri
9 Green Bay Brian Orakpo DE Texas
10 San Francisco Malcolm Jenkins CB Ohio State
11 Buffalo Brandon Pettigrew TE Okla St.
12 Denver Aaron Maybin OLB Penn State
13 Washington Tyson Jackson DE LSU
14 New Orleans Brian Cushing OLB USC
15 Houston BJ Raji DT Boston College
16 San Diego Michael Oher OT Ole Miss
17 New York Jets Josh Freeman QB Kansas St.
18 Denver (from Chicago) Knowshon Moreno RB Georgia
19 Tampa Bay Everitte Brown DE FSU
20 Detroit (from Dallas) Rey Maualuga MLB USC
21 Philadelphia Beanie Wells RB OSU
22 Minnesota Hakim Nicks WR UNC
23 New England Clay Matthews OLB USC
24 Atlanta Robert Ayers DE Tennessee
25 Miami Darius Butler CB UCONN
26 Baltimore Darrius Heyward-Bet WR Maryland
27 Indianapolis Ziggy Hood DT/DE Mizzou
28 Philadelphia (from Carolina) Phil Loadholt OT Alabama
29 New York Giants Kenny Britt WR Rutgers
30 Tennessee Percy Harvin WR Florida
31 Arizona Donald Brown RB UCONN
32 Pittsburgh Duke Robinson OG Alabama

Ryan’s Mock Draft
1. Detroit: Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia.
2. St. Louis: Jason Smith, OT, Baylor
3. Kansas City: Aaron Curry, OLB, Wake Forest.
4. Seattle: Mark Sanchez, QB, USC.
5. Cleveland: Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech.
6. Cincinnati: Beanie Wells, HB, Ohio State.
7. Oakland: Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri.
8. Jacksonville: Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia.
9. Green Bay: Malcolm Jenkins, CB, Ohio State
10. San Francisco: Andre Smith, OT, Alabama.
11. Buffalo: Tyson Jackson, DE, LSU.
12. Denver: B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College.
13. Washington: Aaron Maybin, DE, Penn State.
14. New Orleans: Robert Ayers, DE, Tennessee.
15. Houston: Brian Orakpo, DE, Texas.
16. San Diego: Knowshon Moreno, HB, Georgia.
17. NY Jets: Percy Harvin, WR, Florida.
18. Denver: Josh Freeman, QB, Kansas State
19. Tampa Bay: Brian Cushing, OLB, USC.
20. Detroit: Peria Jerry, DT, Mississippi.
21. Philadelphia: Michael Oher, OT, Mississippi.
22. Minnesota: Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland.
23. New England: Rey Maualuga, MLB, USC.
24. Atlanta: Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois.
25. Miami: Clay Matthews, OLB, USC.
26. Baltimore: Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Oklahoma State.
27. Indianapolis: Ziggy Hood, DT, Missouri.
28. Buffalo: Eben Britton, OT, Arizona.
29. NY Giants: Kenny Britt, WR, Rutgers.
30. Tennessee: James Laurinaitis, MLB, Ohio State.
31. Arizona: Donald Brown, RB, Connecticut.
32. Pittsburgh: Eric Wood, C, Louisville.

Simply mash the link to view the Draft Report in its entirety: (if you think it's just some first round mock draft silliness, you're sorely mistaken. Trust me, you don't want to miss this...)

Ryan, Kevin, and Mark's Draft Report 2009

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Holy Crap...what's going on?

Eric Mangini is the next coach of the Cleveland Browns. To be honest I'm not quite sure what to make of his hiring. Mangini aside, the fact that Lerner actually said, "There is not as much of a rush to get a GM, because his main responsibilities are putting together the draft and (NFL) free agency,". WHAT? Oh, I'm sorry...just the draft and free agency...those aren't that important. And what is Mangini's responsibility? What comes first, the draft or the preseason?

My faith in Lerner is wearing pretty thin right about now. As much as I love that he's a "mostly" none meddling owner with deep, deep, deep pockets, his plan for building, maintaining and ensuring the success of the franchise seems none existent. He's like that chick in college who went from one dirt bag to another with not so much as a night's rest in her own bed in between. She had no idea what she was doing, she just knew that being with someone made her feel less vulnerable and less insecure. Lerner seems to be latching this storied franchise on the whatever new girl walks into the bar. How about buying her a drink first? How about noticing the hair on her upper lip, or the chipped tooth? You gotta get close before you realize that stuff, and I don't think we've gotten close to anyone we've hired since Lerner took over...he was 10 beers deep, saw her across the bar, and was sold. Butch Davis?

Regardless, the Mangini hiring could work out just fine, but that's not really the point here. What's scary about that possibility is that is would be total luck. There was no process, no due diligence, no vetting that took place here, other than some really long conversations where they both seemed to give each other massages and sip Johnny Walker 1805.

We're hoping for the best here at MUTM...but geez...just when you think it can't get any worse...