Friday, February 10, 2012

Chilly praise

So Mike Holmgren props up the Browns’ new offensive coordinator on the team’s radio mouthpiece the other day.

Well, then it must be so.

Sliced bread has nothing on Brad Childress, who has had a shirttail relationship with the club president for about 20 years. Is it any wonder Holmgren would be so praiseworthy of his newest hire?

“I’ve known (Childress) a long time,” Holmgren said. “. . . I thought he did a really good job in Minnesota (as a head coach) in an unusual set of circumstances at the end. He came close to going to a Super Bowl.”

What else did you expect him to say? He was in the spin room. Of course, he’s going to praise Childress in an effort to sell more tickets this season. Just more pabulum for the naysayers like yours truly.

The odd part of this interview is that it was conducted on radio. The tried and true method of introducing someone as important as a coordinator is with a news conference before the assembled media. Inquiring minds want to know.

Sitting in a radio studio with a stooge asking questions will fetch the kind of answers the front office wants the fans to hear. Wouldn’t be surprised if Holmgren was shown the list of softball questions before the mikes were turned on.

In reality, the only real connection Holmgren and Childress had is that Brett Favre played quarterback for both men. That’s it, other than Childress used his role as Holmgren protégé Andy Reid’s offensive coordinator in Philadelphia as a springboard to get the Minnesota job.

Holmgren said it is tough for a head coach to take a lesser role, especially in this case taking that role under a former assistant. Browns head man Pat Shurmur was a position coach for Childress in Philadelphia. “He (Childress) is excited about that,” Holmgren said. “It’s going to be good for Pat.”

Translated, Childress is excited about being employed once again after sitting out the 2011 season. And Shurmur still will call the plays, although there is no official word on that.

As for the two trusting one another, Holmgren said he is not worried. “Pat and Brad worked together in Philadelphia or a long time,” he said, “so they know each other, they trust one another.”

Let’s see how long that trust lasts when – not if – the Browns stumble out of the gate in the coming season.

Regarding the upcoming season, Holmgren said, ”My hope is that we have to take a pretty big step this next year.”

That’s right, he said hope. That sounds awfully defensive. He momentarily lost his politically correct grip on the situation. Does he know something we don’t?

Improvement should not be something you hope for. It should be something to expect after ringing up records of 5-11 and 4-12 in your first two seasons as the team president. Hoping is for losers.

If that’s the attitude emanating from 76 Lou Groza Blvd. this season, then it’s going to be yet another long campaign.


  1. So the two of them worked together not calling plays before. How inspiring,lol.Somehow I don`t see how the Browns are any better off than they were.

  2. They're not, pending the results of the April draft. And even then, the odds are long that this season will bring any significant improvement.

    You'd think by now that Randy Lerner would somehow fall in love with the right guy to run the club. Mike Holmgren has failed spectacularly in his first two years.

    1. Marty was the guy Randy should have gone all out to hire. He knows how to build a team.

  3. Gimmie a break with the Marty talk. He hasn't been offered a job in the league for years - that should tell you all you need to know. As for you guys being so down on Holmgren, is there really anyone who could have came in and turned the steaming pile of crap that has been our roster into a winner overnight? Be critical of Holmgren with sound specific reasons - that's fair. But don't have such crazy expectations that you run every guy out of town before he has a real chance to implement a plan. That approach has gotten us nowhere.

    For the first time since our expansion rebirth, we have a FO that shares a vision and works well together, a GM with experience and a good draft record, and a philosophy of building through the draft, which has been the likeliest way to get to the Superbowl in the last decade.

    Have some patience for once, or we'll continue to be a sorry expansion team that can't do anything right.

  4. After last season's sorry performance -- and 4-12 is sorry -- how much more patience are you calling for? Two seasons of Holmgren and Heckert have produced a 9-23 record with little progress. The only bright spot was the defense. Aren't Holmgren and Pat Shurmur offensive guys (no pun intended)?

    How much longer are the fans expected to wait? When Mangini came on board, his critics were told to be patient. You see where that ended up. I'll say it again . . . Holmgren should have wiped the slate clean when he took over and fired Mangini. Instead, he bailed. It cost him. And that's not a second guess. I wrote that at the time he took over.

    Unless the Browns have a dynamite draft and productive foray into free agency, even your patience might start to wear a bit thin. Unless, of course, you follow the team in a sycophantic manner.

  5. Hey Rich, I`m waiting for your thoughts on Holmgren`s phone conference with the season ticket holders.... You could call it "Open mouth insert foot Pt 2"
    Seriously, you`re killin` me here... This is to good for you to pass up...

  6. Will have one shortly. Have been extremely busy lately. I promise you one thing . . . you'll like it. It isn't very flattering to Mr. Holmgren.

  7. Thanks Rich! I`m looking forward to it...