New Browns Head Coach Hates Browns’ Tradition

The Cleveland Browns need some help. After seemingly being on the cusp of a prolonged playoff run after the 2007 season, the Browns backslid into sub-mediocrity last season, going a paltry 4-12 and scoring just 5 points a game over their last six games (all losses, of course). The lifeless finish cost Romeo Crennel his head coaching job, and in stepped Eric Mangini, the Jets’ former head man.

Mangini Browns
(”I’m so glad to be here in Cleveland, with such a rich history to disown!”)

Mangini has a curious strategy for returning the Browns to prominence respectability winning more than four games a season, though. It’s not revamping the strength program or overhauling the offense; it’s by incinerating all bridges left with the fan base and, according to the AKRON BEACON JOURNAL (via TSB), painting over a mural that immortalized the Cleveland greats of yesteryear. And this wasn’t like most murals you see where it was painted by 4th graders or something: it’s a work of art. Or was, anyway.

Mangini […] has asked for the interior of the building to be painted. Seems he didn’t like the way things looked. And he asked that a mural of the Browns’ hall of famers near the players entrance be painted over. 

There it was.Why Mangini wanted it gone, we’re not sure; it’s not like a football program has ever benefitted from severing ties with its legends of the past–or even needed to in the first place, really.

Also in the ABJ article was considerable grousing over the Browns’ behavior in the front office; the organization laid off a dozen lower-level employees and won’t let assistants interview at other jobs, which is a fantastic way to build loyalty and morale in the new regime. Take former(?) defensive coordinator Mel Tucker, who interviewed to be the head coach at Cleveland, but hasn’t been released even though Mangini hired Rex Ryan for his position. How do you suppose Tucker would like taking a lower-level job with the Browns? We imagine his answer would involve about 5 words, and the only printable one would be “no.”

This drama will all be pushed aside once the season starts, one surmises; there’s rarely anything more important than the games themselves once they begin. But that’s seven long months away, and Mangini’s probably in for a (well-deserved) royal beating in the press in the meantime.