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Eric Mangini Is a Big Fan of Bus Travel

Jun 2, 2009 – 1:30 PM
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Ryan Wilson

Ryan Wilson %BloggerTitle%

Winning, as they say, solves everything. But while we wait for Eric Mangini to work his magic in Cleveland, it's perfectly reasonable to wonder what the hell he's doing. Last weekend, Mangini -- who replaced Romeo Crennel in January nine days after getting the Romeo Crennel treatment from the Jets -- thought it would be great fun to send the Browns rookies on a 10-hour bus ride to Hartford, Connecticut to work his football camp.

Also worth mentioning: Mangini flew from Cleveland to Hartford. It's one thing for Mangini to turn this into a "Hey, it's just like in Bull Durham" team-building exercise. It's something else entirely for a bus full of rookies to spend half a day making their way to Hartford while the head coach sips an apple martini in first class on his 90-minute flight.* (Mangini did slum it on the return trip to Cleveland and ride with the players, and who knows, maybe they watched Bull Durham.)

The New York Times' Fifth Down blog runs down the list of Mangini missteps. Pretty impressive given that he's been an NFL head coach for three years, and sports a 23-25 career record.

And the Star-Ledger's Dave Hutchinson has an important point about Mangini logic-defying decision-making skills:
Being hired so soon after being canned by the Jets may turn out to be the worst thing to happen to Mangini because he didn't get the chance to reflect on his experience as a first-time head coach. Instead, he's instituting many of the same bullish policies he had with the Jets, many of which rubbed players the wrong way.
No one questions your methods when you win. Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick, for different reasons, are the most obvious examples. Mangini, who is from the same coaching tree as Barcellsichick, doesn't seem get that.

Which leads Hutchinson to this: "My prediction is that Mangini won't last more than two years in Cleveland. He continues to try to be a mini-Bill Belichick without the resume to back it up." To be fair, Mangini's resume looks a lot like Belichick's did when he was in Cleveland. Maybe he's going for the complete experience.

Oh, and let me be the first to fire up the "We Want Cowher" chants on behalf of Browns fans. It's only a matter of time.

* Mangini's drink of choice is speculation.
Filed under: Sports