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Little time to rest

June 21, 2010 - Mike McLain

Most NFL teams have reached the official start of the offseason as minicamps come to an end.

Browns coach Eric Mangini should take advantage of the limited amount of time he has to relax and spend time with his family, Once training camp starts July 30 the hot seat will again be turned on.

Mangini barely escaped with his job after last season. If not for a four-game winning streak to end a 5-11 season, new team president Mike Holmgren would have likely fired Mangini.

It was the right decision to retain Mangini's services, but it means that he'll be under a more intense spotlight next season. Holmgren won't hesitate to bring in his own man (maybe himself) if things unravel in 2010.

Mangini obviously knows that, which is why he can't view the season as another building block towards respectability. The Browns don't necessarily need to win big now, but they'll need to win a few more games if Mangini is to return in 2011.

It won't be an easy task facing a schedule that looks cushy at the start (at Tampa Bay and home to the Kansas City Chiefs in the first two weeks) but difficult from then on. With no one knowing if Jake Delhomme still has "it" at quarterback and with a young, unproven cast of receivers. the task of improving upon last season's 5-11 record will be challenging, to say the least.

Browns fans have become adept at wanting to drive coaches out of town. A bad start next season will create a tidal wave of fan criticism towards Mangini.

I keep thinking about Jon Gruden, who's become a star analyst at "ESPN". I have to believe that he wants to get back into coaching, and what better place than Cleveland, Gruden grew up a Browns fan in Ohio, and he's close with Holmgren.

The Browns won't appear on Monday Night Football, which means we won't hear Gruden's take on the team. That doesn't mean he won't be keeping a close watch on what's taking place along the Lake Erie shoreline.



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