Eric Mangini and the Cleveland Browns have come to terms. The former Jets coach will become the top dog in Cleveland. Ironically, Mangini, who succeeded Romeo Crennel as New England's defensive coordinator in 2005 will take Crennel's old job once again. Hopefully for the sake of the Browns, Mangini will have more success than other coaches connected with the Patriots, Crennel and Bill Belichick, had in Cleveland.
Mangini seems like a good guy, and it is easy to wish him all the best. Still, one must wonder whether this was a mistake for both sides. There is no doubt that Eric is bright. However, it might have been a good idea to take some time away from running a team either as an assistant somewhere or by taking a vacation. Removed from overseeing an operation would have given him an opportunity to reflect on the mistakes he made with the Jets.
Brian Daboll will be the Cleveland offensive coordinator. He spent the last two seasons as New York's quarterbacks coach. Given this team's quarterback play in the past two seasons, particularly Kellen Clemens' lack of development to this point, this is hardly devastating news.
Mangini has hired his friend Rob Ryan as his defensive coordinator. Ryan has served the past five years in Oakland in the same capacity. Before that, the pair worked under Belichick in New England. Rumors swirled last offseason that Mangini would bring Ryan to New York and dump Bob Sutton. This did not come to fruition.
By making this move, Mangini may have done the Jets a favor. Rex Ryan, Rob's twin brother, is high on the list of potential successors to Mangini. If hired, Rex may have looked to his brother in his search for a defensive coordinator. While Rex has proven to be an excellent coach, Rob's reputation is a bit overrated. In all but one of his five seasons in Oakland, Rob's defense finished at or near the bottom of the league. Raiders fans had essentially the same complaints Jets fans did about Bob Sutton. Rob Ryan ran conservative read and react defenses. His players were undisciplined. His schemes did not work. Jets fans will not have to watch this unfold. Even if Rob Ryan proved to be a disaster, his brother could never fire him. Gang Green now will not have to worry about nepotism and can find the best candidate if Rex Ryan is the next head man.
At any rate, here's hoping Eric Mangini fares better in his second chance because third opportunities are rare in the NFL.