I didn’t have a chance to transcribe it word-for-word, but in case you missed it here is what “The Big Show” said during his press conference today. And before I go any further, you need to understand the tone that he used the entire time was light with a lot of chuckling almost as if he couldn’t believe how big a deal everything is underneath the microscope right now.
Let’s go right to the meat and potatoes. Holmgren indicates that the Browns will probably sign an offensive coordinator this off-season. In fact, he can’t believe that Pat Shurmur won’t want one in order to take some of the game planning pressure off of himself going forward. Holmgren light-heartedly said, “No one was better than me and I wanted one.” before smiling and laughing.
Holmgren also chided the local media in a good-natured way. After the radio interview blew up, he said, “I’m so aware of pronouns and adverbs and things…” and he said it in such a way as to poke fun at the media and fans that were hyper-analyzing it all. Later he told the media as a note for them to remember, “This is not rocket science. There are not giant conspiracy theories. We need good players and good coaching.” By this I take it to mean that the wild theories about tanking or letting contract situations affect playing time is all blown out of proportion from his point of view.
Speaking of contract situations he said that it has all been blown up because Peyton Hillis got hurt, but that it is pretty typical. They were negotiating and they weren’t able to find common ground. Holmgren again laughed when he said something to the effect of, “this happens all the time in negotiations on contracts.”
Holmgren spoke about Colt McCoy and said they just need to keep letting him play. He has a lot of growing and learning to do in the scheme and as an NFL pro. Holmgren said that he realizes that it is unhealthy for an organization to change quarterbacks every single season. Even with that, he said the team would have to continue to do it until they find “the guy.” Holmgren said this in response to being asked if the Browns were committed to McCoy beyond this season. Holmgren tried to say that the team couldn’t be committed to any player, especially at that position, until he proves he can be the guy.
Holmgren spoke about free agency and recalled that the Packers signing Reggie White might have been the greatest free agent pickup of all time, but that it quite frequently goes the other way. He said that the team’s strategy with free agency will depend every single season on who is available and where the team is in its development. That segued into the wide receivers…
A little dig at Mangini and Daboll possibly, but Holmgren says the Browns really wanted to get a look at the young receivers and Greg Little this year because they didn’t feel like they had a sufficient look at them from a year ago. Then again, considering Mangini was trying to win with a team on its third starting quarterback, can you really blame him for going run-heavy in the gameplan? Again, kind of a situation where Mangini was a victim of circumstance that had to do with his lack of job security not meshing with the long-term goals of Holmgren and Heckert.
Holmgren finished with another small dig / message for the media. “What I would ask is that… to kind of spread the word a little”. The feed cut off, so I am not sure exactly what he meant, but I took it to mean report the facts and stay away from the speculation like with Peyton Hillis. I hope Holmgren got a chance to send this memo to Adam Schefter and Chris Mortenson as well.
I think he is reaching a bit there considering the results so far on the field and how ugly they have been on occasion. Then again, without saying the Browns are tanking on purpose, Mike Holmgren sure didn’t seem overly disappointed by the state of the team right this second. I am happy to hear that he hasn’t given up hope on this team just yet and where they are headed. The little confidence injection is helpful and probably buys his team and coach a little bit of time for now.
I can’t paint a rosy picture just yet though. This team hasn’t shown a lot of progress over the first five weeks. They may not show any this particular week against Seattle either, but there is not time like the present. They better start showing something soon, or Mike Holmgren will have to be out in front giving this same speech five weeks from now before the Browns head into the Baltimore and Pittsburgh portions of their AFC North schedule.