Mike Holmgren: My work aided in sale of team

I came in wanting to change this, and make it successful, give the fans something they deserve. My thinking is, that you’ll see that in the next couple of years — that’s my feeling. I don’t think about legacy too much. In any job I’ve ever had, I’ve rolled up my sleeves and tried to do the best job I could do, be honest about it, and operate from a mutual respect and go. […] I hired very good business people. I was very involved with budgets for the first time in my life, getting things in order so it was a profitable business. We never wanted to raise ticket prices. We got things in order, and I think we probably helped a little bit in the big business deal that took place.

— Retiring Cleveland Browns president Mike Holmgren in his exit interview with the local media, addressing why he feels the team is in better shape today than when he was hired almost three years ago. The Browns are 12-31 since his arrival. The “big business deal” being referenced is the majority sale of the Browns which was approved this past October.

[Related: “It” Doesn’t Have to be Pretty]

  • MrCleaveland

    “I don’t think about legacy too much.”


  • Garry_Owen

    We won’t think about his legacy much, either, I guess.

  • BisonDeleSightings

    “I think we probably helped a little bit in the big business deal that took place.”

    He’s referring to the 40 boxes of black market Twinkies he snagged online.

  • 216in614
  • mgbode

    did he help get the finances/budgets/etc. in order? I have no idea. If so, then yes it would help in the sale of the team.

    did he help build a foundation for future on-field success? I believe so, others disagree. the good thing is that we will be able to see these results ourselves.

  • MrCleaveland

    Right you are. And he established the Ring of Honor and, most important of all, he got rid of the brown pants along with Mangini. Not sure if that’s worth $5 mil a year or not, but it was nice.

  • Harv 21

    He establshed the legacy of two farewell press conferences.

  • Porckchopexpress

    I wonder if he factored in his 20 mil buyout when he spoke of profitability?

  • subadai

    Y’know… Randy Lerner was so dumb he probably DID hire a football guy to put the finances of the club in order. If Holmgren did that then he did what he was hired to do. We have no way of knowing if Holmgren actually did that. But I do know that if the books were a mess then Haslam, or any other prospective owner would have passed.

    He DID hire a pretty good GM in Heckert. Not firing Mangini immediately set back the “plan” by a year… and then there is Shurmur. Horrible, horrible hire as the HC. Jauron was a good hire as DC. Childress probably would’ve been a good hire as and OC… but what good is an OC if he can’t call plays.

    I say Holmgren’s legacy is mixed. He seems to have done a good job putting the club infrastructure and personnel dept. on a solid footing. But, other than Jauron, the coaching personnel decisions in his tenure were terrible.

    So…. a mixed legacy. Still better than what Phil Savage/Romeo Crennnel or Man-kock (remember that one LOL) managed.

  • Roosevelet

    I really don’t get the visceral hatred of Holmgren. Day to day, the team was not the laughingstock that they were before he got here. Sure, Holmgren and his guys dropped the ball a few times*, but there is almost no doubt that the team is in much better shape now than they were when he got here.I wish it was in terms of wins and losses but some progress is better than no progress. Meanwhile, while it’s nice to have a new owner, having Holmgren stay might have been a better option, since he too would have fired Shurmur and brought in someone new, and there would be less suspense about whether the whole team would be overhauled.

    *Yes, it probably would have been better for the team if he had let Mangini go a year earlier, but you can’t kill the guy for being a decent human being.

  • Joe Murphy

    This team was just as much of a laughing stock if not worse. Whether it be coaching hires, drafting gaffes, or countless wins choked away, these Browns have been unlikeable for 3 years, with a dimly lot future. Unless you think Weeden is the answer.

  • mgbode

    let’s see if i can brighten your future outlook.

    worst loss this season: 10pt loss that we never really had a shot at getting much closer vs. Bills (who happen to be the worst team we faced this year — only because the Eagles didn’t implode quite yet, but still)

    no blowouts, competitive each week. real good chances to win in Eagles, 1st Cinci, 1st Balt, Dallas, and had big lead vs. Giants early. Indy, Bills, and 2nd Balt game felt like other team had control, but we kept the score close and had decent shots at getting closer in 2 of them.

    did all of the above while missing our best CB (Haden), 2 best DTs (Rubin, Taylor), SOLB (Gocong), lost LG (Pinkston), and multiple injuries up&down the WR line (MoMass, Benjamin, Cooper, Norwood, Watson). this means we showed decent depth to keep these games close (though missing Haden really hurt our secondary and was pretty obvious).

    Winn, Robertson, Fort, Hughes – all rookies on defense that have had very nice moments. Especially Winn (plugged in as starter even with Rubin/Taylor back) and Robertson (best coverage LBer on the team). That’s without mentioning JMJ who is starting to progress the last 4 weeks despite missing early with injuries.

    Rubin/Taylor/Sheard + Rucker/Parker for depth gives us a hellish DL for an opponent to face.

    DQ+Maiava (thought he was a lost cause but he’s had a few decent plays lately) gives us some depth at LBer (we still need a jaw-dropper here).

    Haden+Ward give us some good youth in the secondary but Brown, Skrine, Patterson, Young, Hagg have shown we need more talent here. Still, they have done better than expected overall.


    OL: JoeT, Pinkston/Greco, Mack, Lauvao, Schwartz

    Pinkston was impressing me until he got hurt. a shame. but, I think we just need a RG and we’ll be set at OL. 3rd/4th round pick should do the trick. we have a good OL as it is.

    and JoeT is the elder statesman here. a very young OL as well.

    RB: Richardson, Hardesty

    who thought Hardesty would show promise? not sure if he can stay healthy (as he’s not getting any type of load), but he’s looked good. both young.
    another young group.

    WR: Gordon, Little, Benjamin

    outside of them, you can replace them all for all I care. but each of those 3 have shown they can be apart of our WR corps moving forward. not sure what Little did about his drops but he hasn’t been dropping lately. of course, he’s not getting as many targets because Gordon is actually running routes now besides going long every time. Benjamin is a jitterbug if he can stay healthy (big if with his size).
    and all 1st or 2nd year players.

    TE: Watson (old), Cameron (disappointing)

    really an area that needs obvious improvement. starting to show better but Watson bobbles too many even when he catches it and Cameron just isn’t what I had hoped. he still likely has another year to “get it” but his time is likely running short for us.

    QB: Weeden
    here’s the stumbling block. on one hand, he had a better game against Pitt than the other rookie QBs they have faced (including RGIII). on the other hand, his accuracy has lagged recently, he’s progressing but we want to see that “breakout game” and his YPA isn’t impressive. I like the improvements (not staring down the primary, spreading the ball around, etc.), but he has a long way to go. he is just a rookie though. we shall see.
    KR/PR: Cribbs has had a resurgent year. if he can come back on a ST deal, then great. if not, then we’ll have to replace a good asset.

    K: HOFer Phil Dawson (or he would be if he wasn’t stuck on a bad team for so long)

    P: Hodges (if we replaced him, i wouldn’t be heartbroken. he’s okay, but not great)
    a team with this much youth is fighting/clawing to stay in games and is doing a pretty fine job at that. not the crazy up and down games you see with alot of young teams (though alot of up and down plays themselves).
    i, myself, am pretty excited about all of this youth maturing and hope that if we replace the current regime completely (seemingly likely – though holding out some hope for Heckert) that we will make the correct choice in the replacement and that the key cogs will remain (mostly those mentioned above).
    i don’t want another situation where there are only 5 guys from this team left the next time we face the NFC East (as there were this time around from 2008 – JoeT, Cribbs, Dawson, DQ, Rubin).

  • Matt k

    He meant to say his tenured caused the sale of the team….hopefully this turd elevates his status enough so that Dallas is dumb enough to hire him thereby increasing our chance with Cowher. Might as well pencil Gruden in for Philly.

  • BenRM

    That’s not even close to true and if you were being honest with yourself, you’d be able to admit it.

  • BenRM

    Cowher is not coming back to football and on the off-chance that he does, he is certainly not coming to Cleveland.