With Mangini gone, Browns' search begins
As Eric Mangini packed picture frames and two years of football into boxes, Browns president Mike Holmgren was already looking for his replacement.
One day after another lost season, the search was under way in Cleveland for a new coach, the one as Holmgren put it, "can eventually someday lead us to the championship. That is my only goal."
Attention Jon Gruden, John Fox, Jim Harbaugh, Marty Mornhinweg, Brad Childress and others: Holmgren may have you on his list.
For now, though, Holmgren doesn't have his own name on it. But that could change.
Granted a second season by Holmgren, Mangini was fired Monday, dismissed less than two years after being hired by owner Randy Lerner, who was convinced he had found the next Bill Belichick. The Browns went 5-11 for the second straight season, and although they showed some significant progress under Mangini, it wasn't enough.
Bengals' Lewis mum on return
Marvin Lewis gave his players and assistant coaches no hints about whether he'll return as the Cincinnati Bengals head coach.
Lewis also had a meeting with owner Mike Brown about whether he'll stay or leave after eight seasons in Cincinnati. A resolution is expected within a few days.
The Bengals finished 4-12 with a 13-7 loss in Baltimore on Sunday.
Jaguars retain Del Rio
Jacksonville Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio's job is safe for another year. His role as defensive play-caller is over, though.
Team owner Wayne Weaver talked with about 10 players yesterday, then had a lengthy meeting with Del Rio. Del Rio explained what went wrong during an 8-8 season and outlined a plan to fix things. Weaver responded by asking Del Rio to give up control of the defense. Weaver also made it clear Del Rio needs to make the postseason in 2011 to keep his job.
Texans keep Kubiak
The Houston Texans said yesterday that coach Gary Kubiak will return next season, despite another lackluster year that ended without a playoff berth.
But the team made wholesale defensive staff changes, firing coordinator Frank Bush, secondary coach David Gibbs, linebackers coach Johnny Holland and assistant linebackers coach Robert Saleh.
Did Cable do enough?
The Oakland Raiders ended a run of seven straight losing seasons, dominated their division and rediscovered the big-play offense that had been so lacking in recent years.
Whether all of that is enough to help coach Tom Cable keep his job for another season is the first major question owner Al Davis must answer heading into an eighth straight offseason that begins before the playoffs start.
Garrett displays confidence
Jason Garrett stood before the Dallas Cowboys yesterday and gave them their marching orders for the offseason. He encouraged them to watch the playoffs and to be frustrated over not being a part of it. He talked about things they can do to become a playoff team next year.
He sure sounded like a guy who plans to remain in charge. Garrett certainly built a strong case, taking a club that had been 1-7 and going 5-3.
New contract for Coughlin
Tom Coughlin is not only coming back as the New York Giants coach, he's getting a new contract, too.
A day after the Giants were eliminated from playoff contention for the second straight year, co-owner Steve Tisch said yesterday that the team plans to sit down with the 64-year-old coach in the very near future and work out a new deal.
Frazier remains with Vikings
Stressing a team-first mentality, Leslie Frazier took over as Minnesota's head coach and vowed a thorough examination of the roster, the staff and the scheme on both sides of the ball to get the Vikings back in the playoffs.
Frazier took over on Nov. 22 when Brad Childress was fired, and the Vikings went 3-3 under the 51-year-old after a 3-7 start.
49ers await word
San Francisco players will be watching closely to see what the San Francisco 49ers' future entails -- along with many others.
Team president Jed York will soon hire a new general manager, then that person will find the coach to replace fired Mike Singletary.
Sought-after Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh might be the frontrunner for a franchise that hasn't reached playoffs in eight years.