SI's Joe Posnanski and of the cleverly named blog, Joe Posnanski, one of the more tortured sports fans in the public spectrum, writes in his latest column that while it sounds hyperbolic, Eric Mangini might be the worst coaching hire ever. And he sure as hell has an argument.
I'm actually starting to believe that Mangini really was the worst head coach hire in 25 years. Remember:Other bad hires that were compared to Mangini include: Art Shell, Bobby Petrino, Jim Zorn, Steve Spurrier, Raheem Morris, Tom Cable, Rich Kotite (RICH KOTITE!), Scott Linehan and Marty Mornhinweg. Posnanski rebuts all of those pretty factually.
1. Mangini had just been fired in New York, where he had done a terrible job. He had a losing record. His team had collapsed down the stretch, he had alienated his players, he was a pain in the neck to deal with. Point is: He'd already PROVEN how much damage he could do as a coach.
2. He came right out of the school of Bill Belichick ... and that didn't work THE FIRST TIME in Cleveland. It seems to me that Cleveland is a working-class town and Browns fans want a working-class coach -- not some pompous know-it-all who doesn't feel like he should have to explain to the commoners what he's doing.
3. What had he ever done to convince anyone he could be a head coach in the first place? Why, because he was a defensive coordinator for the Patriots under Belichick for one season? The Browns had JUST HIRED Romeo Crennel, who was ALSO defensive coordinator under Belichick. Attention Cleveland Browns owners, here's a good hint: BILL BELICHICK IS HIS OWN DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR.
4. Basically the first thing Mangini did -- first thing -- was have them tear down a mural of great Cleveland Browns players on the wall in the Browns offices. Now, there are differing opinions about what really happened, whose fault it really was, does it all matter, etc. You know what? The Cleveland Browns have never been to a Super Bowl. Never. Not one. But Browns fans still have a whole lot of pride. Browns fans grow up on a glorious history. If you allow something stupid like that to happen on your watch ... just a horrendous hire.
We'd love to throw Norv Turner (hired by anyone) into that hat. He's turned the most talented team in the league into a perennial playoff bust. The Niners hiring Dennis Erickson was also pretty bad.
Worse NFL hire ever? Your arguments in the comments, please.