NFL: Mangini out; Frazier in
The coaching carousel …
BEREA, Ohio ó 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 underway 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 on 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.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) ó Touting Leslie Frazier’s communication style, crisis management skills and credibility with players, the Minnesota Vikings decided to strip the interim tag from the former NFL cornerback and make him their head coach.
Frazier stressed a team-first mentality on Monday, and a belief that “it’s only a matter of time” before the championship-deprived franchise wins a Super Bowl.
He vowed a thorough examination of the roster, the staff and the scheme on both sides of the ball to get the Vikings back to the playoffs, following a dramatic 6-10 failure that came after an NFC runner-up finish the season before.
The Vikings started 3-7 before Frazier took over Nov. 22 for the fired Brad Childress. They went 3-3 under the 51-year-old longtime assistant coach the rest of the way.
“I think we’ll be able to look back at these last six weeks and say, ‘You know what? That was the beginning of something special,” Frazier said Monday, during his introductory news conference at Winter Park.
HOUSTON ó The Houston Texans are sticking with coach Gary Kubiak.
The Texans said Monday that Kubiak will return next season, despite another lackluster year that ended without a playoff berth.
The Texans (6-10) lost eight of their last 10 games, mostly due to a defense that gave up a league-high 4,280 yards passing along with 33 touchdown passes, tied with Dallas for the most.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. ó 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 Monday, then had a lengthy meeting with Del Rio. Del Rio explained what went wrong this 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.
IRVING, Texas ó Jason Garrett stood before the Dallas Cowboys on Monday and talked about things they can do to become a playoff team next year.
Speaking to reporters, Garrett said he’ll be at the Senior Bowl later this month to check out potential draft picks.
In every way, he sounded like a guy who plans to remain in charge.