Browns have a new Man(gini)

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Not unless he has to.

“I am aware of his position and what that means,” Holmgren said. “I had that position a long time. Eric’s got a tough job. This is his team. I’m just here to help him.”

Mangini is safe. As long as the Browns get better _ a lot better.


“Want something to drink?” he asks.

Mangini ducks into the kitchen area inside his tastefully decorated office and returns with a bottle of water like the $3 one he charged Braylon Edwards $1,701 for last season, when the brash wide receiver refused to pay his hotel incidental during a road trip.

Mangini hardly allowed anyone inside his inner sanctum last season to explain what he was trying to accomplish on and off the field. He was guarded, even secretive.

Well, he’s loosened up. He can still be a hard you-know-what if called for, but at the urging of Holmgren, his wife, Julie, and others who know Mangini as caring, loyal and quick-witted, he’s learned that he doesn’t have to put on the head coaching face 24/7.

He needed to be himself. Last year, Mangini tried to too hard to emulate Bill Belichick or Bill Parcells _ his coaching mentors.

When he spoke to the Browns in meetings, their voices filled his head. What came out, came across as insincere, and he paid for it.

“The thing I find with my kids is I’ll talk to them in my father’s voice sometimes,” said Mangini, whose dad suffered a fatal heart attack when he was 16. “I can hear his voice as I say something or as something is said to me. I have to say, ‘OK, now I need to put this in my voice.’

“The same thing happens in football. When you are raised by two very strong figures like Bill and Bill, you tend to hear their voice a lot. I’m learning more need to put lessons in my voice and I need to deliver it in my style.”

That’s what he’s doing now, and it seems to be working.

“I think the players get me a heck of a lot more than they did last year,” he said. “I think I’ve worked a lot harder to show who I am. It’s easy to get so caught up in what you’re doing that you forget about just being a part of the group and letting them see the things you believe in and the person you are outside of being the head coach.”


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