I've seen what you wrote on your message boards. You thought Vinny got swatted. Didn't ya?
Not quite. I've been around awhile, but I'm still surprisingly agile. I've got deceptive speed for a big aging insect.
Even more so because I'm getting thinner. There aren't as many doughnuts around as when Romeo ran things. More pizza... lots more pizza... but there usually isn't that much left over for hungry flying critters. No one ever thinks about us.
Even though I'm weak from hunger at times, I still hear things, and the OBR gang knows that special kind of sugar cubes I like.
Say what you want about how he's done so far, but head coach Eric Mangini isn't fazed by rumors that his job may be on the line. He keeps doing his thing, or everybody's thing, and believes the team is on the right path, despite how things have started. The head coach believes his team will improve as the season progresses, which will vindicate his time as head coach.
Mangini has met Randy's new consultant, some guy named "Bernie", on more than one occasion. Buzz coming back to me is that they have talked about a lot of different things, and that Mangini has been surprisingly receptive to having someone else around to offer some perspective. None of this "here's some tape to watch, go away" stuff from a few years back.
Mangini's already under fire, that's for sure, but the good news is that Browns are now positioned pretty well to make a splash in free agency and the draft early next year. Mangini, Kokinis, and Dawn Aponte have gotten the financial house cleaned up, and have been commended for that by team owner Randy Lerner. The Browns have money and lots of picks.
All kinds of people are saying what he's supposed to be thinking, but Randy Lerner has not come to the conclusion Mangini will be or should be fired. I'm sorry if that's what you wanted to hear, but we're not at that point yet.
Mangini has assured Lerner repeatedly that the team is getting better, getting closer to being competitive and is going to have a solid roster.
Lerner ain't completely sold, though. He is watching things pretty close, even though fans can't tell.
The owner didn't want to see himself starting over again after he went through hiring Mangini and Kokinis. But now he sees he might have to do just that.
The expectation when Mangini was hired was that the team would be competitive this year. Not a contender, not an embarrassment, but competitive.
So far, they're not competitive. They're closer to that "e" word. This hasn't exactly escaped the owner's notice.
NAMES TO REMEMBER, OR NOT
Lerner hasn't been talking about the possibility of selling the team, but other people have. Youngstown native Eddie DeBartolo is a name will come up, for good reason. I've heard that he's spoken to Lerner and Kosar both, but that Lerner isn't interested in selling the team at this point.
Speaking of Bernie, Lerner insisted he wanted the ex-Browns quarterback's advice, and Kosar has been a constant presence since then. The two have become close friends over the years, and Bernie is a trusted voice regarding everything and anything football for Lerner. Bernie isn't just sitting in, watching and listening - he's provided input and expertise on the issues the Browns face on the offensive side of the ball. Fans are probably pretty happy to hear that he's getting involved.
A name that's pretty well respected in football circles, Ernie Accorsi, has popped up again. He's someone who would be welcomed in Berea to help analyze and fix the organization, but Accorsi hasn't been overly receptive in going through the rigors of heading up an organization at this point in his life, but this is a situation where we should say "never say never", as there has been communication between the team owner and Accorsi. So don't go painting his name on any office doors at this point just yet.
But if you want to leave some doughnuts in a convenient place, I'd have no problem with that.