Browns-Raiders: Report Card

They're not ready for the Dean's List yet, but marks continue to improve...

Eric Mangini's future should be known within a few days of the Browns season finale against Jacksonville.

In his first discussion of his new job with the media, Mike Holmgren said he agreed to a five-year contract to become team president, but stressed he has made no decision on Mangini.

"I wouldn't be a big fan of just allowing a guy to coach one year and then be out, but having said that I haven't made any decisions yet," Holmgren said. "Eric and I are going to talk next week. I still have some time to think about this.

"I want to do what is right for the organization and the Cleveland Browns. That's my charge."

Holmgren said it would be unfair to Mangini to discuss his future before the season ends -- and before he has a chance to sit down with him.

While many are wondering if Holmgren will want Mangini, it's just as easy to wonder if Mangini will want to work for Holmgren.

Mangini was hired with a lot of pull and power with the Browns. He will lose most of that power with the hiring of Holmgren, who said: "I have the final say on everything."

Whether Mangini wishes to stay with a new boss who will essentially be giving him a one-year tryout might be as big a question as whether Holmgren wants Mangini.


--RB Jerome Harrison broke his second record in two games in the win over Oakland when he carried the ball 39 times.

That broke the mark set by Lee Suggs in a game in Miami in 2004. A week earlier, Harrison had broken the Browns single-game rushing record held by Jim Brown.

Harrison ran for 148 yards, making him the first Brown to follow a 200-yard game with a 100-yard game. In the two games, Harrison has totaled 434 yards and scored four touchdowns.

"This is what you live for, what you dream about," Harrison said. "It is what you practice for."

Harrison has clearly thrust himself into the Browns thinking for 2010.
--LB David Bowens had an outstanding game, one-half sack, one quarterback hit, two passes defensed and an interception that set up the Browns first touchdown. Bowens has been stellar since moving inside following season-ending injuries to Eric Barton and D'Qwell Jackson. His move to inside linebacker has been seamless, and has brought some stability to the defense.

Bowens' leadership also has helped the Browns. He's a calming voice of reason with a lot of positive influence.

"Once we are all on the same page and doing the same thing," Bowens said, "we are pretty good."


--QB Derek Anderson threw for 121 yards against Oakland, making the Raiders game the first this season when a Browns quarterback topped 100 yards in a win. In the previous three victories, Anderson and Quinn had thrown for 23, 90 and 66 yards against Buffalo, Pittsburgh and Kansas City.

--CB Brandon McDonald has had some rough games this season, but he came through with a very important interception of Charlie Frye in the fourth quarter of the win over Oakland. McDonald's pick was his first of the season.

--LB Matt Roth has made a significant impact since being signed after Miami waived him. Roth had 1.5 sacks of Charlie Frye, and now has four sacks in the five games he's played for the Browns. His acquisition could prove to be a shrewd waiver pickup.

--S Mike Adams had the first sack of his career, one of four for the Browns in the win. The four give the team 37 for the season, more than double the 17 the Browns had in 2008 and the most since the Browns had 41 in 2001.

--S Mike Furrey started, making him an offensive player starting on defense. Furrey, normally a wide receiver, had five tackles in his first start on defense since 2006. Furrey has 12 career starts defensively, 28 on offense.


PASSING OFFENSE: C -- The Browns again relied on the run, but the passing game was effective in the two-minute drill at the end of the first half. Then, the Browns took advantage of Oakland silliness to score on a 19-yard throw to Mohamed Massaquoi. Derek Anderson had some good throws when he set his feet and got the ball down the field, but also some poor short throws. It seems pretty clear he is auditioning for a new team in 2011.

RUSHING OFFENSE: B-plus -- Jerome Harrison's ascendancy has been one of the stories of December. He had been nearly invisible in the offense until two games ago, and he ran for more than 400 yards in the last two games. He also ran 39 times, which is a lot for a back his size. But Harrison has felt all along that he's been under-utilized and all he needed was an opportunity. He's made the most of that opportunity the last two games.

PASS DEFENSE: B -- The Browns allowed Charlie Frye to throw for more than 300 yards, but they did not allow Oakland into the end zone. That's a trade any defense will take. The defense also sacked Frye four times and intercepted him three. Overall, a very solid effort for a group that has struggled in some games.

RUSH DEFENSE: B-plus -- The run defense will end the season with some sorry numbers, but against Oakland the Browns only allowed 88 yards. That's a good total against a team with three talented backs. Oakland only ran 19 times, so they averaged more than 4 yards per carry, which isn't good. But the overall effort was good.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C -- One mistake cost the Browns three points, as Reggie Hodges did not squib a late-first half kickoff deep enough. That allowed Sebastian Janikowski to make a 61-yard field goal on the last play of the half. Other than that, the effort was solid. Not spectacular, but solid.

COACHING: A-plus -- The situation has to be difficult for Eric Mangini. He has had an extremely difficult season, and he doesn't know if he'll be working for the Browns in 2010 given the team has hired Mike Holmgren as president. This puts him in a tenuous position. Too, he's lost a lot of players to injury. Despite it all, the Browns are on a three-game winning streak. It's to his credit that he has stayed professional and continued working to win while all the off-field questions swirl.

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