Mike Holmgren says he should have coached the Browns

Mike Holmgren says he should have coached the Browns

Former Cleveland Browns president Mike Holmgren gestures while answering questions during a news conference Monday, Nov. 26, 2012, in Berea, Ohio. Holmgren is leaving the team immediately rather than stay on as an adviser through the end of this season. His exit raises more questions about a possible return to coaching and what he truly accomplished during his time with Cleveland. Photo: Associated Press, KPUG/AP Photo/Tony Dejak

According to, Mike Holmgren recently acknowledged in an interview that he should have coached the Cleveland Browns during his brief stint as the team’s president. Holmgren, 65, that he should have coached the Browns but former team owner Randy Lerner was against it.

Holmgren told the website, “I really just should have coached the team, but Lerner didn’t want me to.”

Holmgren guided his teams to three Super Bowl appearances during his 17-year coaching career with the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks, but failed to build a winner in his two-plus years in Cleveland. The Browns haven’t reached the postseason since 2002.

Holmgren was hired by the Browns in December 2009 and retained coach Eric Mangini for the 2010 season when Cleveland went 5-11 for the second straight year. Holmgren replaced Mangini with Pat Shurmur, who went 9-23 in two years before being fired following the 2012 season.

Holmgren told the website, “At that particular time, I wasn’t ready to do it again. I thought I’d be shortchanging the organization.”

In 2012, the Browns announced that Holmgren would step down midway through the season, when Jimmy Haslam acquired ownership of the team.

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