The Cleveland Browns decided Thursday to give first year coach Eric Mangini a second chance at turning around the 5-11 team. Team spokesman Neal Gulkis tells the Associated Press Mangini's staff will return as well. The Browns finished with a four game winning streak, the teams longest since 1994.
"I'm happy to announce that Eric Mangini will return as head coach of the Cleveland Browns in 2010," Browns President Mike Holmgren said in a statement reported by ESPN. "Over the past few weeks Eric and I have had a chance to talk on a number of occasions including our meetings over the last two days. I was able to gain some tremendous insight into his thought process and philosophies, and came away from our meetings very impressed.
"In my opinion, Eric has gained the respect and admiration of players, coaches and others in the organization, and with him continuing to lead the team I feel that we are headed in the right direction. Working together, our goal is to build on the strong tradition of this franchise and help get the Browns back to the playoffs."
Mangini felt confident all along that he would be back despite signs that the team was planning to go in another direction. During his introductory news conference Tuesday, Holmgren said that Mangini had a legitimate chance of keeping his job.
The Browns also confirmed that Seattle pro personnel director Will Lewis will interview to be their general manager. Lewis worked Holmgren in Green Bay and Seattle. Lewis worked as a scout with the Packers before following Holmgren to Seattle, where he joined the team's pro personnel department.
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