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ESPN: Jim Brown supporting Mangini


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Jim Brown supporting Mangini

CLEVELAND -- Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown thinks embattled Cleveland Browns coach Eric Mangini deserves another year.

Mangini improved to 3-11 in his first season in Cleveland with a win at Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, but he could be fired if Mike Holmgren accepts an offer to head the Browns' football operations.

Holmgren did not rule out a return to the sideline when he said Friday that Cleveland's offer would include "any and all" of the titles of president, general manager and coach.

Following Sunday's win, Brown, an executive advisor for team owner Randy Lerner, said Mangini should be back in 2010. Brown believes the team is improving with "a lot of young people who we don't know who are playing good football." Brown also said he didn't want to contradict his boss.

An NFL source told ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen that Holmgren's pending deal with the Browns was expected to be worth $50 million, possibly over 10 years. Holmgren was expected to let the Browns know of his decision by Monday, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer reported.

Holmgren said on a radio show on Friday that he would give Lerner an answer "sooner than later." A possible move to Cleveland became more plausible on Saturday when Holmgren turned down a front-office position with the Seattle Seahawks, the team he coached for 10 seasons and took to its only Super Bowl appearance.

Holmgren guided the Green Bay Packers to two Super Bowls, winning one.

The Browns had no immediate update on Monday about Holmgren. Mangini is scheduled to have a 2:30 p.m. news conference.

Cleveland has won consecutive games for the first time since last season, adding another wrinkle to Mangini's uncertain future. The coach could use the Browns' late-season surge as proof to Holmgren -- or whoever is Cleveland's next top executive -- that he should be given more time.

However, if Holmgren wants to coach again, then Mangini would be fired for the second straight year. He was dismissed by the New York Jets after last season.

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