The hiring of Mike Holmgren as team president of the Cleveland Browns could mean Eric Mangini is coaching his final games with the team.
Tom Cable’s days with Oakland may be numbered as well.
The Browns look to win three straight for the first time in more than two years when they host the Raiders on Sunday in a meeting between two of the NFL’s most embattled coaches.
Cleveland (3-11), which will finish with a losing record for the sixth time in seven years, has demonstrated improvement in its last two games, but that may be too late for Mangini.
On Monday, the Browns announced that Mike Holmgren, who coached in Green Bay and Seattle, will take over as team president. The biggest question he faces is what to do with Mangini.
Mangini believes he’ll be given another year because Holmgren can sympathize with his situation.
“I think if you’ve been a head coach, you understand the different things that go into any season,” Mangini said Tuesday. “Mike’s last year in Seattle, they had a tough season and were 4-12. You go through those things.”
While the final two games may be important in determining Mangini’s future, the Browns know they won’t have Brady Quinn(notes) available after he was placed on injured reserve Tuesday with a foot injury. The quarterback was hurt in last Sunday’s 41-34 victory over Kansas City.
The injury concludes a tumultuous season for Brady, who began as the starter, lost the job and then got it back. Derek Anderson(notes) will make his sixth start Sunday and first since Nov. 1, when he went 6 of 17 for 76 yards and threw two interceptions in a loss to the Bears.
“I’m excited about the opportunity,” he said. “Obviously we’ve been doing some good things and I’ll try and just step in and continue to win games.”
Brady was under center for both of Cleveland’s last two wins, but much of the credit for last week’s victory goes to Jerome Harrison(notes), who rushed for a career-high 286 yards and three touchdowns and Joshua Cribbs(notes), who returned two kickoffs for TDs - each at least 100 yards.
Harrison’s 286 yards marked the third-highest total in league history and the highest ever for the Browns, who haven’t won three in a row since Oct. 14-Nov. 4, 2007.
Oakland (5-9) will be trying to snap the Browns’ winning streak while winning a third consecutive road game for the first time since 2002. The Raiders are coming off a 20-19 win at Denver last Sunday. JaMarcus Russell(notes) threw a 10-yard touchdown to Chaz Schilens(notes) with 35 seconds left for the win.
While Russell led the game-winning drive, Frye will start under center against the Browns after he was cleared to play Wednesday.
“Monday and Tuesday I was bouncing back from it,” Frye said. “The headaches have left and the fogginess is gone. I’m 100 percent.”
Frye was drafted by the Browns in 2005 and went 6-13 as a starter over three seasons.
Last week’s win improved Cable to 9-17 since replacing the fired Lane Kiffin early last season. Questions remain whether he’ll be brought back. Cable was accused earlier this year of assaulting defensive assistant Randy Hanson during training camp, and last month, Cable’s first wife and a former girlfriend claimed he physically abused them at various times.
“We are fighting very hard for him,” running back Darren McFadden(notes) said. “Everyone on the team loves Coach Cable and at this point in time I don’t think it is a concern if he is coming back or not, we are just trying to finish the season out strong.”
The Raiders beat the Browns 26-24 in Oakland in 2007. They lost their last road game in the series 13-7 in 2003, their only trip to Cleveland since winning there in 1985.
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