Mike Holmgren not ruling out coaching in his future
Mike Holmgren mastered the art of the press conference long ago.
The outgoing president of the Cleveland Browns proved that again Tuesday, meeting with reporters to reflect upon his brief, uneven stint with the organization that once viewed him as a potential savior.
Holmgren didn't vow to remain with the team through the end of the season. That will depend on how much help he can provide new owner Jimmy Haslam III and CEO Joe Banner.
"We'll take it one day at a time and see how it goes," Holmgren said. "I'll focus on the football side now. I want to feel like I'm contributing. I think I can help a little."
Holmgren's 10-29 mark since taking over the Browns reeks of an unfinished project. "My time was shorter than I hoped," he said, "but I understand what happened."
Holmgren didn't rule out coaching another team, saying, "I don't know. I do miss the coaching part."
The closest he'll come to that in Cleveland is helping his hand-picked general manager, Tom Heckert, and coach, Pat Shurmur. Both men face uncertain futures.
"I don't think you can get a better general manager than Tom Heckert," Holmgren said. "... and Pat is a bright young coach -- he hates it when I call him young -- a bright new coach, who's had to go through some stuff."
Holmgren paused at one point to say, "I think we did a lot of great things here."
That greatness is mostly hidden in a haze of on-field losses, but much of Holmgren's work was done behind the scenes and aimed at reshaping a fractured organization. On that front, he succeeded. Holmgren hands Haslam something better than what he inherited three seasons ago.
But that might not be enough to prevent sweeping changes in Cleveland.