Mike Holmgren just gets it. In a blast of fresh air from previous Browns’ regimes that felt an adversarial relationship with the media and public was the way to go, Mike Holmgren has come in and embraced the media, holding regular press conferences and giving honest, candid answers. Even if Holmgren is saying nothing at all, he makes you feel like he’s giving away inside information. It is easy to see why he has been so successful, and likely will be with the Browns.
As the team gets ready for the start of Training Camp, Holmgren again help a media sit-down. It’s hard to imagine the Browns not being successful this season, that is how contagious Holmgren’s optimism can be.
Here are just a few excerpts from Holmgren’s pow-wow -
(On the quarterback situation)- “I think that when they line it up the first time, Jake (Delhomme) will be in there. Right now, it’s kind of like the way you saw. Seneca (Wallace) is the next guy in, Colt (McCoy) got a few reps and then (Brett) Ratliff gets in there and takes his share. Seneca, and I don’t think that it’s a big secret, is being used in other types of the offensive scheme. I think that will be fairly obvious and will sort itself out. I know it will be different than it has been. Where you come in and say, ‘Okay, we are going to divide the reps evenly…’ Whatever was said before, I don’t even know, it’s not going to be like that. I think if everyone plays the way they’re supposed to play and the way I expect them to play, I think it will sort itself pretty obviously.”
(On his impressions of Delhomme)- “He didn’t surprise me at all. I’ve said all along I think he’s a fine player. I think he has played a long time, had a lot of success. His last year was documented, it was crummy and we’ve talked about that. I think you saw too, I hope you did, the ball is getting where it’s supposed to be. He shows great leadership, that’s a real positive. It’s not a contrived thing. I think he is a natural leader. I think he includes people, he extends himself to people and that’s what you want at that position. I think he had a really good offseason throwing the ball. People talk about the surgery he had and all of that, I didn’t see anything that I would constitute as a problem in his delivery or his throwing or anything like that. He was working very hard to learn this stuff, I mean they throw a lot of stuff at the quarterbacks.”
(On sorting out the secondary)- “I think the secondary thing is going to be a really interesting camp story. As far as sorting it out, I don’t have to do that anymore. I don’t have to sort out anything, but I think there is going to be really good competition in the secondary. Clearly by how we drafted, we wanted to increase that pile and get some young guys in there. I like the way (Mike) Adams had OTAs and (Brandon) McDonald. I liked how those other guys practiced, I really did. Sheldon (Brown) is a great addition. To me, I’m going to be watching that hard. That’s going to be an interesting thing how that sorts itself out.”
Holmgren also discussed how hard it is going to be to watch the coaches do the coaching while he is mostly an observer -
“To make anything work, the people that have to make it work have to decide they are going to make it work. I’m committed to that. Let’s flip it for a second. Let’s say I was the coach. I lived through that a little bit of that. I was not the best one at coming in and having somebody telling me how to (do things). I was polite, but that wasn’t a good thing. I remember consciously thinking, if this is what my job is going to be and I’m not going to coach the team, what kind of a president do I want to be for my coach. I’m trying to be that type of person, that type of guy, support him, answer questions if necessary, but really, if I thought I couldn’t do that or I thought he couldn’t do it, then I probably should have made a different decision way back when, but I didn’t. So, we’re going to do it this way. Do I think this will be difficult for me? We’ll see. We’ll talk after a couple months of watching games and stuff like that. I suspect I’ll get a little antsy about stuff, but I’ve been doing something for so long that this is a different thing. I think that’s natural.”
Whatever happens in 2010, Mike Holmgren gets it. And that is a good thing for the Browns, and the fans.