CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – He didn’t want to coach the Cleveland Browns while collecting an $8 million annual salary as team president, but Mike Holmgren is ready to entertain offers to coach elsewhere.
Holmgren told Ed Werder of ESPN this week that “If anyone’s interested, I’ll listen” when asked about possibly returning to the sidelines in 2013.
7 teams, including the Browns fired coaches on Monday.
On Oct. 16 after being unanimously approved by NFL owners to buy the Browns, Jimmy Haslam announced that Holmgren was “retiring” at the end of the year and Joe Banner was assuming the role of chief executive and CEO.
On Oct. 23, during his first press conference since it was announced that he was leaving the Browns, Holmgren opened the door for a potential return to coaching.
“I’ve learned a lot of things in the last three years,” Holmgren said. “One of the things that I thought I knew, but now I’m sure, I do miss the coaching part of it. I really do.”
He had his chance to coach the Browns in January of 2011 when he fired Eric Mangini following a second straight 5-11 finish.
He hired Pat Shurmur instead.
“When I came here, the decision was to try and run the organization,” Holmgren said. “And that’s what I wanted to do. I didn’t want to coach anymore at that point. I knew it would be a difficult thing watching games and not contributing.
“I made my decision, what I wanted to do, and that’s what I did.”
Just exactly what Holmgren did while running the Browns remains in question. There were constant rumblings of Holmgren arriving late and leaving early.
Several sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity said that Holmgren loved making it a point to be visible at practice for the media to see in an effort to appear involved in the day to day operations of the team.
In November Holmgren’s name surfaced in relation to having interest in coaching the Dallas Cowboys should Jerry Jones decide to make a change.
He denied the reports.
“I haven’t booked my tickets to Dallas,” Holmgren joked before he got serious in addressing the report on Nov. 12.
“The last time I talked to anyone about my future was when I talked to you guys in this room,” Holmgren said. “I haven’t talked to a single soul. I have no idea how that stuff gets started, but I’m telling you the straight scoop on that, OK?
“I would never do that to anybody. I have tremendous respect for Jason Garrett. Jerry Jones and I, I consider him a friend. We worked on the committees a long time together but I just wouldn’t do that.”
On Nov. 18, prior to the Browns’ 23-20 overtime loss at Dallas, Holmgren shook hands and chatted with Jones at mid field. The scene was caught by television cameras and did not sit well with Haslam.
Holmgren, who was supposed to remain with the team through the end of the year, was out on Nov. 30.
“I don’t know, I honestly don’t know if I’m going to go back to work immediately or not,” Holmgren said of his future plans on Nov. 26. “And I don’t know if it’ll be in football.”
There are no restrictions on Holmgren, who had 2 years left on his 5-year contract, in his settlement with the Browns.
The Browns went 12-31 in the 2 1/2 years that he served as team president.
He last coached in 2008 with the Seattle Seahawks.