Browns coach Eric Mangini is ruffling feathers in his first year on the job in Cleveland. And it’s prompting some league observers to revisit the question of why owner Randy Lerner rushed to hire Mangini at a time when he had been fired by the Jets — and when no on else wanted him.
The latest development is that Browns rookies and their agents are upset that Mangini took them via ten-hour bus trip to work a football camp in Hartford, Connecticut, according to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
“It’s a sophisticated form of hazing,” one league source told Cabot. “I’ve never heard of anything like it.”
“It’s voluntary, [but] it’s B.S. voluntary,” another source told Cabot. “These players are fighting for starting jobs and playing time. What are they supposed to do, say ‘no, I’m not going?”’
A league source responded to the report of the bus trip to Hartford more succinctly.
“That’s f–ked up,” the source told us.
We’ve separately heard that Mangini has imposed a curfew on the first-year players who are participating in voluntary workouts, which obviously makes no sense since the workouts are voluntary.
The problem, as we see it, is that Mangini has learned nothing from his termination by the Jets. And that’s likely because the Browns clamored to hire him the moment that Lerner realized Mangini was available.
Still, if Mangini doesn’t change, he’ll eventually be out of a job again. Next time around, there probably won’t be another owner who’s ready to welcome him to town with open arms.