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Browns fire Mangini after another 5-11 season

BEREA, Ohio -- Browns president Mike Holmgren began looking for Cleveland's next coach just hours after firing Eric Mangini.

Holmgren, who won a Super Bowl with Green Bay and guided Seattle to its only appearance in one, would not rule out coaching again. However, he said Monday that he is not part of the initial search to find a replacement for Mangini, who was dismissed after going 10-22 in two seasons.

"My goal is to find exactly the right person to eventually lead us to the championship," Holmgren said. "I was hired to be the president of the Cleveland Browns. I think this year I've grown into the job. Having said that, I am also a coach and will always be a coach. To tell you right now that I would never coach again -- here or any place -- wouldn't be honest.

"But as of right now, my job is to find the best coach available for this job. That's what I'm trying to do. And that does not include me right now."

Holmgren, 62, sent out applications Monday for permission to speak with potential NFL candidates, including those on playoff teams. He said his search will not be limited to only those with pro experience. He has no timetable to find Mangini's replacement but said it's vital to get it right.

"I don't want to do this again," he said, "so I really think I have to get this one right -- for organization continuity, for the ability to keep people in place for a long period of time to develop the organization."


Frazier keeps his job

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings have reached an agreement with Leslie Frazier to be their next coach.

The Vikings announced Monday they're removing the interim tag from Frazier's title. Frazier took over on Nov. 22 when Brad Childress was fired, and the Vikings went 3-3 under the 51-year-old after a 3-7 start.

The defensive coordinator under Childress and a former cornerback for the Bears, Frazier drew positive reviews from the players for his steady approach. They've pushed for him to get the job on a permanent basis, after many of them grew frustrated with Childress and his rigid style.

Frazier is the eighth coach in the franchise's 50-year history.

"Our players and entire organization have great respect for Leslie," owner Zygi Wilf said in a statement released by the team.

Already mired in a mess of a season that started with a Super Bowl-or-bust goal, the Vikings lost quarterback Brett Favre to a shoulder injury on Dec. 5. The roof of their domed stadium collapsed a week later; they had back-to-back home games moved; and their scheduled Dec. 26 game at Philadelphia was pushed back two days by a snowstorm.


Around the league

*Coach Marvin Lewis gave Bengals players and assistants no hints on Monday about whether he's inclined to return. Lewis told owner Mike Brown what needs to change for him to consider staying in Cincinnati.

*The Houston Texans are sticking with coach Gary Kubiak, despite another lackluster year that ended without a playoff berth.

*Jacksonville Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio's job is safe for another year. His role as defensive play caller is over, though, according to team owner Wayne Weaver.

*Tom Coughlin is not only coming back as the New York Giants coach, he's getting a new contract, too. Co-owner Steve Tisch said Monday that the team plans to sit down with the 64-year-old coach in the very near future and work out a new deal.

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