During what he called ‘‘brutally honest’’ conversations with Banner, Holmgren gave strong endorsements not only for Shurmur and Heckert, but others working for the Browns. Before leaving, he wanted to make sure some of the people he had hired were given a fair chance to keep their jobs.
‘‘All I could do is be honest and tell him what I thought,’’ he said. ‘‘We had to make a bunch of changes in our first year, too. And so, we talked about that. We talked about all that stuff and that was the transition period. And now all the talking is done and I said what I had to say and now we'll see happens at the end of the year.’’
Holmgren exits the Browns with one regret — not winning enough.
He feels he did all he could, and although he thought he understood the city’s passion for the Browns, it was only when he came here that he fully grasped it.
He’s leaving, but some of him will stay in Cleveland. When he watches the Browns from now on, he'll do so with pride.
‘‘When they do well, I'll feel good about that,’’ he said. ‘‘I'll feel good for the players and I'll feel good for the coaches and the organization and the people because I was here. I am very thankful that I got this opportunity to do this.’’
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