BEREA - Browns coach Eric Mangini acknowledged Friday that he could be fired after the season, despite a firm belief the team's made significant progress.
"Sometimes it happens," he said.
President Mike Holmgren, who has a different coaching background and philosophies than Mangini, began running the franchise at the end of last season and retained Mangini. Mangini said Holmgren hasn't given him a victory total he needs to keep his job for 2011.
"We haven't talked like that at all," Mangini said. "I don't expect to have those conversations. That's not how we're going to operate as a staff or as a group."
The Browns are 5-8 in Mangini's second season. They were 5-11 in 2009.
The popular notion is that Mangini needs at least two wins in the last three games - against AFC North rivals Cincinnati, Baltimore and Pittsburgh - to return. But Mangini didn't want to put too much emphasis on the three-game stretch.
"What's going to carry weight is the whole season, the progress the team has made, how we've performed in all three phases," he said. "I imagine it's not a short snapshot, but a comprehensive look."
Mangini has been consistent in his belief the team continues to improve. He admits the Browns haven't been able to win consistently, but thinks that's the next step they'll take.
Has there been enough progress to satisfy Holmgren?
"I haven't done that kinda math," Mangini said. "I feel good about the things we've done, the direction of the team.
"There are steps you go through in any growth process. We've taken a lot of those steps."
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