When Browns owner Randy Lerner hired Mike Holmgren to be the team's president and "football czar" in 2009, the goal was crystal clear: Flip the fortunes of a Cleveland franchise that has floated at sea for decades.
Two years into a lucrative, five-year deal, Holmgren isn't sure how long he'll be with the Browns, but he plans to leave the organization in a better place than he found it.
Holmgren, 63, pointed to his family and grandchildren located in Seattle, where he coached from 2000 to 2008, in saying: "Our vision is to kind of get back to that area at some point. Exactly when that is (I don't know). I would like to see improvement here and lay the foundation here so they can feel good about their team again before I make any changes at all."
Holmgren's longing for Seattle is understandable, and despite some ire from Browns fans this week, his conversation revealed no plot to ditch this young team before it blooms. In fact, he told Cleveland media Thursday that he would be open to staying beyond his five-year contract.
"I am all in," Holmgren said, according to The Associated Press. "I want to feel like I'm doing a good job. I don't want to waste anybody's time. We have a plan, and to realize our goals and our plan, it takes some time. I don't know what the future holds, but absolutely, I want to be here."
That's good, because Cleveland has been left at the alter one too many times, and what they want -- even more than a winner -- is to avoid another bolt-by-night Art Modell or LeBron James. They want someone who's in it for the long haul.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.