Sports

Holmgren hires GM, bringing in Philly exec

He's secured the coach, lured Philadelphia's general manager to Cleveland and brought some stability to the wobbling Browns.

After one week, Mike Holmgren is loving his new gig.

“I’m the big boss,” he said, chuckling. “I get the say in everything.”

Holmgren continued Cleveland’s makeover Monday by hiring Tom Heckert away from the Eagles to be the Browns’ new GM. The 42-year-old Heckert had been with the Eagles since 2001, spending the past four seasons as their top personnel executive.

Heckert helped build Philadelphia into a perennial NFC power, but did not have complete control over the team’s roster. Those decisions belonged to Eagles coach Andy Reid.

With Cleveland, Heckert will have final say over the Browns’ 53-man roster with input from Holmgren.

“He’s going to set up the 53-man roster, but I would temper that,” Holmgren said. “He and I will be on close communication with that. But that’s his responsibility.”

Holmgren, whose first official day as Browns president was Jan. 5, touched upon a wide range of team-related topics during a 30-minute conference call announcing Heckert’s hiring.

Holmgren gave further details on his surprising decision to keep coach Eric Mangini; he remains optimistic the Browns can work out a new contract with Pro Bowl return specialist Josh Cribbs; and he said Brady Quinn has a Lisfranc foot fracture but likely will not need surgery.

McNabb will be back

Eagles coach Andy Reid squelched speculation about Donovan McNabb’s future, saying the five-time Pro Bowl quarterback will be back next season.

“That’s my call,” Reid said. “I think he’s a great player. His work over the last 11 years has proven that. I truly believe it’s a team sport; it’s not one guy.”

Extra points

The Dolphins announced the firing of defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni, whose unit backslid in the second year of the Bill Parcells regime. … Add New York Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer to the list of candidates in the Buffalo Bills’ search for a new head coach – the Bills asked the Jets for permission to interview Schottenheimer. … Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath’s 19-year-old daughter was arrested in South Florida. Olivia Namath faces charges of possession of liquor by a person under 21 and two counts of possession of marijuana, including possession with the intent to sell. … Tampa Bay safety Jermaine Phillips was charged with trying to choke his wife during an argument. … Cowboys coach Wade Phillips said Marion Barber, who has an injured left knee, won’t practice Wednesday as a precaution. … Tom Cable apparently will have to wait at least another day before meeting with owner Al Davis to discuss his status as Oakland Raiders coach. The two had originally planned to meet Monday after Cable spent a week evaluating the team with his assistants.

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