CLEVELAND - Browns President Mike Holmgren proved Wednesday that he's truly the face of the franchise. Since Friday, the heat has been on the Browns to prove they're going to stand up for what they believe is a franchise heading in the right direction.
When it comes to questions of Xs and Os, Browns Head Coach Pat Shurmur is the man to answer them. When the coach and team's medical staff are the targets of an inquisition over protocol and procedure, then it's time for the big man to step up.
While it might have had to come from a shove from the media, Mike Holmgren proved that he believes in his coach and his staff. He also proved he's willing to admit that things don't always go right.
As a national TV audience watched Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison flatten Colt McCoy like a pancake Thursday night on the field, Holmgren admitted his staff didn't see beyond the forest into the trees. They took care of the complaint that McCoy was telling them about his arm.
Sitting here almost a week later, and with the use of replay, it's easy to say the staff overlooked the bigger problem: the concussion. It takes a big man to come down and back your guys when you know a mistake happened.
Holmgren admitted the team didn't administer a concussion test on the field, confirming what ESPN's Chris Mortensen said on Sunday. It also showed Holmgren stepped in when he was really needed, when the franchise was being challenged and more drama was being created with new questions about the way the Browns handled the McCoy situation.
Holmgren waited until after the NFL and the NFLPA came to town to talk. It may have dragged the process out a bit but, in the end, Holmgren did what he needed to do. He did it for a fan base that is looking for any reason to trust this franchise, a team that has not produced on the field in more than a decade and a half.
Holmgren also backed his coach that was under the heat of not selling out his medical staff for allowing him to return to the game. I believe Shurmur would've never overruled a doctor who would have said McCoy's not ready to play. One thing I think that gets overlooked is how fast Owen Marecic and Ben Watson were pulled from the field for a concussion in the same game.
Sometimes it's not easy being the king. But, when the king talks, people listen. Honesty, consistency, and patience are three things Browns fans want and need. They're running short on the last, but the first goes a long way towards the second.