Curtain Comes Down on “Big Show” Holmgren

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BEREA — The curtain has come down on Cleveland Browns President Mike Holmgren, who has been known by most as the “Big Show.”

Tuesday’s news conference in Berea will most likely be the last time Browns fans see Holmgren, who will be replaced by Joe Banner as CEO of the Browns on Thursday.

Holmgren agreed to become Browns president on Dec. 21, 2009.

He is set to retire at season’s end, but said Tuesday he is not sure if he will stay with the team through the end of the season.

He wants to help in any way possible but does not want his presence to be cumbersome or uncomfortable to anyone. Holmgren thanked Randy Lerner for bringing him to Cleveland and thinks the organization did a lot of great things under his watch.

He said the toughest and sad part about his short, three-year stint in Cleveland is that he wasn’t able to help enough to put a winning product on the field and said he thinks there is light at the end of the tunnel for the Cleveland Browns.

Holmgren decided to retire at season’s end after learning truck stop magnate, Jimmy Haslam III, would become majority owner of the Cleveland Browns.

Haslam purchased the team for $1.05 billion. Holmgren learned of the potential sale of the Browns while on his deck in California. He knew then that his role would probably be changing.

“It’s a wonderful thing for the city of Cleveland and a wonderful thing for the Browns organization,” Holmgren said about the sale of the Browns to Haslam.

The Browns were 10-29 in Holmgren’s tenure as team president. He knows the win-loss record wasn’t good but hopes when the team has success down the line, fans will look back on his time here in Cleveland, a place that has been special to him and his family.

He believes winning will happen in Cleveland and believes in head coach Pat Shurmur, who he thinks is a “bright, young, new coach.”

Holmgren brought in what he believes is the team’s quarterback of the future, Brandon Weeden, who the Browns drafted with the 22nd overall pick in April of 2012.

As for returning to the NFL, Holmgren left the door open. He did admit that he thought about coaching the team after letting Eric Mangini go after the 2010 season but doesn’t regret the decision not to coach the Browns.

Holmgren did show off his sense of humor. He made a comment last December during a news conference not to call him for playoff tickets when the team begins having success.

On Tuesday, he joked, “may I call you guys for playoff tickets.”

No matter where he ends up, he’ll be rooting hard for Cleveland, a place he called home for three years.

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