CLEVELAND (AP) -- Eric Mangini will return for a second season as coach of the Cleveland Browns.
New team president Mike Holmgren decided Thursday to retain Mangini, whose job security was in jeopardy after the Browns started 1-11. But the team regrouped and finished with a four-game winning streak, Cleveland's longest since 1994, to help save Mangini.
Team spokesman Neal Gulkis said Mangini's staff will return as well.
Holmgren spent the past two days in meetings with Mangini, who was fired after last season by the New York Jets.
Mangini felt confident all along that he would be back despite signs that the team was planning to go in another direction. Browns owner Randy Lerner did not attend any of the club's final three games, and there were reports that Holmgren was already lining up possible replacements.
Instead, Holmgren elected continuity over a swift coaching purge. Mangini is Cleveland's fourth coach since 1999.
During his introductory news conference Tuesday, Holmgren said Mangini had a legitimate chance of keeping his job. Cleveland's new boss then evidently liked what he heard during his face-to-face meetings with Mangini, who had an up-and-down first season with the Browns.
Although he and Mangini have differing offensive and defensive philosophies, Holmgren apparently found enough common ground to want to work with Mangini.
Mangini was granted a second season one day shy of his first anniversary with the Browns, who hired him on Jan. 8 last year.
The Browns also confirmed Seattle pro personnel director Will Lewis will interview to be their general manager. Lewis has a strong background with Holmgren, working with him in Green Bay and Seattle.
On Wednesday, Holmgren interviewed Philadelphia GM Tom Heckert. The team has been without a GM since George Kokinis was fired Nov. 2.
Lewis played cornerback for the Seahawks. After his playing career ended, he worked as a scout with the Packers before following Holmgren to Seattle, where he joined the team's pro personnel department.
Holmgren's interview with Lewis, who is black, fulfills the Browns' obligation to comply with the NFL's Rooney Rule for minority candidates.
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