Mike Holmgren looked for houses during his recent trip to Cleveland, which may soon be his new NFL home.
Terming a chance to assume control of the struggling but tradition-rich Browns as "very, very appealing," Holmgren said yesterday that he's weighing owner Randy Lerner's job offer and intends to give Cleveland a decision on his future, "sooner than later."
Holmgren, who spent 2 days meeting with Lerner earlier this week, said during his radio show on Seattle's KJR that he liked everything he learned about the Browns during a "fact-finding" visit. The former coach of the Seahawks and Packers sounded as if he's leaning toward accepting a chance to rebuild the Browns, who have been devoid of anyone of Holmgren's clout since returning to the league in 1999.
Holmgren praised Lerner and the Browns' organization; he complimented embattled coach Eric Mangini; he said he hasn't had much time to study quarterback Brady Quinn, but would be eager to. About the only thing he didn't say about the Browns was: I accept.
"It's a wonderful opportunity for anybody," Holmgren said. "It's about as good a job situation as you could ask for in this business."
Asked if a potential job in Cleveland would encompass team president, general manager or coaching, he said, "It would be any and all, I would say."
"Exactly how the setup will be regarding me, that's something I'm still thinking about," said Holmgren. "It's my obligation to let the Browns know when I'm thinking that way. There is a bit of a timetable we're working on right now. I wanted time to come back and think about it, talk to some people about it, and that's where we are right now.
Holmgren toured Cleveland and even found time to do some house hunting. Although he was accompanied by agent Bob LaMonte, Holmgren said the sides did not discuss money, perhaps the only thing left to finalize a deal.
* Richie Incognito has been fined $50,000 by the NFL for two unnecessary-roughness fouls, punctuating a rough week for the guard.
Playing for the Rams last Sunday in a 47-7 loss at Tennessee, Incognito head-butted Sen'Derrick Marks in the first half, did the same thing to Vincent Fuller later in the half, then was benched by coach Steve Spagnuolo.
The Rams released him Tuesday and he signed with Buffalo on Thursday.
Tennessee linebacker Keith Bulluck was fined $10,000 by the NFL for throwing a football into the stands in celebration after an interception in that game. Also fined was Jets linebacker Bart Scott, $5,000 for unnecessary roughness.
* Former Eagles running back Correll Buckhalter is listed as doubtful for Denver's home game tomorrow with Oakland after missing all of this week's practices with a sprained ankle.