BEREA, Ohio - As Browns players dressed for practice on Thursday, defensive lineman Corey Williams began chanting, "We want Holmgren! We want Holmgren!"

Their wait continues.

Mike Holmgren left Cleveland on Wednesday without a contract to take over as the Browns' director of football operations. Team spokesman Bill Bonsiewicz said money has not been discussed, despite reports that Holmgren could command upwards of $10 million a year, but that the two sides agreed to talk again in the coming days.

He would not offer specifics of the conversation, or whether the Browns have brought in other candidates.

Before Holmgren can be hired, the Browns would have to interview a minority candidate to comply with the NFL's "Rooney Rule."

"We're aware of the rule," Bonsiewicz said. "So much so that we contacted the league office to make sure we're clear on it."

Browns coach Eric Mangini wants his 2-11 team to focus on Kansas City but the Holmgren buzz has infiltrated the locker room.

"Have they hired a czar yet?" one player asked a group of reporters, poking fun at the title that has been assigned to owner Randy Lerner's search for a "serious, credible leader" to overhaul the Browns again.


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