FOXBORO, Mass. — All eyes will be on two hands Sunday afternoon in Cleveland.
After the Patriots-Browns game, though, it's unlikely head coaches Bill Belichick and Eric Mangini share an overly emotional embrace, or pound it, or do the rocket ship, or whatever this, this or this happens to be. HandshakeGate will likely be done and over with faster than you can snap your fingers.
"I am sure it will be firm and brisk," Mangini said. "You know, textbook. It will be in business schools for years to come.
"I haven’t gone through the range of shakes that are available. I might have to seek an outside consultant."
Belichick wouldn’t discuss his plan of attack. He just hopes to have a big old grin during his postgame handshake.
"Hopefully I’ll have a smile on my face," Belichick said. "That’s what I’m hoping for. Hope we come out on top. That’s what we’re going up there for. But, hey, we know it’s going to be tough. Cleveland is a good football team. They play everybody tough, and we know it will be a tough game."
The relationship — or, connection, if that now serves as a better term — between Belichick and Mangini has been well-documented. Mangini coached under Belichick for five seasons in New England and then left, apparently, against Belichick's wishes. Of course, there was the Spygate thing, too, when Mangini was leading the Jets.
In any event, Belichick and Mangini have insisted they've moved on. But of course, Sunday's handshake will be worthy of an eyeball or two.
"Right now, it is just trying to get my team ready, get the Patriots ready to play the Browns," Belichick said. "It’s not really about any personal thing. It’s just, I’m trying to do a job, so is the rest of our team. So is their team. We will see what happens on Sunday."
"I think all that stuff, we’ve moved on from," Mangini said. "I am in a different place right now, being in Cleveland and not the [AFC East]. It is just, we’ve been through that over the years, and we view it the same way. It’s just really about football."