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Browns notes: Vikings assistant GM George Paton reportedly out of running in Cleveland

By Nate Ulrich Published: January 14, 2013

Minnesota Vikings assistant general manager George Paton is out of the running to head the Browns’ personnel department, Pro Football Talk reported today.

The Browns requested permission from the Vikings to interview Paton, but a meeting never happened, according to the report.

One source told Pro Football Talk that Paton passed on a chance to meet with the Browns. And another source told the website the Vikings denied the Browns’ request for an interview.

Either way, Paton is no longer a candidate to join the Browns’ front office.

Owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner fired General Manager Tom Heckert on Dec. 31 and are now looking for a personnel executive to pair with new head coach Rob Chudzinski, whom they hired Thursday night.

Candidates reportedly on the Browns’ radar are NFL Network analyst and former personnel man Michael Lombardi, Seattle Seahawks vice president of football administration John Idzik, Kansas City Chiefs director of pro personnel Ray Farmer and San Francisco 49ers director of player personnel Tom Gamble.

D-line coach on radar

The Browns have received permission from the Jacksonville Jaguars to interview defensive line coach Joe Cullen, USA Today reported.

In other words, the Browns probably won’t retain Dwaine Board, who spent the past two seasons serving as their defensive line coach under defensive coordinator Dick Jauron.
Cullen joined the Jaguars in 2010. He previously coached the Detroit Lions’ defensive line from 2006-08, meaning his has six seasons of NFL experience.

Cullen, 45, also has 22 years of college coaching experience. His resume includes stints at Massachusetts (1990-91), Richmond (1992-98 and 2000), Louisiana State (1999), Memphis (2001), Indiana (2002-04), Illinois (2005) and Idaho State (2009).

Jauron is not expected to be back, and the Browns have yet to name a new defensive coordinator. San Diego Chargers defensive coordinator John Pagano and Jaguars defensive coordinator Mel Tucker are reportedly on the Browns' radar.

QB lobbying

Former Browns quarterback Derek Anderson took to Facebook Friday night and flirted with the possibility of returning to Cleveland, Mike Cairns of News Channel 5 first reported.

Anderson had his best NFL season and went to the Pro Bowl in 2007, when Chudzinski was the Browns’ offensive coordinator. Chudzinski spent the past two seasons as the offensive coordinator of the Carolina Panthers, and Anderson served as their backup quarterback.

Via Zac Jackson of Fox Sports Ohio, here is what Anderson wrote on his personal Facebook page in response to someone speculating he would rejoin the Browns: "Fellas..fellas.. U know in my heart I love the city.. Got a little frustrated with the entire situation when I got fired.. But honestly think new ownership will do the right things..if u guys would have me back I'd love to come home.. I have alot of knowledge and have grown up in 3 years away! We could get this thing rolling again like we all know it can! In 2007 we had that place rocking and it was alot of fun!"

After Anderson was released by the Browns on March 9, 2010, he ripped Browns fans in an e-mail to the News-Herald.

“The fans are ruthless and don't deserve a winner,” Anderson wrote then. “I will never forget getting cheered when I was injured.

“I know at times I wasn't great. I hope and pray I'm playing when my team comes to town and [we] roll them.”

Whether the Browns actually try to bring Anderson, 29, back remains to be seen. He’s scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent at 4 p.m. March 12. His base salary last year was $825,000.

Familiar faces

Ex-Browns coach Pat Shurmur, whom Haslam and Banner fired Dec. 31, is interviewing today in Charlotte for the Panthers’ offensive coordinator job, the Charlotte Observer reported.

If the Panthers hire Shurmur, he and Chudzinski will have traded places.

Shurmur, 47, coached the Browns from 2010-11 and compiled a record of 9-23. Before joining the Browns, he was the offensive coordinator of the St. Louis Rams for two seasons.

Shurmur is also on the radar of the New York Jets, though they have yet to schedule an interview with him, the New York Daily News reported.

Brian Daboll, who served as the Browns’ offensive coordinator from 2009-10, has rejoined the coaching staff of the New England Patriots as an assistant, coach Bill Belichick told reporters today.

"I don't really have any further comment on it, but I'll just put it out there now that we're in the process of bringing Brian Daboll back onto our staff," Belichick said. "As soon as we get that worked out, he'll be part of our coaching staff going forward, similar to what [offensive coordinator] Josh [McDaniels] did last year but without any specific responsibility at this time."

After the Browns fired coach Eric Mangini following the 2010 season, Daboll became the offensive coordinator of the Miami Dolphins in 2011 and held the same job with the Kansas City Chiefs last year. Daboll was an assistant for the Patriots from 2000-06 before leaving in 2007 to coach quarterbacks for Mangini and the Jets.

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