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Pontbriand Hawaii-bound

By Marla Ridenour Published: January 28, 2009

For the second consecutive season, Browns long snapper Ryan Pontbriand earned a spot in the Pro Bowl as the AFC's need player.

A fifth-round pick out of Rice in 2003, Pontbriand helped kicker Phil Dawson set a Browns' single-season record with 30 field goals in '08, surpassing Matt Stover's 29 in 1995. Dawson also hit a career-long 56-yard field goal for the game-winner at Buffalo. Punter Dave Zastudil, a seven-year veteran, recorded career bests in average (45.5) and net average (39.4).

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Patriots hire Reese

By Marla Ridenour Published: January 27, 2009

Those not entirely on board with Browns owner Randy Lerner's hiring of coach Eric Mangini and general manager George Kokinis might again cite the New England Patriots' model.

On Tuesday, the Patriots hired former Tennessee Titans general manager Floyd Reese as a senior football advisor. Reese's various assignments will include contract work, the Patriots' press release said.

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Reports: McCreight out

By Marla Ridenour Published: January 23, 2009

Browns director of player personnel T.J. McCreight was fired on Friday, according to Internet reports, including Cleveland.com.

McCreight had been leading the team's scouting effort this week at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.

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Bentley resurfaces

By Marla Ridenour Published: January 21, 2009

LeCharles Bentley attended Wednesday night's Greater Cleveland Sports Awards at the Renaissance hotel in support of his old high school football coach, Chuck Kyle of St. Ignatius, who received the lifetime achievement award. Bentley has opened the O-Line Academy in Avon, a training center for offensive linemen that he said is the first of its kind in the country.

A Pro Bowl center who was a prized free agent signing of the Browns in 2006, Bentley hasn't played football since tearing his patella tendon on the first day of training camp that year and needing three additional surgeries for what he said was a life-and-limb threatening staph infection. Bentley asked for his release from the Browns last June and the team complied.

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Lerner, Kokinis talk

By Marla Ridenour Published: January 21, 2009

Browns owner Randy Lerner spoke to general manager candidate George Kokinis again Wednesday, a source confirmed. But it is unknown whether Lerner offered Kokinis a contract.

Kokinis, the Baltimore Ravens director of pro personnel and a close friend of new coach Eric Mangini, is expected to be hired this week.

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Browns lay off 15

By Marla Ridenour Published: January 21, 2009

The nation's recession struck the Browns this week when 15 employees were laid off, 12 receiving the news Wednesday and three Tuesday.

Economic woes were given as the reason for the layoffs, which were not performance-related. One person was let go from each of the front office support staff departments, including the team's legal counsel, the director of youth development, the media information director, the events and special projects manager and a staff writer for the team's web site.

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Kokinis in Berea again

By Marla Ridenour Published: January 20, 2009

George Kokinis, the apparent choice to be the Browns new general manager, spent part of Tuesday in Berea before heading back to Baltimore, WKYC Channel 3 reported.

A source said another meeting with Browns owner Randy Lerner has not been scheduled.

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Kokinis meets with Mangini first

By Marla Ridenour Published: January 19, 2009

George Kokinis, expected to be named Browns general manager this week, will meet with new Browns coach Eric Mangini and some staff members before getting together again with owner Randy Lerner, a source said.

Kokinis' second meeting with Lerner was not scheduled for Monday, according to the source.

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Report: Browns to interview Harris

By Marla Ridenour Published: January 14, 2009

Browns owner Randy Lerner will interview former Jacksonville Jaguars vice president of player personnel James Harris on Thursday in New York, WKYC Channel 3 reported Wednesday.

Harris, 61, resigned on Dec. 23 after serving nearly six years as the Jaguars GM.

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Browns interview Kokinis

By Marla Ridenour Published: January 12, 2009

Browns owner Randy Lerner interviewed Baltimore Ravens director of pro personnel George Kokinis Sunday and their meeting reportedly went well. But the possibility of hiring Kokinis as general manager to partner with coach Eric Mangini will have to wait.

The Ravens advanced to Sunday's AFC Championship game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, making Kokinis unavailable to join the Browns until Baltimore's playoff run ends. That could be after the Super Bowl Feb. 1 in Tampa.

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Mangini takes command

By Marla Ridenour Published: January 8, 2009

Eric Mangini took over as the 12th-full time coach in Browns history Thursday with a full appreciation of the team's tradition and a vow that he's changed in the three years he spent with the New York Jets.

''You learn there's so many things there's no handbook for,'' Mangini said. ''They say there's five things that come up every single day you don't have scheduled, there might be seven, there might be 10. You learn from all those experiences and grow from them.

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Browns hire Mangini

By Marla Ridenour Published: January 7, 2009

Eric Mangini completed his rise from Browns ball boy and public relations intern Wednesday, when he reached agreement on a contract to become the team's fourth coach since 1999.

Mangini went 23-25 with the New York Jets, including a 10-6 playoff season in his first year in 2006. In 2008, the Jets started 8-3 but finished 9-7 as quarterback Brett Favre faded down the stretch.

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Browns must wait on Kokinis

By Marla Ridenour Published: January 5, 2009

Sunday will be the first opportunity for the Browns to interview Baltimore Ravens director of pro personnel George Kokinis for their vacant general manager position, a league source said.

That's because the Ravens are on a short week of preparation for their playoff game at Tennessee Saturday after defeating the Miami Dolphins Sunday. The same window will apply for defensive coordinator Rex Ryan, also drawing interest from at least two teams in their coaching search.

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Schwartz interview postponed

By Marla Ridenour Published: January 3, 2009

Browns owner Randy Lerner's scheduled interview with Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz was postponed Saturday because of a scheduling conflict, said a league source, who was unsure if the meeting had been rescheduled.

Unless it can be reset for Sunday, Lerner will have to wait until the Titans are eliminated from the playoffs, or during the week before the Super Bowl if Tennessee gets that far.

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McDaniels among 3 to interview Friday

By Marla Ridenour Published: January 2, 2009

Browns owner Randy Lerner's whirlwind interview schedule included Friday sessions with Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and two members of the team's 2008 staff, defensive coordinator Mel Tucker and player personnel director T.J. McCreight, a league source said.

All of those meetings were expected to be held in the New York area, where Lerner has conducted this week's search.

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McKay interview postponed

By Marla Ridenour Published: January 1, 2009

Browns owner Randy Lerner's scheduled interview with Atlanta Falcons president Rich McKay has been postponed, at least until after the Falcons' playoff game at Arizona Saturday, according to a league source.

Lerner had planned to meet with McKay Thursday. Instead, Lerner turned his attention to New York Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. Lerner was scheduled to meet Spagnuolo Thursday afternoon or evening, the source said, presumably in the New York area.

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