When the Browns signed rookie defensive end Brian Sanford of Temple on May 17 after a tryout during rookie minicamp, coach Eric Mangini told no one that Sanford had attended his annual football camp in Hartford, Conn.
Sanford played at Hartford Public High School, where Mangini's brother-in-law Harry Bellucci coaches, and participated in three camps, two as a player, one as a volunteer.
''Nobody knew I knew Brian Sanford. I heard (defensive line coach) Bryan Cox say, 'The Sanford kid's OK' and (general manager) Tom Heckert said, 'The Sanford kid is doing pretty well.' I wanted him to make it on his own,'' Mangini said.
''He keeps doing a good job. How it all works out, I don't know.''
Sanford has been reunited with Cox, who taught him the pass rush moves at Mangini's camp that Sanford said helped him succeed. But he knows the challenge ahead.
''I'm the longest of the longshots,'' Sanford said Saturday.