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Browns receive permission for Schwartz, Spagnuolo

By Marla Ridenour Published: December 31, 2008

The Browns have received permission to interview two respected defensive coordinators, Jim Schwartz of the Tennessee Titans and Steve Spagnuolo of the New York Giants.

The Tennessean reported that Schwartz had been given permission to talk to the Browns and Lions this weekend. According to the newspaper, those meetings were expected to take place in Nashville.

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Lerner to interview Mangini, Pioli

By Marla Ridenour Published: December 30, 2008

Browns owner Randy Lerner will interview fired Jets coach Eric Mangini and New England vice president for player personnel Scott Pioli in the next 24 hours, a league source said Tuesday afternoon.

Both Mangini and Pioli began their NFL careers in Cleveland under coach Bill Belichick. Mangini started as a ballboy and public relations intern in 1994 and became a coaches assistant in 1995. Pioli broke in as a pro personnel assistant in 1992 and moved with the team to Baltimore as director of pro personnel in 1996.

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Lerner to interview Patriots' Pioli

By dan Published: December 29, 2008

That last post? Forget it. The Browns have received permission from the Patriots to interview Scott Pioli. Just to clue everyone in on Pioli, he's the 43-year-old vice president of player personnel for the New England Patriots. That basically means he, along with head coach Bill Belichick, make all the personnel moves for the Patriots.
He's had that job since 2002. Prior to that, he held less significant personnel jobs with the Patriots. He got his big break in the NFL in 1992. It was then, while he was coaching the Browns, that Belichick hired Pioli as a pro personnel assistant.
Pioli won the NFL Executive of the Year Award from Pro Football Weekly in 2003 and 2007. In 2004, he won the same award from the NFL Players Association, the San Francisco Chronicle, Sporting News, Sports Illustrated and USA Today.
Coincidentally, Pioli is the son-in-law of Bill Parcells, another target of the Browns.

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Browns will pick fifth

By Marla Ridenour Published: December 29, 2008

The Cleveland Browns will have the fifth overall pick in the 2009 draft. A partial list of the order was released by the league office this morning, with the final list coming later today.
1. Detroit
2. St. Louis
3. Kansas City
4. Seattle
5. Cleveland
6. Cincinnati
7. Oakland
8. Jacksonville
9. Green Bay

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Browns fire Crennel

By Marla Ridenour Published: December 29, 2008

Romeo Crennel has been relieved of his duties as Browns head coach, the team just announced.

Crennel, 61, went 24-40 over four seasons and the Browns failed to reach the playoffs. On Sunday, he became the only full-time coach in team history to fail to beat Pittsburgh, going 0-8 after a 31-0 loss at Heinz Field.

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Sunday's game has serious draft implications

By dan Published: December 26, 2008

No, the Browns game Sunday is not entirely meaningless. In fact, it could matter a lot in the grand scheme of the franchise's future.
Why? Draft position, of course. Here's a look at the current top 10, with opponents' winning percentage in the final column:
1. Detroit Lions - 0-15 - .573 2. St. Louis Rams - 2-13 - .527 3. Kansas City Chiefs - 2-13 - .556 4. Cincinnati Bengals - 3-11 - 1 - .589 5. Seattle Seahawks - 4-11 - .496 6. Oakland Raiders - 4-11 - .516 7. Cleveland Browns - 4-11 - .562 8. Jacksonville Jaguars - 5-10 - .527 9. Green Bay Packers - 5-10 - .547 10. San Francisco 49ers - 6-9 - .451
So, after Sunday's game, the Browns could be picking anywhere between picks four and nine. Here are the opponents for teams four through nine this week:
Cincinnati - vs. Kansas City Seattle - @ Arizona Oakland - @ Tampa Bay Jacksonville - @ Baltimore Green Bay - vs. Detroit
My guess is that Cincinnati and Green Bay win, which would only move the Browns up one spot. Of course, the best scenario is if all those teams win and the Browns lose, which is conceivable considering the Buccaneers, Cardinals and Ravens might rest some of their players. And the Browns are just that terrible.
Then, with Kansas City, St. Louis and Detroit locked into the top three draft spots, assuming there is no trade and junior offensive tackle Andre Smith and quarterbacks Matt Stafford and Sam Bradford enter the draft, the Browns could have their pick of defensive players like cornerbacks Malcolm Jenkins and Vontae Davis or linebackers Rey Maualuga and Aaron Curry. And certainly any of those four could help this team.
But what does this all mean? The Browns are really, really terrible this year.
Don't forget, the chat will mercifully be back on Sunday to talk Browns football. Game time is at 1 p.m., so the chat will start at 12:45.

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Cribbs hurt at practice

By Marla Ridenour Published: December 24, 2008

Browns receiver/returner Joshua Cribbs injured his right ankle running a pass pattern at practice Wednesday and left the field with trainer Marty Lauzon. Cribbs stopped, pushed off and came back to the ball, then came up limping.

A Browns spokesperson said Cribbs got the ankle taped and returned to practice, catching punts and participating fully.

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Dinkins confirms confrontation

By Marla Ridenour Published: December 22, 2008

Browns tight end Darnell Dinkins confirmed a confrontation last week between quarterback Brady Quinn and defensive lineman Shaun Smith on a Monday morning appearance on Cleveland's WQAL FM-104 radio.

According to Christopher Maduri, senior vice president and market manager of WQAL, Dinkins said on the ''Wilde and Fee'' show that he did not witness the incident, but that something happened between Quinn and Smith. Dinkins said coach Romeo Crennel was upset and took care of the matter. Dinkins added that he saw a mark on Quinn's face.

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What they're saying today

By dan Published: December 22, 2008

- Akron Beacon Journal (Patrick McManamon): Debacle defines a decade of disappointments - Akron Beacon Journal (Marla Ridenour): Lewis' milestone gets lost in defeat
- Canton Repository (Steve Doerschuk): Edwards forgives the fans for boos - Chronicle-Telegram (Brian Dulik): Browns know the score, but just can’t figure out how to score - Cincinnati Enquirer (Mark Curnutte): Cornerback's 3 picks help pick up pace
- Dayton Daily News (Chuck Ludwig): Hall enjoys revenge on Edwards
- Plain Dealer (Mary Kay Cabot and Dennis Manoloff): Edwards vs. Ndukwe could blossom into North rivalry - Plain Dealer (Bill Livingston): As the Browns sink out of sight, so does Dorsey's NFL reputation
- What I'm saying today: I only saw bits and pieces of the game, fortunately. Ken Dorsey should not be an NFL quarterback. Romeo Crennel should not be an NFL head coach.
When you list the NFL's worst teams this season, you can officially include the Browns with the Chiefs, Lions, Raiders, Rams and Bengals.
Clear your throat and shout the tried and true Cleveland phrase: There is always next year!

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Heiden out for season

By Ron Ledgard Published: December 17, 2008

INJURY UPDATE — The carnage continues to pile up for the depleted Browns, as tight end Steve Heiden's season came to a premature end in Monday's game after tearing his ACL and straining his MCL.

''It's kind of tough at the tight end spot particularly, when you're one [Kellen Winslow] and two [Heiden] are not playing for you,'' said Crennel, who noted the team will likely have to sign an untested tight end for depth. ''But two big guys rolled up on [Heiden]. When that happens, those ligaments give a little bit.''

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What they're saying today

By dan Published: December 16, 2008

- Allentown Morning Call (Larry O'Rourke): Ex-Eagle Fraley thankful for his years in Philadelphia - Akron Beacon Journal (Marla Ridenour): Andra Davis content right where he is - Elyria Chronicle-Telegram (Scott Petrak): Past their prime (time): Browns don’t give national TV audience much reason to care
- Philadelphia Inquirer (Phil Sheridan): Eagles lucky Browns play role of patsy - Philadelphia Inquirer (Bob Ford): The old McNabb is back - Plain Dealer (Mary Kay Cabot): McDonald's thefts are Browns' lone highlights - Plain Dealer (Terry Pluto): For forlorn Browns fans, all that's left is a slow, sad march to the finish - What I'm saying today: Absolutely pathetic. Forget the score. Forget the poor play. Romeo Crennel, in some fashion, is sabotaging part of the future of the Cleveland Browns. Because he is too stubborn, the Browns are not giving more playing to Martin Rucker, Beau Bell, Ahtyba Rubin or Alex Hall. What exactly are the Browns playing for, if not the future? Pride? That was gone long ago. Regardless of whether or not the Browns had someone who could be interim coach, Crennel should have been fired several weeks ago. Instead, the fans get to watch (and pay for) some of the worst football I've ever seen the last two weeks.
Oh, one other thing. The play of Brandon McDonald last night will look good on the stat sheet and probably be overlooked. He was terrible, outside of that first interception. The second one only came because it was tipped. Other than that, he was routinely beaten last night and missed tackles.

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What they're saying today

By dan Published: December 8, 2008

- Akron Beacon Journal (Patrick McManamon): Nothing else is working. Play Cribbs
- Akron Beacon Journal (Marla Ridenour): Great performance isn't good enough to satisfy Jackson
- Huntsville Times (Allan Taylor): Titans' fate still not clear
- Nashville Tennessean (Gary Estwick): Key returns offset Titans turnovers
- Nashville Tennessean (Joe Biddle): Brown-out wasn't just the lights
- Plain Dealer (Mary Kay Cabot): Dorsey blames 'execution' in struggles vs. Titans - Plain Dealer (Bill Livingston): In their reluctance to display some 'Flash," Browns prove how drab they really are
- What I'm saying today: That was ugly, but what did you expect? Well, you probably at least didn't expect Ken Dorsey to throw the ball 43 times. Or Jamal Lewis to have just seven carries for seven yards. Or for the Browns to win the turnover and penalty game, yet still not be competitive.
But, with this season, you have to expect the unexpected. And like it.
- Site note: We'll again have the live blog chat for Monday's game against the Eagles. Also, if you notice to the right, the Braylon Edwards dropped pass tracker has been removed for a cheery picture of Romeo Crennel. I like it and so should you.

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Phil Savage, horse's patoot?

By dan Published: December 3, 2008

At least one Yahoo! Sports blogger seems to think that way in his latest column. Michael Silver, take it away:

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Anderson done for season

By Marla Ridenour Published: December 1, 2008

Browns quarterback Derek Anderson is headed to injured reserve after suffering a torn medial collateral ligament in his left knee Sunday against Indianapolis.

Tuesday's MRI revealed the tear, but no surgery will be required. Anderson will wear a brace and is expected to recover in four to six weeks.

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What they're saying today

By dan Published: December 1, 2008

- Akron Beacon Journal (Stephanie Storm): Another Browns quarterback bites the dust
- Akron Beacon Journal (Marla Ridenour): Defense does job, Browns still lose - Akron Beacon Journal (Patrick McManamon): Runaway train flies off track
- Colt Power (Fred Greetham): Browns hold Colts' offense down - Columbus Dispatch (Michael Arace): Crennel is a good guy with bad team - Indianapolis Star (Bob Kravitz): Pretty? Hey, looks aren't everything - Indianapolis Star (Mike Chappell): Browns bring out worst in Colts
- Morning Journal (Matt Goul): D hits new high
- Orange & Brown Report (Rich Passan): A vest too close
- Plain Dealer (Bill Livingston): Cribbs remains a lone bright spot for the 'best worst' Browns
- Plain Dealer (Mary Kay Cabot): Browns QB Anderson heard the jeers after injury
- Plain Dealer (Terry Pluto): Scribbles after another loss
- What I'm saying today: The fate of Romeo Crennel rests in the hands of Ken Dorsey. Incredible! Now the question is whether or not the Browns will win again at all this season. Sure, they still get the Bengals, but the Browns are starting a quarterback who was inactive two weeks ago.
Kamerion Wimbley had his second good game in a row, so there's that. Brandon McDonald finally looked like a starting cornerback again as well.
On the plus side, Luke and I are draftniks, so we'll probably have more content related to what the Browns should do in the future.

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