BEREA – Cleveland Browns Coach Eric Mangini was vague Saturday when asked why the team released veteran defensive lineman Shaun Smith.
Smith, a six-year veteran entering his third year with the Browns, was released Saturday by the team.
‘’ We needed to create a roster spot and that’s what it came down to. We’ll eventually sign a player for the roster spot,’’ Mangini said Saturday afternoon.
Smith has the reputation of being a player who speaks his mind, a character trait that’s not welcome on this incarnation of the Browns. The coach never fully addressed whether that was the reason for his being waived from the team.
‘’Sean did a good job while he was here and in terms of his experience and prior to me getting here I was familiar with and we were evaluating it as I arrived and as this group arrived, that’s what our decisions are always made on,’’ he said.
Smith, who recorded 48 tackles, two quarterback pressures and a fumble recovery in 2008, created a stir late during last season for an off-the-field incident involving quarterback Brady Quinn. According to reports, Smith punched Quinn in the face.
He said he came into the job without having any preconceived notion about any of his players. Instead he waited to get a feeling for who his players were, preferring to perform ‘’due diligence’’ before making any decisions.
When asked if whether the incident with Quinn contributed to his dismissal, Mangini said: ‘’I took all the information I could possibly gather from people not specific to him, but from all the players in meetings.’’