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Robiskie honored again

By Marla Ridenour Published: May 29, 2009

Browns second-round draft choice Brian Robiskie was named one of five male finalists for the 2009 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar of the Year award for the second consecutive year.

Robiskie, a wide receiver, was the first Ohio State student-athlete honored since the minority program began 16 years ago.

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Bring your earplugs

By Marla Ridenour Published: May 28, 2009

Fans who attend training camp should be prepared to cover their ears.

Former Browns coach Bill Belichick was infamous for blasting rock music in practice before road games. But new Browns coach Eric Mangini is playing it every day, as he said he did during his three years with the New York Jets.

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Mangini speaks highly of new linebacker

By dan Published: May 28, 2009

One of the great things that media relations people do is write up press conference quotes. It's thankless work, really. But for someone like me, there's nothing better than reading through a press conference recap. There are always nuggets of great information.
When Browns head coach Eric Mangini met with the media, most stories were either about Josh Cribbs or new cornerback Rod Hood. However, if you dig deep into recap, there are some great thoughts on new linebacker Eric Barton:

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Cribbs attends, Dawson doesn't

By Marla Ridenour Published: May 27, 2009

Pro Bowl special teamer Joshua Cribbs is participating in the Browns' second voluntary minicamp of the off-season, but kicker Phil Dawson remains absent, coach Eric Mangini said Wednesday.

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Browns sign Hood

By Marla Ridenour Published: May 26, 2009

The Browns continue to stockpile defensive backs, signing six-year veteran Rod Hood Tuesday.

Hood spent the previous two seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, starting 14 games in 2008 and 16 in 2007. Entering the league as a undrafted free agent, Hood played his first four years with Philadelphia.

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Browns sign cornerback Rod Hood

By dan Published: May 26, 2009

The Browns today signed former Arizona cornerback Rod Hood. He started for the Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII but was released a week after the NFL Draft.
Hood's best season came in 2007 when he intercepted five passes and had 54 tackles. The Browns have also signed veteran cornerbacks Hank Poteat and Corey Ivy this offseason.
Hood, 27, will more than likely compete for a spot in the starting lineup. He has started 87 games in his six-year career. He was signed in 2003 by the Eagles as an undrafted free agent from Auburn.
See the complete press release from the Browns after the jump:

The Cleveland Browns today signed free agent cornerback Rod Hood, the team announced. Hood, a six-year NFL veteran, spent the previous two seasons with the Arizona Cardinals.
Hood started 14 of the 15 games he appeared in last season at cornerback, and collected 40 tackles, 14 passes defensed and one interception. He added one tackle on special teams and returned a blocked field goal attempt 68 yards for a touchdown. In two seasons with the Cardinals, Hood registered 94 tackles, 35 passes defensed and six interceptions. His most productive NFL season came in 2007 when he started all 16 games and recorded 54 tackles, 21 passes defensed and five interceptions, two of which he returned for touchdowns. His 196 interception return yards in 2007 were the second-most in the NFL that year, trailing only teammate Antrel Rolle.
Originally signed as an undrafted free agent by Philadelphia in 2003, Hood spent the first four seasons of his career with the Eagles. In his six NFL seasons, he has played in 87 games with 42 starts and has amassed 171 tackles, 63 passes defensed, 11 interceptions, five fumble recoveries, one forced fumble and one sack. He has also contributed 42 special teams tackles.
The 5-11, 198-pound Hood began his collegiate career as a walk-on at Auburn, where he played in 47 games and tallied 106 tackles with five interceptions. Born October 3, 1981, the Columbus, Ga., native attended Carver (Columbus, Ga.) High School.

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Cribbs will show up to this week's minicamp

By dan Published: May 26, 2009

Browns special teams player Josh Cribbs plans on attending this week's minicamp, Mary Kay Cabot of the Plain Dealer is reporting.
Cribbs is in the first half a of a six-year, $6.77 million contract and wants it to be restructured. If its not, he said he would like to be traded.
Update from PFT:

Notes... There has been no indication either way on whether or not kicker Phil Dawson will attend this week. He also skipped the "voluntary" minicamp last week.
Terry Pluto of the PD had some excellent thoughts on Brady Quinn over the weekend.
A couple people emailed me Michael Silver's rant about the Browns from Yahoo Sports. I'll have some thoughts on that in a separate post later today or sometime tomorrow.
I wanted to spotlight a comment made by Mike Rasor, an Ohio.com blogging cohort. It's on the Cribbs situation. It's after the jump. Just something to think about. And make sure to always check out his Zips blog.

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No coin flip in '09?

By Marla Ridenour Published: May 21, 2009

New Browns coach Eric Mangini will hold a quarterback competition between Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson. But receiver Braylon Edwards doesn't believe Mangini will drag it out so long that the starters won't be able to develop chemistry before the Sept. 13 opener against Minnesota.

''I think competition is good at any position,'' Edwards said. ''Coach Mangini has to assess for himself who he wants to be the guy. When he does pick the guy, which is all his decision, he'll pick it in enough time where we have time to really get with this guy and really develop an offense or a first-string, develop where we want to go for the start of the season.

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Edwards ready to atone for disappointing '08

By dan Published: May 21, 2009

This came over the Associated Press wire a short time ago. Instead of summarizing it, I thought I'd just make a whole new post about it after the jump.

BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Braylon Edwards wants to atone for his disappointing 2008 season, just not in New York.
After an offseason filled with trade rumors that had Edwards going to the Giants, he is still with the Cleveland Browns, trying to help pick up the pieces of a 4-12 season.
"I felt like if I'd have left Cleveland for any reason, I would have left with a bad taste in my mouth and in the fans' minds," Edwards said. "The thing I want to do is get back to being the player the Browns drafted in '05 and the fans saw in '07."
As the Browns' voluntary three-day minicamp concluded Thursday, Edwards was still catching passes from both Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson. Seemingly, nothing really changed following the offseason trade of tight end Kellen Winslow to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Edwards, Quinn and Anderson were all topics of various trade rumors in the weeks leading up to the NFL draft. New Browns general manager George Kokinis even admitted to discussions with the Giants involving Edwards. Ultimately, Kokinis and new coach Eric Mangini decided to try and win with the same nucleus that underachieved last year.
"We were all bad collectively," Anderson said. "Coaches, players, everyone was bad. We're moving past that. It's all behind us. It's a new year and that's how we're focusing on it."
The quarterback competition between Quinn and Anderson that engulfed training camp last season appears to be back. Mangini wants to use the summer to look at both guys before deciding on a starter. Quinn took the first snaps with the starters this week, but both quarterbacks evenly split all the snaps, Mangini said.
"(Quinn) has done a really outstanding job in the offseason program," Mangini said. "Not that Derek hasn't done well, but I thought (Quinn) got the edge, so he took the first reps. There's no overwhelming significance to that. The goal is balance."
Edwards is certainly looking for balance after a dramatic drop in production last season. He had 55 catches and three touchdowns in 2008 after his Pro Bowl season of 2007, when he caught 80 passes and 16 touchdowns. Edwards also led the league in dropped passes in 2008.
"When you rush things a lot and there's a lot going on, you feel as though things are happening and happening and happening, and you're in a hole you can't get out of," Edwards said. "It's an easy game when you have fun. That's the biggest thing for me. It's not necessarily a confidence thing, but just really having fun with the game and enjoying it."
In other news:
—Browns wide receiver and return specialist Josh Cribbs attended a full squad meeting on Thursday after previously threatening to skip the voluntary minicamp. Cribbs, trying to renegotiate his contract, did not take part in the workouts, but did meet with Mangini following the team meeting.
"I look forward to him being out there," said Mangini, who wouldn't say whether he would be open to renegotiating the final four years on Cribbs' six-year, $6.7 million deal. "These are voluntary camps, so it's not a mandatory situation. Everybody has to make the decision whether to attend or not.
"But I can tell you there is a ton of information going in, and it's an opportunity for us to see all the different players. When you're here, you get those reps. When you're not, you don't."
—Along with Cribbs, kicker Phil Dawson and wide receiver Donte' Stallworth were absent from the workouts. Dawson is believed to be holding out for a new contract, while Stallworth's arraignment in Miami on DUI manslaughter charges was postponed Thursday until June 4.
—Running back Jamal Lewis attended the camp, but didn't participate in many team drills while rehabilitating from offseason ankle surgery.
"It feels good. I'm just doing what the trainers ask me to do," Lewis said. "I don't want to do anything crazy or take the chance of injuring it."
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

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Quinn getting first-team snaps for Browns

By dan Published: May 21, 2009

James Walker of ESPN.com is reporting that Brady Quinn holds the early lead in the Browns' quarterback competition.
Quinn has been receiving snaps with the first team ahead of former Pro Bowler Derek Anderson at voluntary minicamps that end today.
While head coach Eric Mangini has said the two quarterbacks will receive balanced repetitions, Quinn's performance has earned him the top spot.
"Brady will get the first reps today," Mangini told reporters today. "He started with the first reps on Wednesday, and that's because he's done a really outstanding job in the offseason program. Not that Derek hasn't done well, but [Quinn] gets the first reps."
Last season, Quinn started three games before a finger injury knocked him out for the final five games of the season. Quinn's best performance was his first start, a 34-30 loss to Denver. In the game, Quinn finished with 239 yards passing and two touchdowns.
After making the Pro Bowl in 2007, Anderson struggled last season. In 10 games, he had 1,615 yards passing, nine touchdowns and eight interceptions.
The Browns acquired quarterback Brett Ratliff from the Jets during a trade on the first day of the NFL Draft. Ronald Bartel is also on the roster.
Notes... Tip of the hat to commentator Scott for pointing out this story. Matt Bowen of National Football Post says special teams star Josh Cribbs isn't worth a new contract.
Talks between Cribbs and Mangini have taken place, according to Beacon Journal beat writer Marla Ridenour.

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Cribbs, Mangini talk

By Marla Ridenour Published: May 21, 2009

Disgruntled Browns Pro Bowl special teamer Joshua Cribbs attended Thursday's full-squad meeting and met with coach Eric Mangini afterward, Mangini said.

Mangini was unsure whether Cribbs would participate in the final day of this week's voluntary three-day minicamp. Cribbs is seeking to renegotiate a seven-year, $6.67 million contract extension he signed in November, 2006.

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More thoughts on the Cribbs situation

By dan Published: May 19, 2009

The latest word out of Berea is that if Josh Cribbs isn't given a new contract he'll ask for a trade.
No surprise. That's how contract negotiations in professional sports work. However, when you start thinking more about the latest Browns nightmare, it's apparent how much the franchise has sunken.
Cribbs is an incredible special teams player. He has the ability to give the offense a new wrinkle. He's supposed to play on defense this year at strong safety or nickel cornerback. Heck, on the surface, he seems like a good guy who works hard.
But when you get right down to the facts, Cribbs is just a guy who excels on special teams. He flashes the ability to do more, but right now he's completely unproven as anything else.
So should Cribbs be in a position to ask for big-time money? Everyone would probably agree that the $620,000 Cribbs is scheduled to make in 2009 is a deal (relatively speaking). But what is the right number? Certainly it's not four years and $40 million like Devin Hester received from Chicago.
More importantly, should a special teams stalwart set contract renegotiation precedent for new regime?

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Cribbs looks likely to stay home

By Marla Ridenour Published: May 18, 2009

John Rickert, agent for disgruntled Pro Bowl special teamer Joshua Cribbs, said he spoke to the Browns Monday afternoon regarding Cribbs' demand for a new contract.

But Rickert said ''barring any monumental movement on their part,'' Cribbs won't attend the team's first voluntary minicamp that opens Tuesday in Berea. Rickert added that Cribbs, who also plays receiver and expects to see time at strong safety this season, felt ''unappreciated'' by the team.

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Cribbs to reportedly sit out minicamp this week

By dan Published: May 18, 2009


Browns special teams ace Josh Cribbs is expected to skip (in)voluntary full-team minicamps beginning Tuesday. That is according to John Taylor of the Orange & Brown Report.
Cribbs' displeasure stems from the team not restructuring his contract after telling him all offseason it would be redone. Cribbs is set to make $620,000 in 2009, $635,000 in 2010, $650,000 in 2011, and $790,000 in 2012. Those numbers are from a six-year contract Cribbs signed prior to the 2007 season.
Mary Kay-Cabot of the Plain Dealer reports that Cribbs wants a deal similar to the Bears' Devin Hester. Last year he signed a four-year, $40 million with $15 million guaranteed.
While Cribbs has become the better special teams player, Hester caught 51 passes for 665 yards last season. Cribbs caught just two passes for 18 yards in 2008. He did figure in Cleveland's "Wildcat" scheme and rushed for 167 yards on 29 attempts. Cribbs, a good tackler on special teams, is also getting some consideration to play defense for the Browns this season.
Update - The Browns issued the following statement earlier:

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Guess who is Abram Elam's agent

By dan Published: May 15, 2009

He's loud, he's obnoxious, he is none other than Drew Rosenhaus!

Pro: He'll probably leak some Browns dirt. This is good considering how tight-lipped the Mangini/Kokinis regime is going to be.
Con: Kellen Winslow Jr. and Terrell Owens are among Rosenhaus' clients.
Pro: If Rosenhaus is his agent, Elam's potential to be a star is there.
Con: No agent gets their players to hold out more than Rosenhaus. Not only do they hold out, but they workout topless in their driveways while doing so.

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Blackouts coming this year?

By dan Published: May 12, 2009

I don't want to steal his thunder, so make sure to check out Steve Doerschuk's Canton Repository story.
He raises some issues about season ticket sales.

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Peter King: Browns worst team in the NFL

By dan Published: May 11, 2009

In his weekly Monday Morning Quarterback column for SI.com, NFL writer Peter King ranks all 32 NFL teams. He says the Browns are the worst team in the league:

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SI's King ranks Browns last

By Marla Ridenour Published: May 11, 2009

In his post-draft/free agency power ratings, Sports Illustrated's Peter King ranked the Browns last.

Here's what King had to say:

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Browns add veteran receiver Mike Furrey

By dan Published: May 6, 2009

The Browns have added another veteran, but this one has never played for the Jets. On Tuesday, the team signed wide receiver Mike Furrey. That follows the team's signing of receiver David Patten in March and drafting Brian Robiskie and Moahamed Massaquoi.
Furrey has played football professionally since 2000, catching 198 passes for 2,128 yards. His best season came in 2006 with Detroit when he had 98 catches for 1,086 yards.
In nine games last season, Furrey had only had 18 catches for 181 yards.
The Browns are faced with a dilemma at wide receiver where the availability of Donte' Stallworth is unknown and Braylon Edwards has voiced his displeasure with the team.
Something is likely to happen in the team's receiving corps before the season starts. The Browns currently have Edwards, Stallworth, Furrey, Patten, Massaquoi, Robiskie, Josh Cribbs, Syndric Steptoe, Lance Leggett and Paul Hubbard.

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Safety Lockett sticks

By Marla Ridenour Published: May 4, 2009

Safety Bret Lockett of UCLA, one of 20 players who participated in the Browns rookie minicamp last weekend on a tryout basis, was signed Monday. Lockett, 6-foot-1 and 211 pounds, recorded a career-high 61 tackles last season for the Bruins.

A native of Diamond Bar, Calif., Lockett became a starter in 2008, but was suspended for a game against Tennessee for academic reasons.

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Writer predicts Browns will drop Steinbach

By dan Published: May 4, 2009

This is a new one. Chuck Ludwig, the Bengals beat writer for the Dayton Daily News, thinks the Browns could release starting left guard Eric Steinbach.

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Crennel won't coach in 2009

By dan Published: May 3, 2009

Former Browns head coach Romeo Crennel won't coach in 2009, according to the Boston Globe.
In a story by Mike Reiss, Crennel said he wants to spend 2009 getting healthy following February hip surgery.
By the end of his coaching career in Cleveland, in which he went 24-40, it was easy to dislike Crennel. The Browns were at times very terrible. Make sure to check out that story to understand why, regardless of how poor he did in Cleveland, Crennel remains a likable person.

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