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Marla Ridenour on Sports

Buckeyes keep their promise

By Marla Published: January 20, 2011

So much for the skeptics who thought the Tatoo Five were just giving Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel lip service when they promised they would return for their seniors seasons to be allowed to play against Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl.

The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the NFL draft was Jan. 15. On Wednesday, the NFL released the list of 56 players coming out early and there were no Buckeyes on it for the first time since 2003.

Running back Dan Herron was believed the be the player waffling the most, especially with recruits arriving in 2011. But he stuck to his vow, along with quarterback Terrelle Pryor, left tackle Mike Adams, receiver DeVier Posey and defensive lineman Solomon Thomas.

It remains to be seen whether Ohio State can successfully appeal the five's suspensions for the first five games of next season for receiving improper benefits and selling OSU jewelry, awards and memorabilia and receiving discounts on tatoos from a Columbus establishment.

** The Browns are 0-2 in their offensive coordinator search after Mike McCoy elected to stay in Denver and the Atlanta Falcons' Bill Musgrave took the O.C. role with the Minnesota Vikings.

Is the fact that new coach Pat Shurmur said he will call the plays to start turning off potential candidates? Are the Browns regarded as a team already having too many cooks stirring the offensive broth in president Mike Holmgren, his former offensive coordinator Gil Haskell ( Holmgren's senior advisor) and Shurmur? Is it the looming shadow of Holmgren, who worked extensively with rookie quarterback Colt McCoy last season? Or could it be the Browns' perceived lack of talent, especially at wide receiver?

The Browns' search for their top offensive man seems like it's starting to resemble the hiring of Chris Palmer in 1999. Back then, Vikings offensive coordinator Brian Billick was the top choice. Palmer also felt 49ers coach Steve Mariucci was another leading candidate in the eyes of then-president Carmen Policy.

There should be plenty of offensive minds willing to accept the Browns' terms for a position regarded as a stepping stone to a head coaching job. Let's hope the Browns are not forced to settle.

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