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Marla Ridenour on Sports

Browns promote Norwood; Asante goes to Bucs

By Marla Published: November 30, 2010

  Browns wide receiver Jordan Norwood was promoted to the active roster after spending 11 weeks on the practice squad, the team announced.

Waived by the Browns in final cuts in 2009, Norwood spent 13 weeks on the Philadelphia Eagles practice squad last year. In four years at Penn State from 2005-08, Norwood caught 185 passes for 2,015 yards and 13 touchdowns.

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D.A. loses his cool

By Marla Published: November 30, 2010

Perhaps confronted with the reality that he's failing in his second -- and perhaps last -- chance as a starting quarterback, former Brown  Derek Anderson let loose in a brief post-game press conference following a 27-6 loss to San Francisco Monday night.

Asked why he was laughing on the sideline with guard Deuce Lutui in the fourth quarter, a performance in which he completed 16 of 35 for 196 yards and an interception, Anderson launched into a profanity-laced tirade, then walked out.

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Did LeBron bump Spoelstra on purpose?

By Marla Published: November 29, 2010

Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra downplayed the bump he received from LeBron James during a timeout in Saturday's loss to Dallas.

At shootaround for Monday night's home game against Washington, Spoelstra told the South Florida Sun Sentinel that it was merely incidental contact and not a sign of dissension or disrespect.

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Moore's big mistake

By Marla Published: November 28, 2010

Fans had been clamoring all week for more action for tight end Evan Moore after he made big plays in the final minutes of the previous two games against the Jets and Jaguars. But the second-year player from Stanford lost a costly fumble with 12:54 left in the second quarter.

On third and 1 from the Carolina 8, Jake Delhomme found Moore at the 3 and he made the catch, only to be stripped of the ball by linebacker Jason Williams. Williams also recovered the fumble.

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Cribbs returns in limited role

By Marla Published: November 28, 2010

After missing practice all week with four dislocated toes and a foot injury, Browns' Pro Bowler Joshua Cribbs played, but only returned kicks. Originally hurt against the Jets Nov. 14, Cribbs averaged 22.3 yards on four kickoff returns and 8.3 yards on three punts.

"He was pretty limited,'' Mangini said. "I give Josh a lot of credit for working all week to get to the game.''

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'Kumbaya' should spell Rich Rod's doom

By Marla Published: November 28, 2010

Michigan director of athletics Dave Brandon has said he plans to wait until after the Wolverines' bowl game to decide the future of football coach Rich Rodriguez. But Rodriguez didn't help himself with what he said after Saturday's 37-7 drubbing at Ohio State.

"What do you want me to do? Hold hands with all the Buckeyes and sing Kumbaya?'' Rodriguez said after Michigan fell to 7-5, 3-5 in the Big Ten.

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OSU women headed to College Cup

By Marla Published: November 26, 2010

At least one Ohio soccer team will reach the NCAA's College Cup.

 The third-seeded Ohio State women advanced to the final four next weekend in Cary, N.C. with a 2-0 victory over Georgetown Friday night at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

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'Nervous Nelly' prepares for Michigan

By Marla Published: November 24, 2010

Ohio State junior quarterback Terrelle Pryor may be 2-0 against Michigan, but Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel believes Pryor is a nervous wreck as he prepares for Saturday's noon showdown in Ohio Stadium.

"Terrelle's a nervous nelly because he wants to compete and he wants to do well and be perfect and all those things, so I'm sure his mind is racing,'' Tressel said of Pryor. "Not unlike my mind or anyone on our staff or anyone on our team. Really it won't stop racing until you get out there. That's just the way it is.

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Kent State should consider Fickell

By Marla Published: November 23, 2010

Universities such as Kent State seeking young, up-and-coming candidates for their football coaching vacancies may already have Ohio State assistant Luke Fickell on their radar.

But Fickell, OSU's co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach, enhanced his resume Tuesday when he was named Division I's assistant coach of the year by the American Football Coaches Association.

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Is Dawson OK?

By Marla Published: November 22, 2010

In pregame warmups Sunday at Jacksonville's EverBank Field, Browns kicker Phil Dawson was drilling field goals from 60 yards.

But while Dawson connected from 38 and 41 yards in the Browns' 24-20 loss,  two 51-yard attempts fell wide right.

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Why does Browns' offense awaken at end?

By Marla Published: November 21, 2010

For the past two weeks, the Browns offense has gone stagnant in the second half, only to awaken with a vengeance in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. Last week in an overtime loss to the New York Jets, the Browns tied the game with 44 seconds left in regulation before falling 26-20.

On Sunday, the furious rally fell short in a 24-20 loss at Jacksonville, ended by a Colt McCoy interception at the Jacksonville 3 with 5 seconds left. The Browns had marched from their own 20 to a first down at the Jaguars' 29, even though rookie McCoy was operating on an injured left ankle.

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Jags' Lewis a tough matchup

By Marla Published: November 19, 2010

Jacksonville tight end Marcedes Lewis is one of only three players in the league with three multi-touchdown games this season.

 Lewis, 6-foot-6 and 275 pounds, was a first-round pick in 2006 out of UCLA. He's recorded 30 receptions for 379 yards and a career-high seven touchdowns in 2010. That TD total equals his scoring production the previous four years. His scoring also ranks second among NFL tight ends, trailing only San Diego's Antonio Gates with nine TDs.

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NCAA soccer: UA hosts WVU

By Marla Published: November 19, 2010

The University of Akron Zips open NCAA Tournament play at 4 p.m. Sunday at Lee R. Jackson Field against West Virginia.

West Virginia (11-7-2) defeated Xavier 4-2 Thursday night in opening round action in the men's Division I soccer tournament. The third-seeded Zips (18-1-1) had a first-round bye.

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Another stunning setback for Oden

By Marla Published: November 18, 2010

Greg Oden's NBA career suffered another stunning setback with Wednesday night's announcement that the former Ohio State center will undergo microfracture surgery on his left knee Friday in Vail, Colo.

Made the No. 1 overall pick byof the Portland Trail Blazers in 2007,  Oden will miss the 2010-11 season. The 7-footer hasn't played since December after undergoing surgery to repair a fractured left kneecap. The Blazers said in a press conference that this week's procedure is to repair cartilage damage and is not related to the patella injury.

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Muni lot dangerous for 8-year-old

By Marla Published: November 17, 2010

Before the season, there was an uproar from Browns tailgaters when the city of Cleveland elected to open the Muncipal Parking Lot lot near Cleveland Browns Stadium at 7 a.m. instead of 4 a.m.

Apparently that hasn't been enough to discourage the drunk and disorderly conduct of those who park there.

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Will Browns have OT hangover?

By Marla Published: November 16, 2010

Going into the season, it was assumed the Browns would be entering the easy part of their season this week against Jacksonville. In the next five games, they visit the Jaguars, host Carolina, visit Miami and Buffalo, then travel to Cincinnati.

But the rash of injuries suffered in Sunday's 26-20 loss to the New York Jets and playing 16 seconds shy of five quarters could make this weekend's trip to Jacksonville challenging.

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Dungy criticizes OT play-calling

By Marla Published: November 15, 2010

Former Colts coach Tony Dungy said Browns coach Eric Mangini appeared to get cold feet on the Browns' final series in overtime Sunday in a 26-20 loss to the New York Jets.

On NBC's ''Football Night in America'' pregame show, Dungy took issue with the Browns attempting a pass to tight end Ben Watson on first down from their 3 yard line, then running Peyton Hillis on second down.

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Going for win made sense

By Marla Published: November 14, 2010

Browns players didn't question why Browns coach Eric Mangini went for a victory in overtime instead of settling for a 20-20 tie Sunday against the New York Jets. And neither do I.

Backed up at their 3 yard line with 1:35 left in the extra period after an interception by rookie cornerback Joe Haden,  Mangini could have called for three Peyton Hillis runs and run out the clock. Instead, rookie quarterback Colt McCoy fired an incompletion over the deep middle for tight end Ben Watson, then ran Hillis off right tackle for 2 yards. On third down, McCoy was sacked for a 3-yard loss by Jason Taylor and Shaun Ellis, McCoy barely wiggling his way out of the end zone to avoid a safety.

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Holmgren's letter to fans

By Marla Published: November 14, 2010

Browns season ticket holders received a letter from president Mike Holmgren this week that may be unprecedented for its honesty.

Here's what Holmgren said:

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Jaworski on Vick's side

By Marla Published: November 12, 2010

While young quarterbacks like Sam Bradford, Josh Freeman, Matt Ryan, Matthew Stafford, Joe Flacco and Mark Sanchez are proving they're the real deal,  it is nine-year veteran Michael Vick who is setting himself up to be the NFL's comeback player of the year.

The Eagles quarterback has a rating of 105.3, which is higher than Vince Young (103.1), Philip Rivers (102.9), Peyton Manning (96.3), Tom Brady (95.7) and Drew Brees (91.7). Vick's completion percentage is 60.8. He's thrown seven touchdown passes with no interceptions and has completed 15 passes of 20-plus yards. He's average yards per attempt is 8.1.

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Simms: Browns have found perfect persona

By Marla Published: November 11, 2010

Sunday's matchup with the New York Jets will bring the No. 1 CBS Sports announcing crew of Phil Simms and Jim Nantz to Cleveland.

In quotes released by the network, Simms praised the offensive style the Browns have developed and called out the Jets to make more big plays, despite their 6-2 record that is tied for the best in the NFL.

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Braylon: Why a 'personal war'?

By Marla Published: November 11, 2010

Jets receiver Braylon Edwards told the New York media Wednesday that his return to Cleveland for Sunday's game against the Browns was ''a personal war.''

He said when he learned last Oct. 7 that he'd been traded to the Jets, ''I couldn't get out of Berea fast enough. I couldn't show how excited I was at the time. I thought it would be unprofessional to do a dance."

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Rex Ryan starts drumbeat for Rob

By Marla Published: November 10, 2010

There are expected to be several NFL coaching vacancies this off-season and Jets coach Rex Ryan used this week's media attention on he and twin brother Rob to launch the candidacy of Rob, the Browns defensive coordinator.

Asked if it was time for Rob to become a head coach, Rex said, ''I certainly think so. I don't think you can put a time on it. I know he will be a head coach one day and he'll be a great one. Whether it's this coming up season or not, I'm not sure.

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Have no fear, McCoy fans

By Marla Published: November 9, 2010

On the surface, Browns coach Eric Mangini's reluctance to name rookie Colt McCoy the starting quarterback -- whether for Sunday's home game against the New York Jets or for the rest of the season -- may seem troubling.  After all, McCoy is 2-1 as a starter and has beaten the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints and the New England Patriots, who came in with the best record in the NFL, in back to back weeks.

But with Mangini facing the team that fired him this weekend, it would have been more shocking if he had abandoned his tendency to protect competitive advantage at all costs.

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Browns finally getting national mention

By Marla Published: November 8, 2010

The Browns were a topic of conversation on NBC's ''Football Night in America'' after Sunday's 34-14 upset of the New England Patriots.

Former Patriot Rodney Harrison predicted how angry Patriots coach Bill Belichick would be today.

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Colt McCoy press conference

By Marla Published: November 7, 2010

Portions of Browns quarterback Colt McCoy's press conference after Sunday's 34-14 victory over New England.

(On the execution of the game plan)- “I thought we executed well.  Coach Daboll had us all prepared and the coaches did a fantastic job, especially during the bye week.  We worked really hard in the bye week and kind of had an idea of what we wanted to do when we came back.  We really just added on to that and worked really hard.  The offensive line played tremendous.  When those guys play like that it’s easy to run the ball and we get a lot of open lanes in the passing game.  Peyton (Hillis) ran the ball well, and when you can execute like that you give yourselves a chance to win, and that’s what happened today.”

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'Who the (bleep) is next?'

By Marla Published: November 7, 2010

With victories over the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints and the New England Patriots in their past two games, the Browns felt unstoppable Sunday.

After a 34-14 pounding of the Patriots, a dry erase board sat in the middle of the locker room floor that read, ''Who the (bleep) is Next?'' Someone had unsuccessfully tried to erase the obscenity. Next up for the Browns (3-5) are the New York Jets (6-2) Sunday at Cleveland Browns Stadium.

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Bye week should help Troy Smith

By Marla Published: November 5, 2010

In 2008, Troy Smith's golden opportunity with the Baltimore Ravens was derailed by a severe case of tonsillitis.

Quarterback Kyle Boller was struggling and the Ravens weren't ready to turn to rookie Joe Flacco. But while Smith's serious illness caused him to lose 20 pounds,  Flacco took over and never looked back.

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Daboll's offense frustrating Holmgren?

By Marla Published: November 4, 2010

Through all the strange vibes and contradictory comments during president Mike Holmgren's first state-of-the-Browns press conference since July, one thing seemed clear Tuesday. Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll's play-calling is not helping Holmgren get over his itch to coach.

From the moment he arrived, Holmgren expressed his amazement that the Browns could win the final four games of 2009 without throwing for more than 118 yards. While the passing numbers are up -- except for 85 yards at New Orleans on Oct. 24 -- Holmgren still seems somewhat baffled as to why Daboll ignores the wide receivers.

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Belichick a Kent State fan?

By Marla Published: November 3, 2010

Patriots coach Bill Belichick, the former Browns coach, said little about his former pupil Eric Mangini or anything else in a 13-minute conference call with the Cleveland media Wednesday.

But he did perk up a bit when asked about Browns receiver/returner Joshua Cribbs and Patriots receiver/punt returner Julian Edelman, both former Kent State quarterbacks.

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Holmgren vague on Mangini's future

By Marla Published: November 2, 2010

Coach Eric Mangini needs victories soon if the comments of president Mike Holmgren Tuesday were any indication.

In his first state-of-the-Browns press conference since July, Holmgren found it hard to hide his disappointment over season-opening losses at Tampa Bay and at home against Kansas City. The Browns' first three losses were by three, two and seven points (at Baltimore).

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Browns search for QB of future

By Marla Published: November 1, 2010

The 2011 draft may be months away, but the Browns' search for their quarterback of the future may have been turned up a notch at last weekend's Stanford-Washington game Saturday night in Seattle.

According to Sports Illustrated's Peter King, there were between 15-20 NFL scouts at the game, won by Stanford 41-0, to see future first-round picks Andrew Luck of Stanford and Jake Locker of Washington. According to King, the Browns ''took the unusual step'' of having two scouts in attendance.

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What fans admire about Cribbs

By Marla Published: November 1, 2010

Over 15,000 fans showed up at Dix Stadium Saturday as Kent State retired the number worn by Browns' Pro Bowl receiver/returner Joshua Cribbs. Cribbs donated $100,000 to the school's football program during the halftime ceremony.

Here's what some of those wearing Cribbs' numbers (the Browns' 16 or KSU's 9) said they admired about Cribbs.

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