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Marla Ridenour on Sports

Other side of the Senior Bowl

By Marla Published: January 25, 2011

While the Browns surely sent a big contingent to Mobile, Ala., for this week's Senior Bowl practices, there's another sidelight to the event that has nothing to do with the game.

In fact, most of the NFL's top-level execs are gone before the game kicks off. When I covered the Senior Bowl in 2005, the year Akron quarterback Charlie Frye was the MVP, Browns general manager Phil Savage did stay, but did radio commentary for his hometown station and visited his parents in nearby Gulf Shores.

This is just as big a week for unemployed NFL coaches as it is for the seniors invited. In fact, on that 2005 trip, I ran into ex-Browns coach Butch Davis in the airport on the way to Mobile. (Davis had resigned after 11 games in 2004.) Davis was among those who went to network with league execs. 

New Browns coach Pat Shurmur may be more involved with interviews of potential candidates for his staff than looking at players the Browns might select sixth overall. Shurmur has made only one hire, that of defensive coordinator Dick Jauron.

If the week ends without several more assistants added, then Browns fans might have reason to worry about how the selection of Shurmur is being received in NFL circles.

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