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Marla Ridenour on Sports

All eyes on OSU's Sullinger

By Marla Published: October 29, 2010

Ohio State was tabbed second behind Michigan State at the Big Ten Conference men's basketball media day, but one Buckeye recruit will draw plenty of attention this season.

He's 6-foot-9 center Jared Sullinger, the 2010 Naismith Award winner from Columbus Northland. Sullinger became the first Ohioan to be named Parade Magazine's high school player of the year since St. Vincent-St. Mary's LeBron James in 2002 and 2003.

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Lerner upbeat about Browns' future

By Marla Published: October 28, 2010

Browns owner Randy Lerner has not discussed the idea of coaching again with president Mike Holmgren and will leave the decision on coach Eric Mangini's future up to Holmgren, Lerner said in an interview this week with the Associated Press.

"Part of bringing Mike in and part of my explicit understanding with Mike is that the evaluation of coaches and evaluation of other people in our football business is his," Lerner told the AP's Tom Withers. "Having said that, I know Eric and I am naturally pulling for Eric for all the obvious reasons. I'm seeing a guy who is open to ideas, open to change, wants to enjoy being coach of the Browns and I would say he has acted in a way consistent in wanting change and being open to ideas."

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Highs points of the Cavs' victory

By Marla Published: October 27, 2010

Some of the high points from the Cavs' 95-87 victory over the Boston Celtics in the season opener.

** Coach Byron Scott publicly challenged J.J. Hickson at a preseason game in Columbus and Hickson in practice the next few days and turned it on against the Celtics. He finished with 21 points (14 in the first quarter), six rebounds and a blocked shot.

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Gilbert's quote of the night

By Marla Published: October 27, 2010

Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert met the media before Wednesday's 95-87 victory over the Boston Celtics. But perhaps his best line came after most of the digital recorders had been turned off.

In reference the much-maligned font he used for his e-mail letter to fans on July 8 after LeBron James announced he was leaving for the Miami Heat, Gilbert said, ''I've been using comic sans for four or five years. I never even thought about it. I didn't know what the name of the font was.''

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Shanahan snaps up Davis

By Marla Published: October 27, 2010

James Davis really got his wish Wednesday.

The 2009 sixth-round pick from Clemson released by the Browns on Monday will get a chance to play for Mike Shanahan, a coach who has turned running backs drafted in later rounds into stars.

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LeBron covers all bases in Nike ad

By Marla Published: October 26, 2010

As LeBron James prepared to open the season Tuesday night with the Miami Heat, Nike debuted his new shoe commercial that has almost nothing to do with shoes.

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Browns rookies frustrate Saints fan

By Marla Published: October 26, 2010

Browns rookie quarterback Colt McCoy may have been merely a game manager in Sunday's 30-17 upset of the New Orleans Saints in the Louisiana Superdome.  McCoy's biggest accomplishment may have been in not turning the ball over as he completed 9 of 16 for 74 yards.

But the Browns have won 4 of the last 5 games against the Saints. At least one fan in the Big Easy doesn't want to see another Browns rookie quarterback any time soon.

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Fujita returns to Big Easy

By Marla Published: October 24, 2010

After spending the previous four years with the New Orleans Saints, Browns linebacker Scott Fujita recorded an interception, a sack and a team-high 11 tackles in a 30-17 victory over his former team Sunday. He's what he had to say afterward.

(about your return) This is probably the last game I'll ever play in the Superdome, so it's fun to come back. I've never been shy about how I felt about this city. To come back and be received the way I was around town last night, it felt good to be back and it was a good win. How about that David Bowens? Oldest guy in the league, a lot of gray -- gray beard, gray hair, a lot of big plays today.   It was a fun day. I think this is a win we can build on.

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OSU's Jenkins on the move

By Marla Published: October 24, 2010

Former Ohio State cornerback Malcolm Jenkins was praised by Saints coach Sean Payton Wednesday for his transition to free safety. But Jenkins was forced to return to his old position when Saints starting cornerbacks Jabari Greer and Tracy Porter were inactive Sunday due to injuries.

In his second season,  Jenkins finished with nine tackles, but was also whistled for a 38-yard pass interference penalty on Joshua Cribbs in Cleveland's 56-yard first quarter touchdown drive.

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Harrison hit talk of New Orleans

By Marla Published: October 23, 2010

The rash of head injuries in the NFL last weekend didn't just consume Cleveland Browns fans. Walking yesterday in the Garden District of New Orleans, talk of Steelers' linebacker James Harrison and his $75,000 fine was everyone.

On the St. Charles streetcar, the driver and another man discussed Harrison, with the driver saying the fine was too steep. He insisted Harrison was merely doing his job and trying to feed his family.

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'The hay is in the barn'

By Marla Published: October 22, 2010

Colt McCoy said that's what he told the team last Saturday night before his first NFL start at Pittsburgh. The rookie quarterback's speech drew raves from veterans, who praised him as a natural leader. Tight end Evan Moore even liked the fact that McCoy stood while most of the other Browns quarterbacks have remained seated.

McCoy told the media after a 28-10 loss at Heinz Field that he meant that the team had done all its work and preparation for the next day's game. He said he did have to translate for some of the ''city folk.''

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Fujita's New Orleans faves

By Marla Published: October 21, 2010

Going to New Orleans this weekend for the Browns' game or in the near future? Here are Browns linebacker Scott Fujita's restaurant recommendations.

Fujita played for the Saints for four seasons, winning the Super Bowl in 2009, and admitted he has about 10 places on his checklist where he wants to dine Saturday night with some former teammates.

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Harrison doesn't want to hurt people any more

By Marla Published: October 20, 2010

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison may have cost himself money and inflamed the reaction over his hits on Browns receivers Joshua Cribbs and Mohamed Massaquoi when he said after the game he wants to hurt people.

On Wednesday, Harrison changed his tune on Sirius XM’s ''Mad Dog Radio.''

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Numbers prove hit on Heap affected Flacco

By Marla Published: October 20, 2010

Patriots' defensive back Brandon Meriweather's hit on Ravens tight end Todd Heap also had a big impact on Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco, according to the web site coldhardfootballfacts.com.

Flacco averaged 11.4 yards per attempt, converted 3 of 5 third downs and did not attempt a throw to a running back before the hit on Heap, according to the site. After it, Flacco's average per attempt dropped to 7.0, the Ravens converted 2 of 11 third downs and Flacco threw to running backs 11 times.

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Why didn't the Browns retaliate?

By Marla Published: October 19, 2010

The Browns' reaction after Steelers linebacker James Harrison  knocked receivers Joshua Cribbs and Mohamed Massaquoi out of the game with concussions was one of the most surprising aspects of Sunday's 28-10 loss in Heinz Field.

Coach Eric Mangini has been preaching to his team that the player who retaliates is always the one who gets penalized and apparently the message has gotten through. But such violence by Harrison seemed worthy of more than the Browns gave back.

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Suspension wouldn't deter Harrison

By Marla Published: October 18, 2010

The NFL's announcement that it will consider suspending players for helmet-to-helmet hits won't deter Steelers linebacker James Harrison, who knocked out Browns receivers Joshua Cribbs and Mohamed Massaquoi Sunday.

Harrison wouldn't be in the NFL if he didn't play this way. He's been a physical player at Coventry and Hoban high schools, at Kent State and with the Pittsburgh Steelers. His style earned him 2008 NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors. It's the reason he finally stuck with the Steelers after getting cut multiple times.

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McCoy meets the media

By Marla Published: October 17, 2010

Namath sees McCoy as 'top notch' QB of future

By Marla Published: October 15, 2010

Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath discusses Browns rookie quarterback Colt McCoy and the enormity of the situation he faces making his first NFL start Sunday at Pittsburgh on his weekly radio show on Sirius.

''I tell you what, there’s another rookie quarterback in the league that’s playing named Bradford, but McCoy has the kind of mind, I believe, that suits him for this game,'' Namath said on ''The Broadway Blitz with Joe Namath.''  ''I wouldn’t know another quarterback, a young quarterback like that, that could handle this kind of game.  Knowing McCoy’s background, I’ve just got a good feeling that young man’s ready.''

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OSU defense surprises Smith

By Marla Published: October 15, 2010

As Ohio State continues its quest for a national title Saturday night at Wisconsin, former Buckeyes running back Robert Smith admitted Thursday that the OSU defense is better than he expected.

But Smith sees problems for the OSU offense as it strives to remain undefeated and play for the championship Jan. 10 in Glendale, Ariz.

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Have the Browns learned how to beat Pittsburgh?

By Marla Published: October 14, 2010

The Steelers have not forgotten a 13-6 road loss to the Browns last Dec. 10, especially since it helped keep their 9-7 team out of the playoffs. Revenge could be a huge factor for the Steelers Sunday at Heinz Field.

But the victory in December may have helped the Browns get over the hump against the Steelers, who had won 12 consecutive games in the so-called rivalry before that game. While the Browns have major injury issues to deal with this weekend and are expected to start rookie quarterback Colt McCoy, they could still draw some confidence from the outcome of the last meeting.

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Harrison: 'I don't think I was their type of guy'

By Marla Published: October 13, 2010

Browns running back Jerome Harrison, traded to Philadelphia Wednesday, said he never clashed with Browns coach Eric Mangini over his lack of playing time this season.

The comments came during a radio interview with Mark ''Munch'' Bishop on ESPN 850-WKNR.

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Harrison trade leaves Hillis on the spot

By Marla Published: October 13, 2010

On the surface, it looks like a swap of unproductive running backs. But the Browns' decision to send Jerome Harrison to Philadelphia for Mike Bell seems puzzling considering the injury status of top back Peyton Hillis.

It may not be on par with coach Bill Belichick cutting Bernie Kosar when Vinny Testaverde had his arm in a sling. But Hillis missed practice Wednesday with a pulled quad muscle suffered last week. Coach Eric Mangini said he expects Hillis back in action, perhaps on Thursday, and that he would play Sunday at Pittsburgh.

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Cribbs has faith in McCoy

By Marla Published: October 12, 2010

Browns receiver/returner Joshua Cribbs said it's time for the Colt McCoy era to begin, even if some fans believe Cribbs should be taking the majority of the snaps at quarterback Sunday at Pittsburgh.

Speaking at a downtown Cleveland press conference to announce the retiring of his No. 9 at Kent State, Cribbs believes coach Eric Mangini will turn to McCoy, the third round pick from Texas, against the Steelers.  Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace are hobbling with right ankle sprains.

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10 reasons why McCoy can succeed

By Marla Published: October 12, 2010

3. There is less of a book on him than the others.

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A distressing Wallace sighting Sunday night

By Marla Published: October 11, 2010

Browns quarterback Seneca Wallace struggled to walk Sunday night when spotted dining out at a downtown Cleveland restaurant and labored negotiating the stairs as he left.

Wallace also allowed his female companion to drive home, said a friend who saw the pair.

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Doesn't sound good for Wallace, Delhomme

By Marla Published: October 10, 2010

The Browns could be without their top two quarterbacks next weekend at Pittsburgh.

Seneca Wallace suffered a right ankle sprain with 25 seconds left in the first half of Sunday's 20-10 loss to Atlanta and did not return. Jake Delhomme took over after suffering a high right ankle sprain in the Sept. 12 opener at Tampa Bay, but was limping noticeably during the game.

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Falcons live on the edge

By Marla Published: October 8, 2010

The Falcons are 3-1 going into Sunday's game at Cleveland and their past two victories have come by three points (in overtime at New Orleans) and two points (against San Francisco). They lost their opener 15-9 in overtime at Pittsburgh.

But there seems to be no panic in Atlanta, at least if tight end Tony Gonzalez and coach Mike Smith are any indication.

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Receivers testing fans' patience

By Marla Published: October 7, 2010

There may be no quick fixes for the Browns' rebuilding project going on in Berea. But the Patriots' trade of receiver Randy Moss to the Vikings had to bother fans upset over the state of the Browns' passing game.

Browns coach Eric Mangini has spent his time in Cleveland cleaning out the locker room of bad apples like Moss, who had soured on his contract situation with New England. So it's easy to see why he would want nothing to do with Moss.

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McCoy on Shipley hit: 'I thought it was a great play'

By Marla Published: October 6, 2010

Jordan Shipley, the best man in Colt McCoy's wedding and his best friend from the University of Texas, lay in the end zone with his eyes rolling back in his head.

But as Browns rookie quarterback McCoy watched what happened to the Bengals rookie slot receiver, he found no fault with the teammate who hit him. Even though the blow safety T.J. Ward delivered left Shipley with a concussion and drew a $15,000 fine from the NFL.

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Vote for Hillis for FedEx award

By Marla Published: October 5, 2010

Quinn lifts Orton's game

By Marla Published: October 5, 2010

With the Broncos ranked last in the league in rushing this week,  coach Josh McDaniels may be lamenting the  March 14 trade that sent running back Peyton Hillis to Cleveland for quarterback Brady Quinn.

But Quinn has helped the Broncos in one regard, even if he hasn't thrown a pass this season. McDaniels said Monday that competition with Quinn and first-round draft pick Tim Tebow has elevated starting quarterback Kyle Orton's game.

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Is T.J. Ward too aggressive?

By Marla Published: October 4, 2010

When the Browns drafted safety T.J. Ward with the 38th overall pick in April, general manager Tom Heckert admitted he was attracted to Ward because of his infectious hitting and enthusiasm.

''No question about it,'' Heckert said. "That's the first thing you notice when you watch him. He's lighting people up and that's an intriguing thing for us.''

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Hillis leaves injured Bengals in his wake

By Marla Published: October 3, 2010

Browns running back Peyton Hillis followed up his breakout game at Baltimore by rushing for 102 yards on 27 carries in the Browns' 23-20 victory over the Bengals Sunday.

He also scored a touchdown for the fourth consecutive week, becoming the first Brown to do that since Greg Pruitt scored in five straight weeks in 1975.

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Owens' work habits inspire Bengals

By Marla Published: October 1, 2010

Bengals receiver Terrell Owens may be 36, but his practice habits haven't slipped, according to Cincinnati quarterback Carson Palmer.

 ''To be 15 years in the league, he doesn't take a practice off, a day off, a rep off,'' Palmer said.  ''He runs routes with the scout team offense and is always looking to catch extra balls after practice. That's something that got him this far and gave him as much success as he's had over the years.''

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