The Browns hired former Ravens’ pro personnel director George Kokonis to replace Phil Savage as general manager.
Kokinis, who began his NFL career as an intern in the Browns’ operations department in 1991, was hand-picked by Mangini, who recommended him during his first interview with Browns owner Randy Lerner on Dec. 30. Mangini took over as Cleveland’s coach on Jan. 7, just one week after he was fired following three seasons with the New York Jets.
Determined to match a coach and GM who can work well together after the Romeo Crennel-Phil Savage relationship failed, Lerner is teaming up a pair of friends who shared an apartment when they first broke into the league and have remained tight.
Don’t know much about Kokonis but if you’re a Browns fan you have to love two things about this hire. One, he comes from a winning organization in Baltimore and worked closely with one of the best general managers in the NFL in Ozzie Newsome. Second, Kokonis and Mangini get along, which is obviously a huge plus. If Mangini is going to have success coaching the players that Kokonis selects in free agency and the draft, the two have to work together in order to build a winning roster.
At least at this point, it looks like the Browns are in better shape with Mangini and Kokonis than they were with Romeo Crennel and Savage.