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Ravens hire former Browns’ GM Kokinis

The Ravens announced on Tuesday evening that they’ve hired former Browns’ general manager George Kokinis as their Senior Personnel Assistant. Kokinis was once the Ravens’ director of pro personnel from 2003 to 2008 before he was hired as Cleveland’s GM.

From the Baltimore Sun:

“It’s good to have George back,” general Manager Ozzie Newsome said in a statement. “He will help evaluate college and pro players, plus work with Pat [Moriarty], the Ravens’ vice president of football administration].

“George knows the game, understands what it takes to win, and he will help us find players who will help us win. He has done that before for us.”

There were rumors that Kokinis was escorted from the Browns’ team facility by security after he was fired last November. The team later denied the report, but then released a statement saying that Kokinis was “no longer actively involved with the organization.” Rumors also circulated that current Cleveland head coach Eric Mangini had some involvement with Kokinis’ firing, which is noteworthy considering the two are/were close friends.

Regardless, Kokinis has experience as a scout in the Ravens’ organization. He served as the team’s northeast area scout from 1996 to 1999, so one would think that he would return to a similar role. Under Newsome, Baltimore has had one of the best scouting departments in the NFL and adding Kokinis should only make them stronger.

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Were Mangini and Kokinis at odds?

According to a report by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, head coach Eric Mangini and former GM George Kokinis were apparently at odds with each other “early on.” The Browns fired Kokinis yesterday despite hiring him in the 2009 offseason.

Less than 24 hours after Browns owner Randy Lerner pledged to add a new “credible, serious leader” to reorganize his football operations, the team parted ways with General Manager George Kokinis. According to league sources, both men became disenchanted with the other early on. In training camp, Mangini and Kokinis were seldom seen talking on the field. Rumors intensified over the past month that Kokinis could be fired.

It’s interesting to hear that Mangini and Kokinis were at odds early on, because the pair obviously had to work closely together at the draft considering the Browns made so many draft-day deals. Unless one of them was calling all the shots while the other sat idle to the side, in which case I could see why issues would occur later on.

This is one of the more dysfunctional organizations in football, right up there with the Raiders and Rams. Chances are that if the Browns finish with only one or two wins (which is a major possibility), then Mangini could be fired in the offseason and the organization has to start all over again.

Report: Browns fire George Kokinis

CLEVELAND SCORES reports that the Browns have fired GM George Kokinis.

It’s hard to react to this without having all the facts, but the Browns under Randy Lerner are starting to rival the Oakland Raiders and the Washington Redskins as the most dysfunctional franchises in the NFL. As I discussed yesterday, it all comes down to Randy Lerner.

Why would the General Manager hand-picked by Eric Mangini be fired after only nine months? He’s not coaching the team, and frankly most of his moves have made sense. He hasn’t destroyed the cap and he traded guys like Winslow and Edwards for draft picks. His draft doesn’t look great so far, but for years Browns fans have complained about not drafting offensive linemen, and Kokinis picked up a center in the first round. He may not look like a pro-bowler now, but it’s not crazy to expect Alex Mack to anchor the line for years with Joe Thomas.

Problems must exist behind the scenes, but will Randy Lerner have the guts to face the media and explain himself here? With a control-freak like Eric Mangini, who’s going to come in and run this team?

Blogging the Bloggers: Peter King, Braylon and the NLCS

- CLEVELAND SCORES writes that Peter King has handed out some bad advice to Browns head coach Eric Mangini and GM George Kokinis regarding how the team should go to great lengths to draft either Sam Bradford or Colt McCoy next year.

- THE BLEACHER REPORT writes that the fuss over the Dodgers and Phillies’ bullpens is complete bull.

- SPORTSbyBROOKS downloads the message by Braylon Edwards to all Browns fans: Go Tweet Josh Cribbs.

- DRAFT ZOO breaks down the best matchups on the Week 7 schedule in college football.

- YARDBARKER (via Deadspin) put together a list of athletes that are going to hell for their off-field actions.

Eric Mangini impresses Browns

Eric Mangini has now become the front-runner in the Cleveland Browns’ search for a new head coach.

The Browns have continued their search process, interviewing other candidates, but sources say Mangini had a “compelling” interview and owner Randy Lerner is fascinated with him.

If Mangini gets the job to replace the fired Romeo Crennel, the sources said the favorite to become the team’s general manager would be George Kokinis, who is the director of pro personnel for the Baltimore Ravens.

Kokinis and Mangini each were members of the Browns organization when Bill Belichick was coach. Mangini formally joined the staff as an assistant coach in 1995. Kokinis was a scout from 1991 to 1995 before moving with the team to Baltimore.

Scott Pioli, the Patriots’ executive vice president of player personnel, has been considered the favorite for the GM job, but sources say his demands were “extreme,” and Lerner is hesitant to accept the terms unless there is some level of compromise.

Getting Pioli would be ideal, but I’m always in favor of teams reaching out to front office personal of winning teams, and Kokinis has been a part of a winner in Baltimore. If Mangini and Kokinis have worked together in the past, then that’s obviously a huge plus because you limit the possibility of the two men clashing on personnel decisions.

I don’t think any Cleveland fan should be down on Mangini. He’s a bright young mind and he no doubt learned a few things while working in the Jets’ organization the past three years.

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