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Browns will be sold by Randy Lerner

Here’s my take on the sale at our Cleveland Scores site.

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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?

Crennel out, Cohwer tells Browns he’s not interested

The Cleveland Browns fired one coach and were told to buzz off by the one they wanted to hire. The Browns officially fired Romeo Crennel on Monday, but were told by hopeful candidate Bill Cowher that he wasn’t interested in the position.

Romeo CrennelLerner met with the media this morning to announce that Romeo Crennel has been fired as head coach.

Speculation for his replacement had been centered on Cowher for several weeks, but Lerner said Monday that he met with Cowher on Saturday night and that Cowher said he would not return to coaching in 2009 and asked Lerner to take him off the Browns list of candidates.

Cowher told Lerner that he was comfortable with his lifestyle in North Carolina at this time.

Lerner said he’s already asked for permission to talk to New England Patriots Executive Vice President Scott Pioli and that he’ll focus on the general manager role next.

Lerner also said he’s receiving permission to talk to another unnamed NFL exec. He appeared interested when informed that Eric Mangini had been fired by the New York Jets this morning. Mangini, a former Browns employee, worked with Pioli in New England.

Crennel, 61, was fired after going 24-40 in his four seasons at Browns head coach. He had three years left on his contract, which had been extended in January after he guided the Browns to a 10-6 record and just missed the playoffs.

I’m always a little leery when teams fire their head coach and immediately start looking at other coaches that were fired in the same year. Maybe Mangini would be a nice fit in Cleveland, but I think at this point the Browns need a candidate with a little more experience. I still don’t think Marty Schottenheimer would be a bad hire, although they would need to groom another coach under him because he wouldn’t be a long-term solution.

But before hiring a coach, they need to go out and get a solid GM. Then have that GM hire the head coach so that they know everyone can work together. It doesn’t make sense to hire a head coach and then a general manager if they’re going to butt heads all the time about personnel decisions.

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