September 1, 2014

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Browns: Mangini tries a ‘smart’ start by drafting a bunch of scholar-athletes

BEREA – Smarter better be better. General manager George Kokinis and coach Eric Mangini are trying to rebuild the Browns through discipline, effort, concentration and intelligence. The thirst for knowledge was obvious in their first draft last month. First-round pick Alex Mack, a center, was the Draddy Award winner at California as the nation`s top Read More…

Tough guy: Kaluka Maiava impresses Browns with his talent, smarts and tales of hunting wild boar … with his bare hands

BEREA — Eric Mangini isn’t easily impressed, but Kaluka Maiava nailed his predraft interview. All it took were stories of hunting wild boar — without a gun. “He is a tough, tough guy,” Mangini said Saturday at rookie minicamp. Mangini was impressed enough with Maiava’s entire resume to draft him in the fourth round last Read More…

Browns notes: Mangini looking for versatility out of Veikune

BEREA — Second-round pick David Veikune had 18 sacks in three years as a defensive end at Hawaii and was the lone pass rusher drafted by the Browns. But he lined up as an inside linebacker the first two days of rookie minicamp. “I’m happy with the way he’s moved from defensive end to inside Read More…

It’s proving time: Texas Tech’s Graham Harrell trying to show he’s not just a system QB and that he belongs in the NFL

BEREA — Graham Harrell is starting over. The NCAA-record 134 career touchdown passes are in the past. The fourth-place finish in last season’s Heisman Trophy voting is forgotten. Texas Tech’s top-five ranking and stirring comeback over Texas are distant memories. Harrell went undrafted last weekend and was invited to the Browns rookie minicamp on a Read More…

Browns notes: Punishment part of Mangini’s method

BEREA — Receiver Brian Robiskie ran a lap around the Browns practice fields Friday afternoon, punishment for dropping a punt during rookie minicamp.Welcome to life with Eric Mangini. “If you put the ball on the ground, you run,” Mangini said. “If you get a penalty, you run. “There’s nothing more valuable than the ball. It’s Read More…

Lorain native feeling Super: As a scout for the Arizona Cardinals, George Belu has had a hand in team’s success

It’s never too late to try something new. After more than three decades as a college coach, George Belu made the transition to NFL scout in 2001. Eight years later, he’s arrived on the sport’s ultimate stage. Belu, a native of Lorain, was headed to Tampa, Fla., on Thursday to experience his first Super Bowl. Read More…

‘It can be done’: New Browns GM Kokinis optimistic, but turning around franchise won’t be easy

BEREA — George Kokinis embarked Monday on a mission that’s humbled many men. As he was introduced as Browns general manager, the obstacles to success were easier to identify than the road leading there. The Browns have never been to a Super Bowl, haven’t won a playoff game since 1994 and are on their fourth Read More…

Browns notes: Kokinis focused on NFL Draft, says he’ll be more than ready for it

BEREA — New general manager George Kokinis tried to ease the concern among some Browns fans that he won’t be prepared for the NFL Draft in April. Kokinis was a college scout in his early days in the league, but has been on the pro personnel side since 2000. “We are going to build this Read More…

Browns: Kokinis finally hired as general manager

BEREA — Coach Eric Mangini got a partner Sunday to help rebuild the Browns. He came highly recommended — by Mangini himself. George Kokinis was hired as general manager, completing an organizational overhaul that began a month ago when owner Randy Lerner fired general manager Phil Savage and coach Romeo Crennel. “He is a tireless Read More…

Scott Petrak: Indians on the right track with better bullpen

LORAIN — The recipe for success for a big league team is complex: a powerful offense, a deep rotation, a solid defense and a dependable bullpen. The formula for disaster is much simpler: an unreliable relief corps. Nothing can sink a team faster than a bad bullpen. And it starts at the finish. A lights-out Read More…