May 24, 2015

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The next big thing? Avon Lake graduate Brian Mihalik, who stands over 6-foot-8, hoping to reach new heights with Eagles

Boston College's Brian Mihalik helps bring down North Carolina State quarterback Jacoby Brissett last season. AP

Brian Mihalik hoped to land in Philadelphia. It turned out the Eagles and coach Chip Kelly wanted him, too. As a seventh-round pick in the NFL Draft, Mihalik is guaranteed nothing. But a good fit gives him the best chance to make the team and make a career. “The big thing was ending up with Read More…

Browns coach Mike Pettine studying up and enjoying his increased role with the offense

AURORA — Mike Pettine went back to school during the offseason. The curriculum consisted of one subject: the offensive system of first-year coordinator John DeFilippo. “I have flash cards to help me learn a lot of the formations,” Pettine said Friday at the Browns’ annual charity golf outing at Barrington Golf Club. “It was like Read More…

Browns Notes: Paul Kruger welcomes Johnny Manziel to his sleepy neighborhood on the golf course

AURORA — Johnny Manziel didn’t ask linebacker Paul Kruger for a scouting report before he left his buzzing downtown apartment building and moved to the sleepy suburban West Side golf community Kruger calls home. Kruger would’ve told him to be ready for a big change. “It’s about as polar-opposite as you can get,” he said Read More…

Brady suspension, deflation flap now in Goodell’s hands

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The sides have bitterly argued in the court of public opinion. Now Roger Goodell plans to try to personally settle whether Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady deserves a four-game suspension for using deflated footballs. The NFL commissioner decided Thursday night to take up an appeal for the New England Patriots quarterback, a Read More…

MLB taking steps to increase security after NFL’s deflation flap

NEW YORK — Major League Baseball pumped up security for its game balls this season in the wake of the Tom Brady flap. Starting this year, an MLB representative watches the baseballs while a clubhouse assistant carries them from the umpires’ room to the field. And if the supply runs low during the game, an Read More…

NFL suspends Tom Brady for 4 games, fines Patriots $1 million, takes away 1st-round draft pick

NEW YORK — The NFL came down hard on its biggest star and its championship team, telling Tom Brady and the Patriots that no one is allowed to mess with the rules of the game. The league suspended the Super Bowl MVP Monday for the first four games of the season, fined the New England Read More…

Browns cut K Garrett Hartley, sign sixth-round pick Charles Gaines

Cleveland Browns' Garrett Hartley (10) kicks a field goal against the Carolina Panthers in the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Dec. 21, 2014. AP

The Browns cut veteran kicker Garrett Hartley on Monday, leaving them with two guys who’ve never kicked in an NFL game. Hartley was signed late last season after Billy Cundiff was released. He was 2-for-3 in two games for Cleveland. The remaining kickers are Carey Spear and Travis Coons, undrafted rookies in 2014 who were Read More…

Browns coordinator John DeFilippo encouraged by what he’s seen from Johnny Manziel

BEREA — New offensive coordinator John DeFilippo has had more than three months to pore over the game film of quarterback Johnny Manziel’s seven quarters as a rookie. He’s had three weeks in the classroom and a week on the field to get to know Manziel the student. DeFilippo’s encouraged by what he’s seen. “All Read More…

Browns Notes: Coordinator Jim O’Neil out to fix run defense, says key is eliminating explosive plays

Browns defensive lineman Danny Shelton (71) scrimmages at rookie minicamp on Friday afternoon, May 8. KRISTIN BAUER/CHRONICLE

BEREA — Much of defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil’s offseason was spent looking for ways to fix the run defense that ranked last in the league last year. The same can be said of Cleveland’s draft. The Browns took nose tackle Danny Shelton with the No. 12 pick, outside linebacker Nate Orchard at 51 and end Read More…

Browns Notes: Mike Pettine says he’s always respected Tom Brady, but “I lose a lot of respect for people who cheat”

BEREA — Browns coach Mike Pettine has a strong opinion about Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and the NFL investigation into his use of deflated balls. “Nothing is surprising,” Pettine said Friday during rookie minicamp. “I know what was put out there, but he’s one of the best ever and it would be a shame to Read More…