Cleveland Browns Hirings and Firings, Round Two
Last week marked the departure of former Browns president Mike Keenan, who had recently taken a demotion with the arrival of Mike Holmgren. It also marked the end of Dawn Aponte's reign as de facto general manager, after the firing of Kokinis last season.
Aponte was recently in the news, quoted as low-balling Josh Cribbs on the contract offer, and reportedly refusing to budge on her initial offer of $1.4 million.
The way it sounds, the former vice president of football administration may be on her way to the Miami Dolphins, to take over for Bryan Wiedmeier.
This is just the latest in a series of new changes, including an entire shake-up in the personnel department, featuring the firing of all four members last week.
Recently announced, the new director of player personnel in Cleveland will be John Sandusky, the former director of pro personnel in Philadelphia.
His responsibilities include providing input and recommendations for potential trade and free agent signings, along with evaluation in the area of player scouting.
As the son of former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, John spent nine seasons with the Eagles, the last two as the club's pro personnel director.
Keith Gilbertson has also joined the Browns from the Seahawks, as the team's new director of pro personnel. Gilbertson spent three seasons as an assistant under Mike Holmgren in Seattle, after a long career of coaching.
His coaching resume includes stints as a head coach for California, Idaho, and Washington.
Gilbertson will be in charge of all scouting personnel, assigning them college and pro players to scout. He will also be heavily involved on draft day, typically being the first line of communication to players' agents.
Joining him will be John Spytek, who has arrived as a personnel executive from Philadelphia, where he spent the last five seasons. The last three being directly under general manager Tom Heckert as a college and pro scout in the NFL.
The final piece of the puzzle is another former offensive assistant to Holmgren in Seattle, A.J. Durso. Durso has taken a position as a pro scout, and has spent the last four seasons with the Seahawks before arriving in Cleveland, Ohio.
For those unfamiliar with the job description of a pro scout, Durso will be responsible for evaluating the athletic skills of possible Browns players to determine fitness and potential for professional football, and negotiate with them to obtain their services.
These new changes in Cleveland are sure to not be the last, all four men are already hard at work preparing for the 2010 NFL draft, where they'll be helping with 11 draft picks this year.
The newly found optimism among Browns fans doesn't come without reason this time. All men brought in this offseason are highly skilled and experienced, unlike the past few years of giving trial runs to rookie personnel.
The addition of Holmgren has many solid football personnel putting in their applications for the rebuild train, which is a good sign that maybe things are finally turning around for the Cleveland Browns.
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