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The plot continues to thicken as more information has surfaced of a ‘Nixonian’ effort by the Cleveland Browns’ organization to plug those darn leaks during an investigation that preceded the firing of director of player personnel T.J. McCreight, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.
As we first reported, Plain Dealer columnist Bud Shaw writes that a Browns official was trying to determine if McCreight was leaking information to reporters. While performing that, ahem, due diligence, the erstwhile investigator was given the wrong cell phone number for how to get in touch with McCreight.
Eventually, the official figured out after asking a few questions that it wasn’t McCreight on the line. It was a reporter. Hence, the secret was revealed that the Browns were looking into McCreight’s phone calls.
A few days later, McCreight was fired. 
This ‘Watergate’ episode would seem to lend further credence to the reports of how coach Eric Mangini operated as HC of the NYJ and will conduct business with the Browns. As Shaw writes, paranoia is making a comeback.
What’s next? Are the Browns going to hire G. Gordon Liddy to run the security department?
In all fairness, it’s worth nothing that McCreight, who interviewed with team owner Randy Lerner for the General Manager job, was the top lieutenant of former General Manager Phil Savage and could probably expect to be dismissed in a regime change.
Meanwhile, the highly-anticipated coronation of Baltimore Ravens director of pro personnel George Kokinis as the new Browns’ General Manager has yet to happen despite Mangini’s prediction last week that something big was in the offing. Kokinis is expected to eventually formally accept the job.
Interestingly, Kokinis worked with McCreight in Baltimore for several years, which led many to believe that McCreight would be retained. Apparently, Mangini or someone else had other ideas.

Permalink 16 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, Rumor Mill, Top Stories
  1. spanky07 says: Jan 25, 2009 3:39 PM

    Watergate comparisons? Man, Florrio, you are getting a bit dillusional…it’s the Browns, nobody cares.

  2. miller4545 says: Jan 25, 2009 4:20 PM

    You sure there is gonns be a “Kokman” regime in C-town?? Parcell’s could be available now that the ownership in Miami has taken place. How about some “Parman”?? Yeah…I know…thats pathetic!!!

  3. BarkingTuna says: Jan 25, 2009 4:35 PM

    The Randolph and Benito Mangini. What a team.

  4. sorknesa says: Jan 25, 2009 4:47 PM

    Maybe this is why Mangini was so successful in NY, focusing on who is talking to the media. What coaching jobs are going to be open for him in three more years?

  5. levitt99 says: Jan 25, 2009 4:56 PM

    It bears mentioning that the Browns employ (as Senior Vice President with responsibilities that include security) Lewis Merletti, the Director of the US Secret Service during the Clinton Administration.

  6. ppdoc says: Jan 25, 2009 5:54 PM

    Sounds like a great hire to me! Already pissing off half the world.

  7. vincelombardi says: Jan 25, 2009 6:06 PM

    careful guys, the lerner apologists will soon be out telling us “all is well, DO NOT look behind the curtain”!! all they are saying is give al a chance…

  8. bradtor777 says: Jan 25, 2009 6:13 PM

    Mangini worries about everything except what his team does on the field. He’s all about PR, which is a job he held the last time he worked in Cleveland.

  9. onewolf says: Jan 25, 2009 6:21 PM

    Hey Florio,
    7 Days and no coronation of the Kok yet. Maybe the next GM is currently awaiting completion of next Sunday’s game. I only offer this up because nobody ever raids the Steelers staff much less the Cardinals. With the success of Weisenhunt, who was raided after 06 SB win, one could say it is pausible that there is an interview or 2 still yet to be conducted.

  10. VBG says: Jan 25, 2009 6:46 PM

    Stop trying to be “cute” with the Watergate stuff. 90% of the people reading this are more than likely too young to even know who G. Gordon Liddy is and think Deep Throat is only a sexual act.

  11. Fat Frankie The Fella says: Jan 25, 2009 7:37 PM

    Good one spanky07, you’re right, it is the Browns and no one cares, but it sure is fun watching Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey in Cleveland every year. So glad I’m a Steelers fan. Other than the fact that nothing fun ever happens in Pittsburgh like the stuff that goes on there in Cleveland. ho hum (yawn), another super bowl for us in P-town…bring it!

  12. Trey says: Jan 25, 2009 8:28 PM

    What next we are going to have a bunch of protests concerning the Browns’ firing of employees based on innuendo?

  13. Spectre says: Jan 26, 2009 1:41 AM

    Sounds like T.J. got ManKok-blocked.

  14. dgt2008 says: Jan 26, 2009 8:16 AM

    Florio, weren’t you the guy a week or two ago who was complaining that the Browns organization was far too chatty with the press. You compared them unfavorably to the close-lipped Chiefs process and talked about sealing up all the leaks. Separately, you also commented about how certain long-term Browns employees (the ones who had delivered little but failure during the last 10 years) probably needed to be replaced, but insinuated that Lerner would not be smart enough to clean house.
    Now, with ManKok in place cleaning house and plugging leaks, you’re going around making Watergate comparisons.
    Which is it?

  15. bingolittle says: Jan 26, 2009 10:23 AM

    Bud Shaw for years has been know for his know nothing attitude towards all Cleveland sports. He is an embrassement. If out of towners what to know something about Cleveland sports pay attention to Tony Grossi with the Browns or Terry Pluto for Cleveland sports in general.

  16. Lsachere says: Jan 26, 2009 2:24 PM

    Ever heard of McCarthism? J. Edgar Hoover? Nice bit of constitutionality goin’ on at the Browns. Oh, sorry, it’s Manginism, aka Totaliarinism. What a sick buckeroo. Here they go again!

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