While the brand new Rumor Central has helped the OBR give you the latest unconfirmed buzz around the web quickly, we needed a place to push the good stuff as well. Enter the OBR Insider Blog, our latest misappropriation of technology in the name of Browns scoops. Here's a recap of what John Taylor has learned and posted throughout the course of the day...
--Within the last 15 minutes, we have been told Raiders defensive coordinator Rob Ryan has been released from his Oakland contract and will be in town either tonight or tomorrow. It's also been suggested to us by one source that he's in Berea now, but have not been able to nail that down quite yet.
There is nothing concrete to suggest that Ryan has officially signed on to become Eric Mangini's coordinator, but that seems seems to be a mere formality and a matter of semantics.
--Soon-to-be-former Browns offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski will interview with the 49ers tomorrow morning, The OBR has confirmed. One Bay area media source tells us that Chudzinski is a "long shot at best" to land the coordinator position in San Francisco.
The media source says that former Rams head coach Scott Linehan is the odds-on favorite to grab the vacant spot. Linehan apparently interviewed with new head coach Mike Singletary this afternoon.
As far as Chudzinski's future with the Browns, we have heard nothing that would suggest the coordinator would accept another position on Eric Mangini's new staff. Nor have we heard of any interest Mangini has in retaining Chudzinski.
What we do know is that Chudzinski spoke with Mangini at least once between the time of the new head coach's first interview with Randy Lerner last Tuesday and his official hiring yesterday.
Chudzinski was the tight ends coach on Marty Schottenheimer's staff in 2005 and 2006 before coming to Cleveland in 2007. He also held the same position for Butch Davis in Cleveland in 2004.
--Earlier this week, The OBR reported that new head coach Eric Mangini -- who was not new Browns coach Eric Mangini at the time -- had spoken with Broncos special teams coach Scott O'Brien about joining his staff should he get the Cleveland job.
Apparently, the interest is still there but not as much of a lock to occur as some may think. Even though Mangini and O'Brien go back a long ways since their days together with the Browns in the early 90's, there are some in the organization who feel that current special teams coach Ted Daisher will get a long, hard look by Mangini.
At this time, we do not know for certain whether or not Mangini has spoken with Daisher. If it hasn't happened yet, it should happen in very short order.
One Browns player, who preferred not to be named, called Daisher "one of the best coaches he's ever been around" and hopes that Mangini "will seriously consider keeping him around."
Even though O'Brien was under contract with Denver, he, along with other Bronco assistants, were allowed to speak to other teams about potential jobs following the unexpected firing of Mike Shanahan last week.
--For those of you who have an interest, the Browns defensive lineman Robaire Smith is doing very, very well in his recovery from an Achilles tear.
On December 18, Smith was told by his doctor -- Dr. Thomas Clanton of Houston, one of the leading orthopedic surgeons in the country -- that he's "doing as well or better than anybody he's seen at this stage of the recovery process."
Smith is scheduled to have an extensive sit-down with Clanton at the end of this month, at which time they will have a better understanding of what he may or may not be able to do as far as offseason workouts -- OTAs and minicamps -- with the team.
As is stands right now, and barring an unexpected setback, Smith -- who is signed through the 2010 season -- will be ready to go for the start of training camp.
--Here at The OBR, we get the opportunity to talk regularly with NFL agents. They are quite the pleasant group of people as a whole, in spite of the public's rather negative perception of them.
They are one of the avenues along the information superhighway who are very useful to reporters, provided you avoid the potholes that are an inherent risk when dealing with these "types" of people.
Anyway, we spoke to one highly-respected member of the profession yesterday evening, one who's had extensive dealings with Ravens president of pro personnel George Kokinis. Here's what he's had to say, although he preferred not to have his name attached to this:
"He's one of the brightest guys in the business. I know he's not a sexy name, or a well-known name, but he knows the pro (personnel) side of the game as well as anybody. He's an extremely hard worker, and extremely detail oriented. Whenever I call him about one of my guys, he always knows who he is, whether he's a starter or the 53rd man on a roster or a practice squad guy. I call some of these other guys (personnel-types) and they're like 'who's that again?' He knows his stuff, and would be an excellent get by (Randy) Lerner. I think the only downside with him would be he hasn't had much to do with the college side of the business for quite some time. You'll need a strong presence in the front office to make up for that weakness."
This agent has also heard Kokinis could be in play for the Kansas City Chiefs job should things fall through with Cleveland and if the Scott Pioli pursuit falls flat for Clark Hunt.
Speaking of Pioli, the agent also had some things to say about the Patriots executive, and none of them were very... ummm... nice to say the least. I snipped them out of this posting, and haven't decided yet whether to post them at some point in the future or not.
Oh, by the way. This agent also represents players who have been coached by new Browns head coach Eric Mangini, including at least one who was with him in New York last year. The agent said that particular client was "very upset Mangini took the fall" and was fired by the Jets.
"He's not the most lovable guy, but he's a helluva coach," the agent said of his player's opinion of the new Cleveland boss. "He's very tough, but he's very tough with everyone. He does not play favorites, which probably doesn't sit well with a lot of the players in the game today. If you have no problem with working hard and being held accountable for your actions on and off the field, then you can play for Mangini.
"Cleveland should consider themselves very lucky they got Mangini. Great, great hire."
Again, it's just one man's opinion, so take it for what it's worth.