Notes: Another Browns Employee Exits

Another long-time Cleveland Browns employee heads for the door as OTAs near their end...

The Browns have lost another member of their immediate support staff.

Marty Lauzon has resigned as the team's head athletic trainer for what the Browns say are "personal and family reasons." He follows Pat Dolan, who stepped down as video director last month, and the parting of ways recently with Dr. Anthony Miniaci, who had been the head physician.

The 40-year-old Lauzon, a native of Montreal, had been a member of the team's training staff since the organization's rebirth in 1999, including the past four in his current post. He had taken over for Mike Colello when he was let go.

To take Lauzon's spot, the Browns named Joe Sheehan as head athletic trainer. 

"We want to thank Marty Lauzon for all of his years of service to the Cleveland Browns organization," team general manager George Kokinis said in a statement released at about 6:30 p.m. Thursday.  "He is extremely well-respected in his profession and has been a tremendous asset and resource to the club for more than 10 years.

"We also appreciate all of his help through this transition. We hope to still be able to utilize Marty's expertise in the rehabilitation of our players in the future. We want to wish Marty and his family all the best."

Sheehan joins the Browns after spending 2008 as the coordinator of athletic training and sports medicine at the University of Arkansas. Prior to that, he had been a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars' training staff for 11 years.

Before the expansion era, the Browns went through just two trainers in 46 seasons. Leo Murphy, who still lives in the Medina, Ohio area, served from 1950, the year the team entered the NFL, through 1988, when he retired. His top assistant, Bill Tessendorf, got the job at that time and is still in that role with the transplanted Browns, the Baltimore Ravens. He has been with that organization since 1972.

Prior to Murphy being hired, the Browns, in their first four years of existence, 1946-49, in the All-America Football Conference, shared trainer Wally Bock with the Cleveland Indians.

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TAKING ATTENDANCE: It's believed that wide receiver Braylon Edwards, who missed Tuesday's practice and instead worked inside, was doing so again during Thursday's OTA session. At least he was not outside. Left guard Eric Steinbach, who was inside with Edwards on Tuesday, took in practice from the sideline. "Sometimes guys have to work inside because of illness and bumps and bruises," Browns head coach Eric Mangini said simply. Running back Jamal Lewis continued to be absent, but Mangini seemed to be comfortable with the unspecified reason.

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A STAYCATION: Mangini said the Browns will not be scrimmaging against another team during training camp, in part because they are too busy learning the new offenses and defenses being installed, and also because he couldn't find times that fit with another club. The Browns last trained against another team way back in 2004 when, in what would turn out to be the final year for Butch Davis as head coach, they worked against Buffalo at the Bills' training camp home at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, N.Y.

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BIG PRAISE: Mangini had good things to say about two of the larger and most experienced Browns, offensive linemen Floyd "Pork Chop" Womack (a 328-pounder in his ninth season) and John St. Clair (320, 10), both of whom were signed in free agency. "We did a lot of research to find out what kind of people they are, and what kind of pros they would be for us," he said. "It's good to see when the conclusions from your research prove correct. Both have done a great job of integrating themselves into the offensive line."

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BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT: Wide receiver Donte Stallworth continues to miss practice time as he battles well-publicized legal issues in Florida, but if he can return to the team at some point relatively soon, Mangini thinks he can eventually catch up with the rest of the players at his position. "There's a lot of information going in right now, but it's like I tell our rookies, the veterans have the advantage in any situation like this in being able to refer back to something they've experienced in their careers," he said. "The rookies don't have that. They're still building their knowledge."

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PLAYS OF THE DAY: Outside linebacker Kamerion Wimbley may still be trying to regain his pass-rushing form of three years ago, but he's doing well as a pass defender. He broke up two Derek Anderson passes, one in the corner of the end zone with his back to the quarterback. … Anderson intentionally threw one away in the back of the end zone, and an equipment aide standing out of bounds made a beautiful shoestring catch of it. … To show that the struggles of the offense aren't all on the quarterbacks, Brady Quinn was pretty much on target to Mohammed Massaquioi on a slant route, but the rookie wide receiver couldn't hang onto the ball. … Quinn threw a laser shot to John Madsen that the tight end caught as he ran across the back of the end zone. … Quarterback Richard Bartel deftly read the blitz and beat it by going to wideout Paul Hubbard. … Quarterback Brett Ratliff had rookie wide receiver Brian Robiskie wide open down streaking down the right sideline but overshot him.

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PROGRESS REPORT: Rookie kicker Parker Douglass, after doing well earlier in camp, struggled. He is getting all the work in place of Phil Dawson, who continues to stay away, apparently in a contract dispute. … Keep an eye on fifth-year running back Noah Herron. The free agent has a low center of gravity, which should make him difficult to tackle once the contact drills start in training camp, and he runs extremely hard.

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JUST VISITING: As part of his continuing effort to bring in special youth groups to watch practice, boys and girls from the nearby Berea Children's Home were guests of Mangini and the Browns.

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HERE FOR GOOD: Mangini announced that defensive end Kenyon Coleman is the proud father of a baby born last week. The coach did not give details.

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UP NEXT: The Browns are off until next Monday and Tuesday, when they close their OTA practices. A minicamp is then slated for next Thursday through Saturday before the players depart to rest up for the grind of training camp and a 20-game regular-season and preseason schedule.

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QUOTABLE: "It doesn't make any difference who's out there. We're all new to this offense." – Quinn when asked if the absence of most of last year's receivers was causing some of the struggles of the passing game that's being installed.


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