Unfinished Business in Berea

Change has come to the Browns front office, but questions remain as to how much is left. Lane Adkins reports on some members of the Browns organization who face an uncertain future.

limbo 1 |'limbo|, noun
1 (in some Christian beliefs) the supposed abode of the souls of unbaptized infants, and of the just who died before Christ's coming.
2 an uncertain period of awaiting a decision or resolution; an intermediate> state or condition

New Team President Mike Holmgren and General Manager Tom Heckert were brought to Cleveland to right a ship that had been listing for a decade. With the addition of the two experienced and successful football executives early this year, it was on a matter of time until some major changes hit the home team.

That process has started, but it's a mystery to some who remain whether or not it's finished.

In the days following the Heckert hire, the Browns released the entire upper tier of their player personnel department, and have subsequently hired replacements tied to the two new men in charge.

Those who were relieved couldn't have been shocked, knowing how the NFL game is played, but they weren't certain of their fates, either. Leading up to their dismissal, there was no discussion with the men heading up the pro side of the Browns player personnel group, beyond relaying that good things had been heard about them.

The lack of communication likely created a sense of deja vu for the exiting front office execs, as it was not dissimilar to what they had been experiencing for months.

After the departure of former general manager George Kokinis, the personnel department felt that it was left in the dark on just about everything. For better or worse, someone other than the personnel department was responsible for driving the organization's player moves, with the logical candidate being head coach Eric Mangini.

Interestingly, according to sources within the organization, the new Browns regime has not interacted extensively with the full staff of scouts, basically leaving them alone to do their jobs and wonder about their futures. The scouting staff has been busy preparing off-season reports and scouting collegiate talent available during post-season workouts, as if nothing had changed.

While the team's scouts have been busy helping prepare the team for the future, their individual futures are hazy. Most have expiring contracts come May and sources close to the organization relay that the organization has failed to shed any real light on their futures or the direction of the scouting department.

While the college scouts gather data and evaluate potential draft selections, Heckert, newly hired director of player personnel Jon Sandusky and director of pro personnel Keith Gilbertson will handle the duties of the former pro personnel executives.

But soon all the information for the 2010 NFL Draft will be assembled, and the decision-makers within the front office will start plugging the pieces into the final stages of the draft-board.

Those already removed in the personnel department had contracts which ran through May of 2010. The same can be said about the team's remaining scouts and it appears that, if the lack of clarity about their future means what it did to the pro personnel group, the same fate may await.


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