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Alum Kokinis Likely Next Browns GM

Cleveland.com, the online presence of both The Plain Dealer and Sun News has been closely watching Hobart alum George Kokinis ’89 as he goes through the interview process for the Brown’s general manager position. In recent articles, the site has named Kokinis as most likely to be named to the position. An article this past Monday, Jan. 19, said, “Unless something unforeseen happens, the Baltimore Ravens pro personnel director will be offered the job and will accept.”

In his current position as pro personnel director of the Baltimore Ravens, he assists the general manager in analyzing NFL rosters and coordinating and evaluating each year’s free agency market. Along with personnel recommendations, Kokinis assists the vice president of football administration in negotiating contracts for some of the Ravens’ draft picks. The Cleveland.com article notes Ravens safety Jim Leonhard as “one product of Kokinis’ pro scouting that exemplifies his eye for talent.”

Kokinis earned his B.A. from Hobart with a major in psychology. He earned the ECAC Baseball Player of the Year honors in 1989 as a pitcher for the Statesmen, and was selected to represent the conference in a New York vs. New Jersey All-Star Game played at Yankee Stadium.

The full article follows.


Cleveland.com
Kokinis expected to meet with Browns, receive offer, accept GM job

Tony Grossi • January 19, 2009

Pittsburgh — George Kokinis, the Browns’ top general manager candidate, returned with his team to Baltimore on Sunday night but will have a quick turnaround and fly to Cleveland today for a second interview with owner Randy Lerner.

Unless something unforeseen happens, the Baltimore Ravens pro personnel director will be offered the job and will accept.

Kokinis strolled the Ravens’ locker room and consoled players after they lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 23-14, in the AFC Championship Game.

“It’s tough. It’s a good group of guys,” Kokinis said, sounding like it’s the last time he’ll be with them.

Ravens safety Jim Leonhard is one product of Kokinis’ pro scouting that exemplifies his eye for talent.

Leonhard was a walk-on at Wisconsin and signed as an undrafted free agent with the Buffalo Bills in 2005. The Ravens signed him to a one-year contract this year. Leonhard went on to start 13 games at strong safety and fill in as the Ravens’ punt returner.

Leonhard’s 45-yard punt return set up Baltimore’s first touchdown Sunday.
“If [Kokinis leaves for the Browns’ job], Baltimore is losing a good person,” Leonhard said. “I know he was the man instrumental in getting me to Baltimore. This season has revived my career. I enjoyed every moment of this season.”
Kokinis has been tight-lipped about his intentions. Baltimore personnel profess he has not told many in the organization what he’ll do.

But after the game, he tipped his hand by acknowledging a Cleveland reporter and saying, “I’m sure I’ll be seeing you around in the future.”

Hurtin’: Two hard-hitting defenses lived up to their reputation, and some key players were injured as a result.

Pittsburgh receiver Hines Ward was knocked out of the game with a knee injury on the Steelers’ third series on a tackle by Baltimore cornerback Frank Walker. Ward said team doctors told him there seemed to be no structural damage to his right knee, but he would have an MRI exam today.

Baltimore running back Willis McGahee had to be taken off the field strapped to a stretcher after a vicious hit to the face by Pittsburgh safety Ryan Clark.
The club reported McGahee had movement in his arms and legs but had significant neck pain.

Walker separated a shoulder in the second quarter, but he returned to play in the second half. The Ravens already were missing their other starting cornerback, Samari Rolle, who was inactive with a groin injury. Roll on, Big O: Former Browns defensive lineman Orpheus Roye was all smiles after Pittsburgh’s win. Roye, who turned 36 today, caught on with his original team in August.

Roye was released by the Browns last year after spending eight seasons with them. He was drafted by the Steelers in 1996.

“They say everything happens for a reason,” Roye said. “There’s something here for me left unfinished.”

This will be Roye’s first trip to the Super Bowl in 13 NFL seasons. Bye-bye, Browns: Browns quarterbacks coach Rip Scherer will leave the club to join the Carolina Panthers in the same capacity, a source said.

Scherer carried the additional title of assistant head coach his last two years with Romeo Crennel. Scherer was a candidate for Browns offensive coordinator the year Rob Chudzinski got the job.

With Carolina, Scherer rejoins Jeff Davidson, who left in 2007 after getting passed over for the Browns’ coordinator position. Davidson is Panthers offensive coordinator.

Scherer is the second Crennel assistant to leave since Crennel was replaced by Eric Mangini. Frank Verducci, an offensive assistant, joined Charlie Weis’ staff at Notre Dame. Bye-bye, Ravens: Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan, the twin of the new Browns coordinator Rob, is expected to be named the head coach of the Jets. Ryan wouldn’t tip his hand after the game, but Ravens coach John Harbaugh did.

“Rex Ryan is going to be a great head coach in the National Football League . . . very soon, and he is very deserving of it,” Harbaugh said.