CLEVELandMILIDH Posted March 25, 2010 Report Share Posted March 25, 2010 Bernie Kosar drops back from his roles with Cleveland Browns, GladiatorsBy Bill Lubinger, The Plain Dealer March 25, 2010, 6:30AM Former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar says things are going better for him and his family after recently going through a tumultuous period.WARRENSVILLE HEIGHTS, Ohio -- Bernie Kosar sat on a stool, watching the Cleveland Gladiators run drills Wednesday from behind netting that surrounds the Arena Football League team's indoor practice field in Warrensville Heights. The symbolism was inescapable: One of the most beloved Cleveland sports figures was, for the moment, on the outside looking in. View full sizeMarvin Fong / The PDKosar was the president of the Gladiators during their first season in Cleveland in 2008. The team did not play in 2009 after AFL folded.The 46-year-old Kosar, who retired in 1996 -- well after becoming legend in this town for having led the Browns to the AFC Championship Game three times -- has a hand in two football teams, but no official titles and duties that are undefined. After serving as president of the Gladiators in 2008, the former Browns quarterback is a special adviser to the team, which opens its season April 3 at The Q. Last fall, Browns owner Randy Lerner brought Kosar in as a team consultant, although that role also has never been determined. Kosar said he's met a few times with Browns President Mike Holmgren and coach Eric Mangini, but his involvement with the team is kind of on hold. "Right now, I haven't been doing as much while they're trying to get things settled. I hope to talk with them," he said in an interview during the Gladiators practice. "You know, they're busy down there with the [NFL] owners meetings this week in Orlando, [Fla.], but the off-season programs are just about ready to get started now and they're starting to get ready for the draft, so I'd like to still stay involved." Kosar, who played for the Browns from 1985 until being released in the middle of the season in 1993, had no preference about what his contribution might be. "You know what, at this point, to be able to learn under [Holmgren] and with him and [General Manager] Tom Heckert and coach Mangini, I'd be happy to do whatever they want," he said. With the Gladiators, Kosar, who plans to attend the games, said he's helped head coach Steve Thonn get adjusted to Cleveland. Kosar said he also has helped owner and friend Jim Ferraro put the front office and organization together. But he's also stepped back from the arena team a bit. "Because of some of the things I've personally been going through," he said, "[i'm] really trying to let them manage it and do their jobs." Kosar, who said he's been spending a lot of time in Ohio and is busy raising his four children, went through a messy divorce and filed for bankruptcy protection last summer, estimating debts of $10 million to $50 million. The Florida court filing blamed the economy, the collapse of the real estate market and financial mismanagement by those he trusted. As painful as it's been, Kosar says he's happy. "Actually, I am," he said. "My kids are doing good. They love me, I love them. I'm doing some football stuff. [Life is] not as confusing as before. I've got my health. "Was I always? Was it fun? Absolutely not, but you know what, it isn't easy and I'm kind of glad I've come out the other side. It gave me some experiences I bluntly wish I didn't have to experience, don't want to ever really experience them again, but I survived them. At the end of the day, I like to think of myself as a fighter and a survivor." As the Gladiators practice ended, Kosar was asked to address the team. He encouraged the players to make the most of their opportunity, to have no regrets, that if they did their best today then tomorrow would take care of itself. "I'd give anything to be able to play again," he told them. "You don't want to be my age and look back and wonder what might have been Good to hear he's doing better Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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