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Former Seattle Seahawks GM Tim Ruskell might find a fit with Cleveland Browns: Tony Grossi's NFL Insider

By Tony Grossi

December 13, 2009, 5:00AM


Ted S. Warren / Associated PressA league source says Tim Ruskell, above, “got a raw deal” in Seattle, but he might be a good fit with the Browns.The new name to watch in the Browns' front office search is Tim Ruskell.


Yes, the same Ruskell who resigned last week in his fifth season as president of football operations and general manager of the Seattle Seahawks.


Supposedly, Ruskell's resignation would clear the path for a triumphant return to Seattle by Mike Holmgren. While that initially was considered bad news for Browns fans -- and owner Randy Lerner -- hoping to attract Holmgren to Cleveland, it may prove to be good fortune for the Browns.


"He definitely got a raw deal in Seattle," an NFL source said of Ruskell.


Ruskell's demise came largely as a result of an 9-19 record the past two years. Prior to that, he presided over three playoff seasons, including one in 2005 that saw the Seahawks -- then coached by Holmgren -- reach the Super Bowl.


The Seahawks slumped to 4-12 in 2008 because quarterback Matt Hasselbeck was injured and Holmgren packed it in as a lame-duck coach. Ruskell already had tabbed Jim Mora as Holmgren's successor. The Seahawks are 5-7 in Mora's first season as coach.


Ruskell, who previously worked alongside Rich McKay with Tampa Bay and Atlanta, was interviewed by Lerner and former president John Collins when the Browns shopped for a general manager in 2005. Ruskell chose Seattle as a better opportunity, and the Browns turned to Phil Savage.


Lerner had a very high opinion of Ruskell, according to the source.


"The next person in charge in Cleveland has to be able to work with everybody in the building and reconnect with the local media and the fans," said the source. "They can't hire another newbie. He's got to be somebody who's been around and has a record of turning around teams. And they need somebody who can just make deals with free agents and attract players."


The source believes Ruskell also appeals to Lerner because, at 53, "he's the right age," and Ruskell is not adamant in changing coaches immediately. Thus, it would not be out of the realm for Ruskell to walk in and accept Eric Mangini for 2010.


"Tim is a cooperative sort," said the source. "For example, he went to Seattle and accepted and worked with Holmgren even though it was common knowledge that Holmgren resented losing his other titles [as president and GM] to Ruskell."


Holmgren pounced on Ruskell when the Seahawks lost Pro Bowl guard Steve Hutchinson to free agency following the Super Bowl season. The Vikings were able to pry away Hutchinson by including a "poison pill" in their offer sheet to the restricted free agent.


The source said that the real culprit who escaped blame was Mike Reinfeldt, then the Seahawks' chief salary negotiator and now a vice president with Tennessee.


"It is well-known in the league and the agent community what happened," said the source. "That wasn't Ruskell's fault. That was all Reinfeldt."


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Paul Chiasson / Canadian Press via APMontreal Alouettes head coach Marc Trestman is a former offensive coordinator for the Browns.Where are they now? Remember Marc Trestman, the former Browns offensive coordinator in 1989 and longtime champion of Bernie Kosar?


The well-traveled coach just concluded his second season as coach of the Montreal Alouettes with a win in the Grey Cub, the Canadian Football League's Super Bowl. In two seasons, Trestman guided the Alouettes to a 26-10 record, two division titles and two appearances in the Grey Cup, winning one.


Trestman, who also coached in the NFL with Minnesota, Tampa Bay, San Francisco, Detroit, Arizona and Oakland, has been mentioned as a potential head coach candidate with Buffalo and the Raiders, should they make a change.


"Just rumors and speculation," Trestman, 53, said in a recent phone conversation. "I wouldn't even comment on that."


Trestman said he loves the CFL gig and gets to spend more time with his family because CFL teams close down operations after the season until the following spring. He would not say whether he has aspirations to the NFL.


"My experience in the CFL has been great," he said. "I love the whole process and have great support. I'm really enjoying this."



Fancy scheduling: The Browns play in Kansas City next Sunday after enjoying extra time after playing on Thursday night. They will be the third successive team to visit Kansas City to benefit from playing their previous game on Thursday night.


Denver took advantage of its extra time to beat the Chiefs, 44-13. Buffalo visits Kansas City today after playing not playing since Dec. 3.


Brutal scheduling: Carolina has the most difficult finishing schedule in the NFL. Their last four opponents are New England (7-5), Minnesota (10-2), the Giants (7-5) and New Orleans (12-0). That's a combined 36-12 (.750).


'Matter of time: When linebacker E.J. Henderson broke his left leg in a loss to Arizona last Sunday night, the Vikings became the last team to place a player on injured reserve. The Browns have 11.


© 2009 cleveland.com. All rights reserved.



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For lerner if the shoe fits he buys it ,lets see...fat ,mediocre success ,freshly fired or resigned to avoid being fired ,a yes man...yup thats randys man without a doubt!


Seriously its unlikely lerner can get anyone better than ruskell to come to cleveland and he fits randys criteria for a ahem...(cough)credible ,serious minded individual...;)


Mangenius ,Ruskell ,Ryan and Daboll...in 2010 maybe things can get worse but they cant get much fatter! ;)

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