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Published: Tuesday, 1/29/2008

Cleveland Browns coach Crennel agrees to extension

ASSOCIATED PRESS

CLEVELAND - Coach Romeo Crennel has agreed to terms on a two-year contract extension with the Cleveland Browns, his agent said last night.

The 60-year-old Crennel, the league's oldest coach, had two years remaining on the five-year deal he signed with the Browns in 2005. His agent, Joe Linta, said the sides have agreed in principle to the extension but that it has not yet been signed.

Crennel began the 2007 season on the hot seat after going just 10-22 in his first two seasons. However, Crennel, who won three Super Bowl rings as New England's defensive coordinator before coming to Cleveland, guided the Browns to a 10-6 mark - their best since 1999 - and the club just missed making the AFC playoffs.

The extension is not a surprise. Last month, general manager Phil Savage said the Browns intended to reward Crennel for turning the team around after years of disarray.

Long snapper Ryan Pontbriand was added to the AFC squad yesterday, giving the Cleveland Browns at least four representatives for next month's game in Hawaii.

Pontbriand will join kick returner Joshua Cribbs, wide receiver Braylon Edwards, and left tackle Joe Thomas in Honolulu for the Feb. 10 game. Before this season, the Browns hadn't had a player make the Pro Bowl since linebacker Jamir Miller in 2001.

Pontbriand was chosen by San Diego's coaching staff, which as the losing team in the AFC championship, gets to coach the AFC team.

Pontbriand was drafted in the fifth round in 2003 by coach Butch Davis, who was criticized at the time for using a pick on a long snapper. But Pontbriand has been invaluable to the Browns, who recently signed him to a four-year extension.

Quarterback Derek Anderson, offensive guard Eric Steinbach, and tight end Kellen Winslow remain as alternates.



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