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Jan 30, 2013 12:20am
Medium lingzi 1454 posts

CLEVELAND —Phil Dawson wasnt entirely convinced the Browns agonizing losing
streak had ended. Patrick Willis Elite Jersey . But once the
longtime kicker stepped inside Clevelands jubilant locker room there was no
doubt. As players hugged in celebration, incoming owner Jimmy Haslam III beamed
while shaking hands with many players who had never felt the joy of winning an
NFL game. Dawson remembered the feeling. Nearly one year later, the Browns had
won again. “It was fun to see guys jumping around and happy,” said the
37-year-old Dawson, who has been with the Browns since 1999. “They never had
that feeling before and it was great to see.” Rookie Brandon Weeden threw two
touchdown passes on his 29th birthday, cornerback Joe Haden sparked Clevelands
defence with his return from a suspension, and the Browns, competitive but
winless through five games, snapped an 11-game losing streak going back to last
November by beating the Cincinnati Bengals 34-24 on Sunday. Cleveland had not
won since Nov. 20, matching a franchise record for consecutive losses. But for
the first time this season everything fell into place for the Browns (1-5). “A
big weight was lifted off our shoulders,” said Haden, who intercepted a pass by
Dalton in third quarter to set up a field goal. “It felt like we won the Super
Bowl. We just didnt give up.” Montario Hardesty, filling in for injured rookie
Trent Richardson, scored on a 1-yard plunge and veteran cornerback Sheldon Brown
intercepted Cincinnatis Andy Dalton and returned it 19 yards for a touchdown in
the fourth quarter as the Browns outscored the Bengals (3-3) in the second half
27-10. It was the first win in nine tries against an AFC North opponent for
second-year Browns coach Pat Shurmur. The victory also closed Randy Lerners
tenure as Clevelands majority owner. His sale to Haslam for $1 billion is
expected to be approved by the leagues owners on Tuesday. The Browns hadnt been
able to put together a complete game under Shurmur. There were still some major
flaws, but one of the NFLs youngest teams did some growing up and took some of
the pressure off Shurmur, who needed a win to impress Haslam, the truck-stop
magnate and a former minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers. With the Browns
leading 27-17 after Weedens 3-yard TD pass to Benjamin Watson, Brown stepped in
front of Brandon Tate and felt the ball thud into this stomach. He ran it all
the way back as Cleveland fans, whose patience has been pushed to the limit with
years of losing, rocked Browns Stadium as it hadnt been in years. “We got our
stadium back today,” Hardesty said. “It was great. The crowd was going crazy.
Now we have to build on that feeling.” The loss was the Bengals fourth in the
last 17 games against the Browns. “We have got to play better,” Bengals coach
Marvin Lewis said. “Weve got to fix it. Obviously we are not playing
consistently enough for the ability of the guys that we have. Were almost too
nice at times and weve got to have more of a killer instinct.” Dalton finished
31 of 46 for 381 yards with three TDs—two to Green—and three
interceptions. One of the picks was by Haden, who returned after serving a
four-game suspension for violating the leagues policy on performance enhancers.
Haden had seven tackles and made two big third-down plays. Weeden went 17 of 29
for 231 yards and found rookie Josh Gordon for a 71-yard TD in the second
quarter, who hauled in Weedens pass with one hand before scoring his third TD in
two games. Hardestys 1-yard TD dive on the first play of the fourth quarter gave
the Browns, who trailed 14-7 at halftime, their first lead at 20-14. Hardesty
was in for Richardson, who took a helmet to the side early in the game. He
finished with just 37 yards on 14 carries. “Its a big relief,” Richardson said.
“Words cannot even explain right now how I feel. We know that weve been in every
game and we should have been finishing strong like this.” The Bengals made it
20-17 on Mike Nugents 44-yard field goal with 11:11 left. After Browns TD made
it 34-17, the Bengals struck back quickly on Daltons 57-yard TD pass to
A.J. Green with 5:21 left. Cincinnati got the ball back and was driving again
when Dalton was sacked and stripped by Emmanuel Stephens. Browns rookie
Billy Winn recovered it and rumbled 35 yards into Cincinnati territory, sending
Cleveland fans into delirium. “I thought I could go all the way,” the 295-pound
Winn said. “My legs were telling me to keep going, but I could feel a guy behind
me and I knew it was over.” Moments later, Clevelands streak was over, too.
NOTES: Dawson made two FGs and is 12 for 12. ... Green finished with 7 catches
for 135 yards. His 108 catches and 13 TDs are the most by any player in NFL
history through his first 21 games. ... The last time the Browns ended an
11-game losing streak they also did it against the Bengals, in 1975. ...
Richardson expects to play next week at Indianapolis. ... Bengals RB
Brian Leonard left in the second half with a rib injury. .... After giving up
243 yards rushing last week the Browns held the Bengals to 76 on 20 carries. Patrick Willis Black Jersey . Quiroz was
2-under on his front nine and went on to post four birdies on his inward nine,
finishing atop the leaderboard in only his second start of the year. Delanie Walker Jersey . —The Seattle
Seahawks have officially announced their agreement on a multi-year deal with
defensive end Chris Clemons, who was due to become a free agent at the end of
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combination makes him a lefty who can dominate lineups. Carlos Rogers Jersey . New yuan loans are
expected to be around 7.5 trillion yuan ($1.10 trillion) this year, down from
9.6 trillion yuan in 2009, CBRC Chairman Liu Mingkang said yesterday. [China
Daily] Each commercial lender should, each month, advance no more than 12
percent of the total new credit it planned to give out in the year, the source
told China Daily yesterday on condition of anonymity. Cheap Colin Kaepernick Jersey . —
Robert Griffin III is the first rookie quarterback to win an offensive player of
the week award after his debut game. OKLAHOMA CITY —When Clay Bennett was
seeking a leader for his team that would one day become the Oklahoma City
Thunder, he picked a rising star from a San Antonio franchise on the verge of
winning its fourth NBA championship in a decade. It was the start of a process
that would model Bennetts franchise after the Spurs, leading up to their meeting
in the Western Conference finals starting Sunday night. The standards that led
to San Antonios success rubbed off on Sam Presti, who got his start as a video
intern for the Spurs before rising through that organization and eventually
getting hired by Bennett as general manager of the relocating Seattle
SuperSonics. He recognized the importance San Antonio placed on humility,
sacrifice and a family atmosphere and has tried to instil those standards in the
Thunder. “I think everyone within the NBA has great respect for what the Spurs
have accomplished and the standards that they have established in recent years
but I think every organization has to have their own identity,” Presti said
Thursday. “Certainly, were always going to look to try to pull from
organizations such as the Spurs in our effort to build an identity and a
foundation for an organization in Oklahoma City that has great endurance.” The
similarities are numerous. Each team plays in a smaller NBA market and has a
nucleus of homegrown players acquired through the draft, including hidden gems
plucked from overseas. But more than the basketball product, the franchises have
a reputation for how they handle their business: no bad-mouthing other teams or
players, few scrapes with the law or other incidents and no sense of
entitlement. “I tell guys all the time: Not every guy can come here and play.
This isnt for everybody,” said Nazr Mohammed, who won an NBA title with San
Antonio in 2005 and is now a backup for the Thunder. “The same in San Antonio.
That isnt for everybody. ... Its not even the player, more so the person.” It
may not be no-nonsense, but there certainly isnt much of it. “It starts at the
top, the way Sam has built the organization and then the players hes brung in to
match that system. Its amazing to have these young guys around here that
understand just the hard work, the family atmosphere,” Mohammed said. “Ive been
on some teams where youve got a bunch of young guys. Family atmosphere is the
furthest thing from guys minds. Guys are thinking about, When am I going to get
my opportunity to get out there and show the world what I can do and get my
second contract? Here, its nothing like that. Guys just want to work, win, get
better and they know and understand like veterans that the rest will take care
of itself.” While Presti has tried to foster that San Antonio-style atmosphere,
he credits his players and coaches for carrying it out and putting in the work
that has led to consecutive Western Conference finals appearances for the second
time in franchise history. Ray McDonald Jersey. The attitude filters
down from ownership—Bennett used to represent the Spurs on the NBAs board of
governors—and through the front office, but Mohammed said the key is the
franchises ability to find players who buy into it. At the forefront, he sees
San Antonios Tim Duncan and Oklahoma Citys Kevin Durant—both superstars who
dont care about the limelight and only want “to work hard and play basketball.”
“You can preach it around but its still got to come from the player because you
can get a young guy now whos unbelievable but if he doesnt buy into it, hes
going to think his own way and do his own thing no matter what,” Mohammed said.
Spurs general manager R.C. Buford said he knew within a week of hiring Presti
that he wouldnt be an intern long. Presti ended up helping persuade the
franchise to draft point guard Tony Parker, who has developed into an All-Star
and the Spurs leading scorer, on his rise through the organization. Coach Gregg
Popovich joked that San Antonio “tried to keep him in a closet for a while so no
one would know about him” but word eventually got out. And now some of the Spurs
secrets may be working against them. “I dont have the intimate details of what
Sams culture is. But from an outsiders perspective, the things that are
important to the Thunders culture as established by Sam are similar to whats
important to the Spurs culture,” Buford said. Bennett, who declined comment
through a spokesman, said upon hiring the 30-year-old Presti in 2007 that he
viewed the Spurs “as the premier franchise in our business” but he was hiring
the GM on his own merits and not because he worked for San Antonio. Presti has
said from the beginning that he wasnt trying to re-create the Spurs. “No two
places are the same and youre going to have different circumstances and
different approaches. Thats what makes the NBA great,” Presti said. “We have a
lot of respect for them but we also have to build our own identity, but were
also certainly using some of the core values that are in place there, that are
also in place in other successful and sustainable sports franchises.” And there
are still four major differences between the franchises: The Spurs championships
in 1999, 2003, 2005 and 2007. “Id like to think that as we continue to grow and
build our organization that well establish an identity for the Oklahoma City
Thunder but that doesnt happen in four years,” Presti said, “and we have to
embrace the fact that we have a long road ahead of us.” ’ ’ ’ 

Feb 7, 2013 7:54am
Medium nancy007 32 posts

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