First Name: When the Browns known as on Invoice Cowher; saying no to Bud Dupree; praising Jason Zucker

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Tuesday’s “First Name” options Invoice Cowher’s dance with the Cleveland Browns, panning Bud Dupree, Jason Zucker’s spectacular previous, and the imply streets of the XFL.


Invoice virtually a Brown?

There was at all times some perception that the Cleveland Browns went after former Steelers coach Invoice Cowher to educate their soccer crew in 2009.

Now he’s admitting it.

Through the Canton Repository, Browns proprietor Al Lerner approached Cowher after his franchise fired Romeo Crennel within the wake of a 4-12 season in 2008.

Cowher was two years faraway from teaching the Steelers by then and dealing at CBS. As author Steve Doerschuk relays the story, Lerner met with Cowher in New York Metropolis. Cowher claims to have been tempted due to his taking part in days with the Browns.

However his Pittsburgh ties prevented him from embracing the thought of going again to be the pinnacle coach in Cleveland.

“The very fact Cowher grew up within the Pittsburgh suburbs and spent 15 years as head coach of the Steelers would have made accepting a suggestion from Lerner awkward,” Doerschuk wrote.

“I’ve nothing however fond reminiscences of town of Cleveland,” Doerschuk quotes Cowher as saying. “However I used to be in Pittsburgh fairly some time. There’s one thing particular about that, and that’s actually necessary to me.”

Cowher insisted within the story that he by no means got here significantly near signing with Cleveland or wherever else after his retirement.


Bud’s bucks

Mike Tomlin is on report as calling the retention of Bud Dupree a “precedence.”

However the exterior linebacker is coming off a career-high 11½ sacks. In order that’s going to price the Steelers some huge cash, both within the type of a long-term contract or as a franchise-tagged participant.

One soccer media outlet is saying that the Steelers ought to keep away from signing Dupree to a multi-year deal, insisting, “The largest factor Pittsburgh should not do that free company is pay edge defender Bud Dupree.”

That was Professional Soccer Focus.

Don’t get us mistaken — he made a number of impression performs in 2019,” that publication stated of Dupree. “However he additionally generated stress at a really regarding fee. Sacks are instable year-to-year whereas stress fee is the other. Amongst 102 edge defenders to hurry the passer a minimum of 200 occasions in 2019, Dupree was 65th in stress fee. That’s not somebody you need to pay $14 million a yr for if you end up already in a nasty spot along with your cap house. If the Steelers can maneuver it, bringing in tight finish Hunter Henry for a sub-$10 million contract is completely the very best path to go.

Certain, Henry could be nice. And sure, inking Dupree could be a danger. However in my view, that evaluation is promoting Dupree’s 2019 marketing campaign far too brief.


One and performed

Geez! This XFL isn’t messin’ round!

The XFL’s Los Angeles Wildcats fired Pepper Johnson after only one sport because the crew’s defensive coordinator.

Granted, L.A. misplaced to Houston 37-17. However fired after only one sport? That’s a bit harsh.

Proper?

“We acknowledge that there are points we have to deal with for the 2020 season,” head coach and normal supervisor Winston Moss stated. “Whereas these selections are tough, we now have given this important thought. We’re right here to place the very best product on the sphere for our followers. We thank Pepper for his contributions to the Wildcats and we’re trying ahead to our dwelling opener this weekend.”

Chilly, man!


Fond farewell

Relating to new Penguin Jason Zucker, we’ll see if he suits in effectively in Pittsburgh.

However one factor that’s continuously stated about him is that he’s a high quality particular person.

In 2017, Zucker and his spouse Carly pledged $160,000 to offer younger sufferers at College of Minnesota Masonic Youngsters’s Hospital a inventive outlet and permit them to look at Wild video games and sporting occasions in a non-public suite ambiance. The purpose was to jumpstart fundraising for the brand new house, which would come with a state-of-the-art broadcast station and absolutely outfitted theater.

It’s been successful since then. And for his efforts, Zucker was given the King Clancy Memorial Trophy in 2019. That’s awarded yearly to the NHL participant who finest exemplifies management qualities on and off the ice and who has made a major humanitarian contribution to his group.


Tampa occasions two

After shedding to the Tampa Bay Lightning on the street Thursday night time, the Penguins host the Lightning Tuesday at PPG Paints Enviornment.

The Lightning will probably be coming off an emotional win. They beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1 in time beyond regulation Monday night time, courtesy of a game-winner from Nikita Kucherov.

That was the primary time Tampa confronted Columbus for the reason that Jackets swept them out of the playoffs final spring. That is their seventh-straight victory.

Steven Stamkos didn’t play on account of harm however might swimsuit up Tuesday night time at PPG Paints Enviornment. Tampa Bay is 19-2-1 within the final 22 video games. They’ve 77 factors, tied with the Washington Capitals for the second highest complete within the Jap Convention. That’s simply three factors behind the Atlantic main Boston Bruins.

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Assessment workers author. You’ll be able to contact Tim at [email protected] or through Twitter. All tweets could possibly be reposted. All emails are topic to publication except specified in any other case.



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