Modell, staff to discuss Browns' flop Owner wonders why team fell from 11-5 to 5-11

January 04, 1996|By Mike Preston | Mike Preston,SUN STAFF

Cleveland Browns owner Art Modell will meet with several members of his front office in daylong meetings today in Baltimore to talk about the team's disappointing 1995 season.

The Browns were picked by some preseason publications to appear in the 1996 Super Bowl, but instead the team finished 5-11, fourth in the AFC Central, only one game ahead of the Jacksonville Jaguars, an expansion team that defeated the Browns twice. Cleveland lost seven of its last eight games.

Browns fifth-year coach Bill Belichick was scheduled to fly here last night along with Michael Lombardi, the team's player personnel director, and Ozzie Newsome, the director of pro personnel. They will meet with Modell, his son David, a team vice president, and executive vice president Jim Bailey, who already have offices in Baltimore.

Belichick, an Annapolis native, has had four losing seasons with the Browns, but Art Modell has said Belichick will coach the team when it moves to Baltimore.

Modell said no immediate decisions, if any, will be made on the future of his front-office staff.

"Basically, I want to find out what went wrong, how a team that went 11-5 could slip to 5-11 in a year," said Modell. "There won't be any announcements. I'll listen to what they have to say and digest it for a week or so before I have any comments."

One team official said off-season plans, such as the workout schedule, will be discussed at the meeting as well.

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