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Browns

Browns News And Notes: Thursday

By DARYL RUITER, 92.3 The Fan Browns Beat Reporter
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File photo of former Browns running back Peyton Hillis / (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

File photo of former Browns running back Peyton Hillis / (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

DarylRuiter_300 Daryl Ruiter
Cleveland Browns beat writer and member of the Pro Football Writers of...
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BEREA (92.3 The Fan) - Well, that didn’t take long.

Former Browns and current Chiefs running back Peyton Hillis fired back at Browns left tackle Joe Thomas Thursday.

Thomas blasted Hillis Wednesday saying that his presence had become “toxic,” and that he put his contract before the team during the running back’s tumultuous 2011 season in Cleveland.

“Joe Thomas, he can have his opinions but it’s kind of like a crazy ex-girlfriend,” Hillis said Thursday to reporters. “It’s been over a year. Get over it. I guess when you get paid over 100 million dollars by one team, it’s kind of easy to point the finger at other guy and try to hate on him for trying to get another contract.”

Hillis missed 6 games in 2011 due to illness and a hamstring injury and created non stop drama off the field.

Much like his final season with the Browns, his first season with the Chiefs has been underwhelming at best. He’s run for just 193 yards and a touchdown this season while compiling just 2 runs of 15 or more yards in 2012.

“I don’t have any bitterness or resentment or regrets,” Hillis said. “I did what I did. There are always regrets in every process or things you wish you had done better. Now is now. I’ve got to do the best I can for me now.”

Coach Pat Shurmur didn’t seem too thrilled with Thomas’ remarks, but because they came from a captain he took the high road as far as criticizing his pro bowl left tackle for making them.

“I’d prefer my players say nothing, but I realize that that’s not the case,” said Shurmur. “If you’ve got any questions or you guys want me to comment on anything as things relate to this year, I’d be happy to.”

Man Of The Year: Thomas was named the Browns’ recipient of the ‘Walter Payton Man of the Year award.’

Thomas becomes the first Brown in team history to win the award, which recognizes excellence in community service as well as play on the field, twice.

Three NFL finalists will be announced at a later date, and each will be present at Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans on February 3, 2013, for the announcement of the NFL Man of the Year.

Kick To Me: As the NFL has changed the rules for kickoffs under the auspices of protecting players, returner Josh Cribbs did not like what he heard commissioner Roger Goodell say in an interview with Time magazine.

Goodell admitted that privately the NFL is considering eliminating the kickoff which could put players like Cribbs out of work.

“They need to change football leagues or [change the name] if they do that,” Cribbs said. “I’m surprised they would utter those words. That’s like taking the field goal out of the stadium. That’s like intramurals. [Might as well] play indoors and put flags on.

“It’s getting too much to be an entertainment business instead of a sport. We wouldn’t even be on NFL Network, we would be on MTV.”

Cribbs is averaging 28.1 yards per kick return this season, but keep in mind many of those returns are coming from at least 5 yards deep in the end zone.

Meatball: The Browns’ offensive line haven’t skipped a beat since John Greco has taken over at left guard for Jason Pinkston.

When asked to talk about Greco’s ability to step in, offensive coordinator Brad Childress said Greco is a ‘meatball.’ When asked to clarify Childress referred reporters to Greco.

“It was when I was coming in on short yardage and goal line, bigger set formations and we named it that,” Greco said. “I don’t know who came up with it, I’m assuming Brad did. It was a meatball formation but it was specifically when I entered the game so I assume they were having some fun with me.”

Greco, who is Italian, added that he makes a good meatball and since Childress is making a joke of it, he might have to bring in a surprise for his coordinator.

You May Step Down: Childress is done talking about the New Orleans bounty scandal.

Childress declined to address the testimony he gave in front of former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue and other representatives Monday in New Orleans.

“It wasn’t a one-on-one, so it was fine,” Childress said. “It was about this many people in the room. That’s probably all I want to say about it.”

Childress tipped off the NFL to the whole scandal when he suspected the Saints were taking shots at then Vikings quarterback Brett Favre during the 2009 playoffs.

He doesn’t anticipate he’ll have to revisit the situation.

“Yeah, I didn’t do anything wrong,” Childress said.

Injury Report: Limited – WR Josh Cribbs (shoulder/chest) and OL Ryan Miller (forearm).

Full Participation – S Ray Ventrone (calf), S Usama Young (concussion), TE Jordan Cameron (groin), CB Dimitri Patterson (ankle), RB Trent Richardson (chest/rib/finger) and DE Frostee Rucker (shoulder/finger).

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