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Browns add to new management, hire president

Browns add to new management, hire president

BEREA, Ohio (AP) New Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and his CEO, Joe Banner, have several personnel decisions to make once the season ends.

You can scratch president off their list, however.

With potentially more changes ahead for the new-look Browns over the next two weeks, Haslam and Banner announced on Tuesday they had hired Alec Scheiner to be the team's new president.

Scheiner, 39, will join Cleveland after eight years with the Cowboys. He was senior vice president and general counsel with Dallas the last five years.

``Alec and I started talking last June. We had a series of meetings,'' Banner said. ``We just felt like it was a great fit. He's going to impact the organization in a lot of ways.''

Scheiner will quarterback the Browns' day-to-day business operations in his new post, which will begin Jan. 7, and will focus on improving the team's gameday atmosphere at home games.

``We really want to enhance the fan experience everywhere. Wherever we can,'' Scheiner said. ``We have a challenge, and we will work hard on it.

``We want to create something that links us to the past, and to the community.''

Scheiner, raised in Lower Merion, Pa., attended Georgetown, and in 2008, took over the Cowboys' business operations, which included football analytics. He was a key cog in the fan experience at highly regarded Cowboys Stadium, which opened on May 27, 2009, and hosted the Super Bowl on Feb. 6, 2011.

``I want to thank the Cowboys for making my eight years there some of the most rewarding of my professional career,'' Scheiner said. ``I am looking forward to this challenge with the Browns, which I view as a tremendous opportunity to start at the ground level with a new and exciting leadership group.''

That unit, of course, features Haslam and Banner as the Browns look to create a new identity in the offseason.

``Jimmy and Joe have a great vision of what they want the Cleveland Browns to become and I am grateful to be able to be a part of it,'' Scheiner said. ``The Browns are an iconic franchise with an outstanding fan base and tradition. Together, we hope to do incredible things for the organization.''

Whether or not the coach will be with them - as that long-term vision plays out - remains to be seen. Cleveland began the season 0-5 under Pat Shurmur, who is in his season year. The Browns have persevered, though, and actually orchestrated a three-game winning streak late in the year. But they are still just 5-9 and in last place of the AFC North with two difficult games approaching - Denver (11-3) and Pittsburgh (7-7) - to end the season.

``We have not made decisions, but obviously, as time has gone on, we have thought about it more,'' said Banner, who said staffing decisions will be made ``quickly'' after the season finale. ``But we're not at the point where we've made definitive decisions.

``Our driving force is to gather a group of smart, effective people.''

Scheiner clearly plays into that mindset.

``For many years, the Cowboys have been a leading innovator among NFL franchises, and Alec played an integral role in this success,'' Haslam said. ``We are confident that his expertise will be a tremendous asset, not only for our organization but our fans as well.''

In 2010, Scheiner made the Sports Business Journal's ``Forty Under 40'' list.

``Our objective is to build the Browns organization with the best people in their respective fields, and we believe the hiring of Alec is indicative of this goal,'' Banner said. ``Alec brings a wealth of experience and knowledge in many facets with one of the most successful franchises in the NFL.''

Dallas owner Jerry Jones, for one, will certainly miss Scheiner's efforts.

``Alec is a bright and talented executive who has provided our organization with quality service. He knows his way around the NFL and has fine leadership ability,'' Jones said. ``He is a tireless taskmaster and will be a great addition to the Browns front office.

``He is a rising star and an asset to our league.''

In a conference call with the media, Scheiner was asked about the Browns' traditional ways - what with the logo-less helmets and classic uniforms. Scheiner didn't think too many changes were needed in that realm, and he was quick to embrace the team's tradition along the way.

``It's more about connecting with what he have already ... in more effective ways,'' he said. ``You can always do better.''

That said, Banner explained that Scheiner would have a say in any decisions regarding the potential modernization of the team's look, something that has been rumored as a consideration in the new era.

``He would contribute to that. He would be part of that discussion,'' Banner said. ``But that would be something that ultimately will be Jimmy's decision.''

As for cheerleaders, well, Scheiner is going from a franchise that is famous for them to one that doesn't even have them.

And, new regime or not, that appears like it'll stay that way.

``I don't think we're focused on that decision,'' Banner said with a laugh. ``It's not something we've spent time on.''

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NOTES: LB James-Michael Johnson and DB T.J. Ward were placed on injured reserve with knee injuries. Both Johnson, a rookie, and Ward are starters for a defense that allows 22.1 points per game. Johnson made eight starts, played in 10 games and finished with 35 tackles. His role expanded when Scott Fujita sustained a season-ending neck injury. Ward had 68 tackles and one interception. ... The Browns are 3-0 vs. the AFC West, with the first-place Broncos on deck.

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Pittsburgh at Wake Forest How to Watch: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

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Pittsburgh at Wake Forest How to Watch: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

The Pittsburgh Panthers are gelling as a football team, winning three straight games heading into this weekend. Pitt is now 5-1 in the ACC this season, and they currently sit atop the standings in the Coastal Division.

They'll be looking to make it four in a row by beating the Demon Deacons, who are 2-4 in  conference play and 5-5 overall. Wake Forest won their first two games of the year, and have gone 3-5 since, though they are coming off a strong 27-23 victory at 14th-ranked NC State last week.

Still, Pitt is favored by 6.5 points. A win today would help the Panthers maintain control of their own destiny within the ACC Coastal.

Here's how to watch.

PITT PANTHERS vs. WAKE FOREST DEMON DEACONS: HOW TO WATCH

What: Unviersity of Pittsburgh Cavaliers at Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Where: BB&T Field, located in Winston Salem, NC.

When: Saturday, November 17 at 12 p.m. EST

TV Channel: The Pittsburgh Panthers vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

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Tom Wilson does the little things in Capitals’ 3-2 overtime win at Colorado

Tom Wilson does the little things in Capitals’ 3-2 overtime win at Colorado

To call it a hit is generous. To call it a huge play is accurate. 

Capitals forward Tom Wilson backed into a loose puck along the boards in the defensive zone of Friday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche. He waited for a hit sure to come from behind. 

Colin Wilson, the Avalanche center, moved in to dislodge the puck. Instead he got dislodged from gravity. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Tom Wilson, barely moving and braced for contact, used his own leverage to launch Colin Wilson into the air, arms and legs akimbo. 

By the time Colin Wilson crashed to the ice, Tom Wilson had chipped a blind backhand pass to center ice, where Alex Ovechkin stopped it with his skate, dropped it to teammate Nicklas Backstrom, who gave it back as they entered the offensive zone. Ovechkin crossed from left to right and ripped a shot past former teammate Philipp Grubauer in goal for Colorado. 

It was a wonderful pass from Backstrom, who put the Avalanche on their heels. Ovechkin’s shot was a bullet that left little chance for Grubauer. But make no mistake – it all started with Wilson, who was prepared to take a hit to make a play. It is those little things that the Capitals missed during Wilson’s 16-game suspension by the NHL. It was the little things that helped them to a 3-2 overtime victory.  

“[Wilson] brings so much energy to this group,” Backstrom said. “He’s everywhere out there. That’s what we need. He’s playing PK, he’s playing power plays, he’s doing everything. He’s a valuable guy in this group so we’re happy to have him back.”

The game-winning goal in overtime by Backstrom was a perfect example. Wilson took a drop pass from defenseman John Carlson 12 seconds into overtime with Washington on a 4-on-3 power play. That’s when he went to work. 

For six seconds Wilson and Avalanche center Carl Soderberg did battle along the right boards high in the offensive zone. Just as Wilson was knocked to the ice, he slipped a pass back to Backstrom alone at the point. 

With Soderberg on top of him and both out of the play, Wilson watched Backstrom take advantage of the extra space in what effectively became a 3-on-2. He passed to Carlson in the right faceoff circle and then got the puck back in the high slot and beat Grubauer blocker side for the win. That doesn’t happen without Wilson. 

“When you’re playing with good players, you just try and keep it simple, win your battles and they’ll do the rest,” Wilson said. “And that’s exactly what happened on both those plays. At the end there, I thought about throwing it across the ice a couple times, but I’m not that comfortable out there yet so just kind of ragged on the wall and waited. Nicky got open for me and made it easy, I just threw it over to him and it was in the back of the net.”  

The Ovechkin goal put Washington ahead 2-1 at 18:29 of the second period. The Backstrom winner came 22 seconds into overtime. Wilson, in his third game back after his original 20-game suspension was reduced by a neutral arbitrator, played a career-high 24 minutes, 24 seconds. He moved to the power play for 4:19 with T.J. Oshie out with an upper-body injury and contributed 1:35 on the penalty kill – a little less than usual. 

Wilson played on the PK for 5:23 in his first game back Tuesday against the Minnesota Wild. He scored a goal in that game, too, by driving the net hard and has been a jolt of energy for a team that was scuffling coming into a difficult four-game road trip. The Capitals are 2-1-0 with one game left Monday at the Montreal Canadiens. 
 
“Tom is one of those guys that was vocal in our room, vocal on the bench that we’re fully in control of that game still even though we gave up the late goal,” Washington coach Todd Reirden said. “But that’s a tough start [after the suspension], three in four, and then add in the altitude and the minutes that we’re counting on him playing because they aren’t easy minutes. And then obviously having to chase around that top line tonight from Colorado is no easy task. Just really happy with the fact that we got him back a little earlier than was originally set up for us. It’s been a good bounce for our team.” 

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