The last place to go to get information on the strange happenings surrounding the Browns is the team facility.
Coach Eric Mangini couldn't have been more guarded in his comments about the decision to fire general manager George Kokinis on Monday. Mangini opened his press conference Tuesday with a statement about how the organization felt it was the right move for the future, but he tried to deflect questions by saying he couldn't elaborate in more detail.
In other words, there could be legal reasons why Mangini refused to get more specific about another bizarre twist in what has become a strange season.
Despite Mangini's statement, reporters attending the press conference didn't hesitate to seek answers. Most of the 20-minute session included questions about what led to Kokinis' sudden departure.
"For a variety of reasons, this is all I can say at this point," Mangini said.
The summation of Mangini's comments is that the decision regarding Kokinis was an organizational move.
"Personally and professionally, George is a friend of mine and I respect him," Mangini said. "I can tell you for a variety of reasons that things didn't work out. You never go into a situation like this with the intention that it won't work out. Organizationally, this was the best decision in order to move forward.
"We have a strong structure in place on the college and pro side, and things will continue to operate effectively on a day-to-day basis."
The question that needs to be answered is why Kokinis and why now? He was on the job a little more than nine months. By all accounts, his influence on talent procurement was minimal, and his hesitancy to talk to reporters indicated that he was firmly under the influence of Mangini.
If owner Randy Lerner is so upset about how things have materialized, shouldn't the person making the major decisions be the first to go? The fact that Kokinis was escorted to the door doesn't make sense, unless there are reasons that don't involve the football side of operations.
Kokinis was hand-picked by Mangini, assumingly with the intention that Kokinis was someone who would play the part of a satisfied front-office executive while not demanding more input on decisions. Remember, Kokinis was technically Mangini's superior, but in fact he was a puppet figure.
It seems strange to think that Mangini signed on with the organizational decision. He had his man in place and right where he wanted him - tossing paper airplanes with his feet propped up on his desk. It seems like this was a decision made by an angry owner with the assistance of trusted consultants - probably Jim Brown and Bernie Kosar.
"It was a decision we felt gave us the best chance to move forward," Mangini replied when pressed further about his role in the move.
Kokinis' departure didn't seem to bother the players as they prepared for a practice during a bye week. Offensive tackle Joe Thomas admitted that he never had a chance to meet Kokinis, noting that Kokinis was quiet when around the players.
Players realize that from the outside looking in, the situation looks like a mess.
"There have been a lot of crazy things that have happened over the last couple of years," Thomas said.
As the only player that was on the 1999 expansion team, kicker Phil Dawson has seen every crazy moment. He wouldn't go into detail about the latest strange twist.
"As a player you always have things competing for your focus," Dawson said. "The longer you're in this business, you learn that's always going to be the case. As a professional athlete, your job is to focus on what's important. My job is to kick the football. You either focus on stuff that's going to make you better or you don't. Hopefully the guys on this team will zero in on what's important."