Cleveland brings in new president

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BEREA (AP) -- Alec Scheiner has been named the new president of the Cleveland Browns.

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.

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," he 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."

Jimmy Haslam, who bought the team over the summer, leads that group, which also includes new CEO Joe Banner.

"Jimmy Haslam and Joe Banner 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."

The hire was the end of a long process for Banner, who began conversations with Scheiner over the summer just as Banner was exploring new opportunities for himself.

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

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.

"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. "It's not something we've spent time on."

Lions future

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- The Detroit Lions may have finally hit rock bottom for 2012.

Sunday's 38-10 loss to the woeful Arizona Cardinals was Detroit's sixth in a row, and at this point, the goal is simply to salvage some pride in a spoiler role against Atlanta and Chicago, and possibly set a better tone for the offseason.

The Lions host the Falcons on Saturday night.

"You have something to prove every week regardless of winning streak, losing streak, what happened the previous week," coach Jim Schwartz said. "This is a week-to-week business. The people that keep their eyes on that, that are consistent from week to week, are the people that are successful in this league."

Detroit made the playoffs last season, but at 4-10, there's no chance of a repeat visit.

In fact, the Lions may end up with premium position in the first round of the draft -- a spot they occupied for several years but figured they'd left behind.

Browns moves

BEREA -- The Cleveland Browns have placed linebacker James-Michael Johnson and defensive back T.J. Ward 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.

With the available roster spots, Cleveland signed defensive back Prince Miller and linebacker Adrian Moten. The Browns also elevated defensive lineman Hall Davis from the practice squad to the active roster.

McElroy named starter

NEW YORK -- Rex Ryan has benched Mark Sanchez and will start third-string quarterback Greg McElroy in the New York Jets' game against the San Diego Chargers on Sunday.

Sanchez threw four interceptions Monday night and couldn't handle a low snap with the game on the line as the Jets were eliminated from playoff contention with a 14-10 loss at Tennessee.

Belcher was worried

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher apparently was worried he would lose his baby and money to his longtime girlfriend before fatally shooting her and killing himself, according to newly released police reports.

Belcher also complained about Kasandra Perkins, the mother of the couple's 3-month-old daughter, in conversations and text messages sent to a woman he was dating on the side, the reports show.

In one text message sent in late October or early November, Belcher wrote he "would shoot" Perkins "if she didn't leave him alone." The girlfriend told police that Belcher said "his child's mother threatened to take all his money and his child if they split up" and "knew exactly how to press his buttons and make him angry."

Brent to wear monitor

DALLAS -- A judge has ordered Dallas Cowboys nose tackle Josh Brent to wear an electronic monitor while free on an intoxication manslaughter charge in a car crash that killed a teammate.

A judge modified conditions for his continued release and lowered bond from $500,000 to $100,000 during Brent's Tuesday court appearance.

Patterson to Dolphins

DAVIE, Fla. -- Defensive back Dimitri Patterson has been awarded to the Miami Dolphins one day after being waived by the Cleveland Browns.

The Dolphins also placed backup tight end Charles Clay on injured reserve Tuesday with a right knee injury. Patterson reinforces the secondary with the questionable status of cornerback Nolan Carroll, who hurt his left knee in Sunday's win over Jacksonville.

Chargers place three on IR

SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego Chargers have placed running back Ryan Mathews, wide receiver Malcom Floyd and tackle Reggie Wells on season-ending injured reserve.

All three were injured in a 31-7 loss to Carolina on Sunday that eliminated the Bolts from playoff contention.

Mathews broke his left collarbone, Floyd sustained an ankle injury and Wells had ankle and toe injuries.

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