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Crennel and his wife, Rosemary, stayed with Mangini and his wife, Julie, for about six months when the Crennels were having a home built after Romeo took the job as New England's defensive coordinator.
When Crennel was hired as Cleveland's coach, he wanted Mangini as his defensive coordinator but Mangini decided to take over Crennel's spot with the Patriots instead.
Mangini was one of four candidates interviewed by Lerner, but the only one with NFL head coaching experience -- a prerequisite for the Browns owner, who also spoke with New York Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and Browns defensive coordinator Mel Tucker.
Mangini takes over a Browns team with more talent than Crennel had when he arrived in 2005. Cleveland entered 2008 with high expectations after going 10-6 last year. But beginning with a training camp injury to wide receiver Braylon Edward, who cut his foot while running in his socks after practice, the season unraveled quickly.
The Browns blew back-to-back home games in a five-day span and finished the season 4-12 without scoring an offensive touchdown in their final six games. On the way to their fifth season of at least 10 losses in the past six years, the Browns changed quarterbacks, benching Pro Bowler Derek Anderson in favor of Brady Quinn.
Lerner fired GM Phil Savage after a 31-0 loss at Pittsburgh in the season finale. He then interviewed Scott Pioli, New England's highly regarded director of player personnel, and had hoped to pair him with Mangini in Cleveland. The two began their pro careers together with the Browns, but their relationship may have been strained when Mangini reported the Patriots to the NFL for videotaping New York's defensive signals during a game.
During his interview, Mangini mentioned Baltimore player personnel director George Kokinis as his preference as GM. Kokinis is expected to interview with Lerner on Sunday.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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