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The year was 1992. The NFL had announced that two new franchises would be added

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    league as expansion clubs. Numerous cities put their name in the hat Youth Nick Chubb Jersey , but the list was whittled down to five possibilities: Charlotte, St. Louis, Baltimore, Jacksonville and Memphis. St. Louis once had the Rams and Baltimore the Colts, while Jacksonville and Memphis each had several franchises in other pro football leagues. The front runners initially were Baltimore, St. Louis and Charlotte. Richardson Sports headed the Charlotte group which was eventually awarded the first team in October of 1993. Baltimore had a trio of ownership groups and was the most likely to get the second franchise. A $200 million rent-free stadium was already approved along with the team name called the “Baltimore Bombers.” In an upset, the owners voted 26-2 to award the second expansion team to Jacksonville. That left the City of Baltimore still without an NFL club. In 1995, Art Modell, the owner of the Cleveland Browns, was romanced by numerous leaders of Baltimore and with the allure of huge profits, he agreed to move the beloved Browns to Maryland. Fired was head coach Bill Belichick and his coaching staff. The Browns were getting ready to move to Baltimore but only had a partial workforce in place in their new city as the team relocated into the Colts’ old offices in Owings Mills, Maryland. The movers were local, and several were full-time firemen who worked a side job to make extra funds for their families. Initially, these men were hired as part-time employees until a full-time staff could be compiled. The Browns were soon renamed the “Ravens” after Edgar Allan Poe’s poem The Raven. Today, the Ravens employ 16 firefighters – some of which are retired in that profession. These men do a long list of duties for the franchise. For one, they handle all of the team and fan mail. It is estimated that hundreds of pieces of mail arrive at every NFL team every day. A large percentage of that is to individual players with letters and memorabilia sent to those athletes. When Packers’ QB Aaron Rodgers was the backup to Brett Favre Youth David Njoku Jersey , he once got a letter along with a football card of Favre. The letter asked Rodgers to get Favre to sign the card and return it since the fan could not get a response from Favre himself. Most teams provide shelves or cubbyholes in which fan mail is placed. It is up to each player to collect his mail. While most players take the mail home, some designate a third party to pick the mail up while others get their mail shipped to a location - usually their off-season home. Some players are good with their mail while others simply ignore it and place the boxes into a corner and never bother. Others wait until their bye-week to go through their mail while a good percentage simply postpone this duty until the season is concluded. Letters are only a percentage of the mail these firemen deal with. It is not uncommon for a player to get boxes which usually contain mini-helmets, footballs and magazines asking players to autograph and return. Helping to keep supplies in their place is another duty. Anything from toilet paper to cups to bottled water to copy paper has to be placed in their respective spot. While at the facility, they also run the occasional errand if needed. Another duty of the firemen is the player’s laundry. Every game-used jersey, socks and pants along with towels are taken care of every week. Also on this list are the practice uniforms and workout clothes the players and coaches use every day. Each player and coach has their own laundry bag with their name on a tag. When something needs to be washed, they simply throw their bag into a daily laundry bin which is returned clean the following day in their locker. Any repairs to garments are also handled by the firemen who sew and stitch whatever needs to be done. While those duties appear to be work, one aspect of the firemen’s day with the Ravens certainly has to be fun. Whenever needed, these men help out in practice sessions. They assist with down markers, retrieve footballs and catch field goal attempts. They bring out practice pads and whatever other equipment is needed for that day’s practice. At least half a dozen firemen assist with each practice. Still another function that these firemen perform is with the team’s equipment. Before every game - home or away - they pack up the uniforms, shoes, shoulder pads, socks, uniform playing pads, helmets, chin straps, mouth guards http://www.thebrownsfootballauthentic.com/jamie-collins-jersey-authentic , footballs and player equipment bags. All of this is packed into huge stack-able metal containers and then loaded onto trucks for either the stadium or the airport. At home game days, these same men help players get ready for the game with assistance with their pads and jerseys. Of course with a road game, these firemen help unload all of the equipment and begin a new set of laundry. Currently, the franchise has 16 firefighters on staff, five are retired while the other 11 are still full-time firemen. They usually work 24-hour shifts with 48-hours off until their next shift at the firehouse. This allows them some free time to help with the Ravens while making some extra money. And although they enjoy their time with their hometown NFL team, their focus is still fighting fires in the Baltimore metro area. Barry Shuck is a pro football historical writer and a member of the Professional Football Researcher’s Association.Cleveland Browns 53-Man Roster Projection (Final Version) It is time for my final 53-man roster projection for the Cleveland Browns. General Manager John Dorsey will have to trim the roster from 86 players to 53 players by 4:00 PM ET on Saturday, September 1st. This edition is based on the weeks of training camp reports, performances from the four preseason games, and my general instincts..dbn {background: #fff;width: 600px;padding: 2px;font-size: 12px;color: #FFFFFF;}tr:first-child td {font-weight: bold;TEXT-ALIGN: center; BACKGROUND: #DF6108; COLOR: white; VERTICAL-ALIGN: bottom;}td {border: 1px solid #000;padding-left: 2px;}tr:nth-child(even) {background: #330000;color: white;}tr:nth-child(even) td {color: white;}tr:nth-child(odd) {background: #FFDB9F;color: black;}tr td:first-child {text-align:center;font-weight:bold;}The following players would not count toward the 53-man roster:Injured Reserve: WR Ricardo Louis, CB Howard WilsonGeneral Roster Projection NotesSince the first edition of my list, I removed the following four players from my 53-man roster projection:WR Corey ColemanDL Trenton ThompsonLB Mychal KendricksS Simeon ThomasSince the second edition of my list, I added the following four players to my 53-man roster projection:WR Rashard HigginsWR Damion RatleyDL Nate OrchardLB Justin CurrieI will explain each of the roster decisions in the positional bullet points below.Quarterback: As much as I like Brogan Roback for being funny, the team doesn’t need four quarterbacks, even on the practice squad.Running Back: It was a solid final preseason game for Matthew Dayes, but reps will already be hard to divide between the top three backs.Wide Receiver: One of the polarizing decisions I had to make was whether to keep Jeff Janis or not. He has been hurt or done nothing all preseason, but I have to keep telling myself that Cleveland signed him for a niche reason (gunner) http://www.thebrownsfootballauthentic.com/seth-devalve-jersey-authentic , and he will still likely be counted on to fulfill that. Whether rookie Damion Ratley makes the roster is up for debate too — I squeeze him on over TE Devon Cajuste. Rashard Higgins was on my cut list before camp, but he’s definitely earned a roster spot with a great camp. What a difference from a year ago.Tight End: People have wondered whether Seth DeValve’s roster spot is in jeopardy. I just don’t see how the team could cut an expected contributor because he was hurt during camp. DeValve has good hands and can stretch the field better than Cajuste can. I was pulling for Cajuste due to his Hard Knocks story, but that drop in the final preseason game was costly.Offensive Line: People are intrigued by what Desmond Harrison can offer as a backup tackle, but I don’t think he’s ready for a 53-man roster spot. The practice squad is the right spot for him to develop. I think the team would trade Shon Coleman if there was an interest in him, but don’t think they are deep enough at tackle to just outright cut him. Greg Robinson had a decent preseason if the club wants to keep him as insurance.Defensive Line: The defensive line position is all over the place due to Trevon Coley’s health. I don’t think veteran Chris Smith will be cut, but he hasn’t been seeing early-game reps. Rookie third-rounder Chad Thomas has had an uneventful camp, but shouldn’t be at risk of being cut. I said Carl Nassib vs. Nate Orchard was a battle I felt would be a “thing” early in camp, and Hard Knocks has played that out too. I was sticking with Nassib over Orchard, but then Orchard had an awesome pick six in the final preseason game. Ugh. As awesome as that one play is, I just don’t know if the staff will feel he is productive enough against starting-level talent. I found a last-second spot for him by taking rookie S Simeon Thomas off the main roster.Linebacker: The sudden departure of Mychal Kendricks definitely threw a wrench in the once-fruitful linebacker depth, and Genard Avery’s injury hurts matters too. James Burgess’ roster spot should be locked in more, but now I have Justin Currie making the final roster too (but he will probably be gone after waiver moves are made).Cornerback: Cleveland stockpiled on cornerbacks this offseason, and I’ve decided to keep all of them. T.J. Carrie and E.J. Gaines were supposed to battle it out for the other starting corner job, but faded from competition quickly. Still, I think Gregg Williams hated the lack of depth at the position last year and will want that whole room of guys to work with. Safety: The safety room is a bit thin after the first three, so I’m shifting CB Briean Boddy-Calhoun over there to fill out a number. I also think we could see Jabrill Peppers and Derrick Kindred on the field a lot together Authentic Chris Hubbard Jersey , helping alleviate some of the number issues at linebacker at times.Special Teams: The kicker competition ended early, with Ross Martin being cut before the final preseason game (but I was keeping Zane Gonzalez anyway). I don’t think Justin Vogel will unseat veteran Britton Colquitt.The single asterisks on the cut side represent my projected practice squad, which includes RB Matthew Dayes, WR Derrick Willies, OT Desmond Harrison, DL Daniel Ekuale, DL Zaycoven Henderson, LB B.J. Bello, LB Jermaine Grace, S Simeon Thomas, CB Jeremiah McKinnon, CB Denzel Rice, and DB Tigie Sankoh.Note: I reserve the right to tweak my 53-man projection by noon on Friday. Final roster cuts are due Saturday by 4 PM ET.Feel free to share your roster projections here, or some changes you would make to mine.

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