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Browns cut Hill, 10 more

The Associated Press

BEREA – Fumbling the ball is unacceptable, Cleveland Browns coach Chris Palmer said repeatedly, and he underscored the warning Sunday by cutting Madre Hill.

Monday, September 06, 1999

BEREA – Fumbling the ball is unacceptable, Cleveland Browns coach Chris Palmer said repeatedly, and he underscored the warning Sunday by cutting Madre Hill.

The 5-foot-11, 199-pound running back out of Arkansas, picked seventh by the Browns in the NFL draft, fumbled twice in Cleveland’s final preseason game Thursday against Philadelphia.

”You can’t fumble in this league, you cannot fumble in this league,” Palmer said in announcing 11 roster cuts.

”Some guys grow out of it and some don’t. You have to understand how important turnovers are. You have to understand that when you’re given the ball, you have to protect it.”

The Browns also waived quarterback Mike Cook, wide receiver Zola Davis, defensive backs Duane Butler, Kevin Devine and Gerome Williams, defensive linemen Bill Duff and Tyrone Rogers, offensive linemen Steve Gordon and Matt Willig and linebacker Ryan Taylor.

The Browns also placed retired linebacker Chris Spielman on the injured reserve list to get down to 53 players.

That number is three less than they are allowed to carry for the first three weeks of the season, so they will be scanning the waiver wire looking for players.

”There will be some veterans that will be released and we can’t claim them because they have so many years in the league. They can pick and choose where they want to go. Only people with a certain number of years will we be able to pick up through the waiver wire system,” Palmer said.

Hill also fumbled going in for a touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings two weeks ago, allowing the Vikings to escape with a 24-17 win.

Hill’s fumbles in Philadelphia paved the way for 10 of the Eagles’ 20 unanswered points in the final period, turning a 17-10 Cleveland lead into a 30-17 loss.

‘It’s posted right on one of the walls inside of our facility. If you’re plus-1 in turnovers, the NFL statistics through the years show you win 67 percent of the time, if it’s plus-2, you win 82 percent of the time and if it’s plus-3, you win 91 percent of the time.”

Hill wasn’t around to get the bad news and Palmer couldn’t reach him by phone.

”I regret that,” Palmer said. ”I make a point of telling the players myself when they’re cut, and they seem to appreciate that openness, honesty and directness. You never want to learn that you’ve been cut from hearing it on the radio or reading it in the paper.”

Hill ”is a talented guy,” Palmer said. ”I don’t think his football career is over. If he doesn’t make it with some other NFL team, he’ll get an opportunity in (NFL Europe).”

When asked if Hill would have made the team had it not been for his fumbles, Palmer paused and said, ”I don’t know that.”

Hill’s 85 rushing yards were second to starter Terry Kirby’s 110 yards and 13 yards more than Sedrick Shaw, who made the squad.