CLEVELAND (AP) -Coach Romeo Crennel signed a two-year contract extension Tuesday with the Cleveland Browns, his reward for helping turn around a franchise in disarray for most of the past decade.
The 60-year-old Crennel still had two years remaining on the five-year deal he signed in 2005. The extension, believed to be worth about $4 million per season, takes Crennel through the 2011 season.
The Browns were one of the NFL's surprise teams in 2007. One season after going 4-12, they won 10 games and barely missed the AFC playoffs.
``We're pleased to get this two-year extension done with Romeo,'' Browns general manager Phil Savage said in a statement. ``Romeo has proven that he can be a winning NFL head coach, and he has the respect of the players and of the entire organization.''
Crennel was an assistant coach for 25 years before he was hired by the Browns on Feb. 8, 2005, just after winning his third Super Bowl as New England's defensive coordinator.
His first two seasons were rough. The Browns went 10-22, including 1-11 against AFC North opponents, and Crennel's days in Cleveland appeared to be numbered after the Browns were thumped 34-7 by the Pittsburgh Steelers in their 2007 home opener.
However, Cleveland bounced back behind a high-scoring offense, went 7-1 at home and were beaten out for a spot in the postseason because of a tiebreaker.
``I would like to thank (owner) Randy Lerner and the Lerner family for their confidence in the direction the program is going,'' Crennel said. ``I would also like to thank Phil Savage, the Browns organization, as well as my coaches and players without whom none of this would be possible.
Crennel's agent, Joe Linta, and Savage have been working on parameters for the deal for more than one week.
Crennel is extremely popular with Cleveland's players, who awarded him a game ball following a season-ending win over San Francisco.

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