Browns' McGinest keeps focus on Pittsburgh Print
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Friday, 26 December 2008 23:00
NFL Headline News

 BEREA, Ohio (AP) -Cleveland Browns linebacker Willie McGinest was in no mood to get sentimental. He had a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers to prepare for, and it didn't matter that it could be the final one of his 15-year career.
The 37-year-old McGinest said in May that he planned to retire following this season, but he's started 13 games and has 68 tackles and a sack. On Friday, he said he hasn't thought about whether he'll reconsider that decision.
``We're going to try to go out with some pride and fight hard and win this game,'' McGinest said. ``It hasn't been a good season, so we want to go out on a good note. That would be great if we can go out beating Pittsburgh.''
' defense.
``I want to go out while I'm still productive. I don't want to be one of those guys still hanging on, not being productive and body not feeling good,'' he said. ``That plays a lot into it.''
McGinest said his body feels good, but that watching himself on film hasn't persuaded him to return for a 16th season.
``I just look at the film and see what I can do better,'' he said. ``I know I can play the game, that never was a question to me. I know if I want to continue, I can continue to play.''
McGinest missed Weeks 3 and 4 with a hamstring injury, but since then has been healthy and productive. He had a season-high 10 tackles Dec. 15 in Philadelphia, including two for losses, and added a sack.
``If he wants to come back, I think that he can help,'' coach Romeo Crennel said.
McGinest has interests outside of football that could make it easier to stick to his retirement plan. He's the CEO of an entertainment company and owns a sports memorabilia company, a visual-content distribution company and restaurant franchises.
McGinest was the fourth overall pick of the Patriots in 1994 and he spent 12 seasons with them before signing with the Browns in 2006 as a free agent. He's started 38 games in Cleveland with eight sacks.
atriots history with 78 sacks. He set NFL postseason records in 2005 with 4 1/2 sacks against Jacksonville and 16 for his career. He won three Super Bowls with New England.
Crennel was familiar with McGinest from their time together in New England and brought him to the Browns to add experience in the 3-4 scheme and leadership in the locker room.
``Willie Mac, he's meant everything to this team,'' linebacker Andra Davis said. ``He exemplifies the meaning of leader. No one ever beats him in here, no one ever outworks him.
``He's been showing us what it takes to play in the league 15 years, to be successful, to go to three Super Bowls,'' Davis said. ``He's the type of person that this team was missing my first (four) years here. We had a lot of good guys, but I'd never seen a veteran of his status bring so much to the table like he has done.''
McGinest was expected to see a reduced role this year, but a season-ending injury to Antwan Peek and the rookie struggles of Alex Hall led to playing time.
``He plays with tremendous effort, he is very physical against the run and he's gotten us some rush in the pass game,'' defensive coordinator Mel Tucker said. ``He is out there quite a bit and that's something that is a credit to him because of his production.''
 

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