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Browns add 3 to coaching staff

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Jan 23, 2013 at 2:07 PM

The Cleveland Browns today named Louie Cioffi (pronounced CHO-fee) as their defensive backs coach, Joe Cullen as defensive line coach and Shane Steichen as an offensive quality control coach.

“Joe has been an outstanding coach throughout his career,” said Browns Head Coach Rob Chudzinski.  “I was very impressed with the way he has been able to develop young players both at the collegiate level and at each of his two stints in the NFL, and his ability as a teacher will benefit our players as well.

“Louie is very well respected in the NFL. He possesses extensive experience working alongside some of the top defensive coaches in this league.  He has worked closely with Ray (Horton), which will be a big advantage for our team. I am excited to have Joe, Louie and Shane as part of our staff, and believe that their knowledge of the game and coaching ability will be great assets to our players.”

Cioffi brings 18 years of NFL coaching experience to the Browns staff, including the past two (2011-12) as the Arizona Cardinals’ defensive backs coach. Cioffi played a pivotal role in the development of 2011 first round draft pick, cornerback Patrick Peterson. In 2012, Peterson ranked fourth in the NFL with seven interceptions and led the league with five fumble recoveries en route to being the only Cardinal selected to the 2013 Pro Bowl. In his first season with the Cardinals, Cioffi helped guide strong safety Adrian Wilson to a Pro Bowl selection. Prior to Arizona, Cioffi spent 14 seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, first as a defensive assistant (1997-2002) and then as assistant defensive backs coach (2003-10). Hired in 1997 as a defensive assistant at the age of 23, Cioffi was the youngest fulltime assistant coach in the NFL at that time. He began his coaching career in 1993 as a staff assistant with the New York Jets. Following two seasons with the Jets, Cioffi coached wide receivers for two seasons (1995-96) at C.W. Post University in Brookville, N.Y. Born in Queens, N.Y., Cioffi attended college at SUNY-Stony Brook. He and his wife, Cindy, have two daughters, Cecilia Elle and Corrine, and a son, Sigismondo Connor.

Cullen has 23 years of coaching experience, including the last three as the defensive line coach with the Jacksonville Jaguars. While with the Jaguars, Cullen helped develop defensive tackle Tyson Alualu who was the 10th overall pick in 2010. Since being drafted, Alualu has started all 48 career games and led the club in sacks in 2012. Prior to the Jaguars, Cullen served as defensive line coach at Idaho State in 2009, after spending three seasons (2006-08) with the Detroit Lions as defensive line coach, where he helped develop Cliff Avril who led all rookies in sacks (6) and forced fumbles (4) in 2008. Before his stint at Idaho State, Cullen spent time at Illinois (2005), Indiana (2002-04), Memphis (2001) and Louisiana State (1999). He spent eight seasons (1992-98, 2000) at Richmond, including three as defensive coordinator. Cullen played nose guard at the University of Massachusetts from 1986-89, where he was a three time all-conference honoree. He began his coaching career overseeing the defensive line at his alma mater from 1990-91. Cullen earned his bachelor’s degree in sports management.

Steichen joins the Browns after spending the previous two seasons (2011-12) as a defensive assistant with the San Diego Chargers. Prior to joining the Chargers, he spent the 2010 season as an offensive assistant at the University of Louisville following three seasons at his alma mater, the University of Nevada – Las Vegas, as a student graduate assistant (2007) and an offensive graduate assistant (2008-09). A four-year letterman (2003-06) as a quarterback at UNLV, Steichen passed for 2,755 career yards with 22 touchdowns. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies. A native of Sacramento, California, he attended Oak Ridge High School in El Dorado Hills. Steichen is married (Nina).

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