The Cleveland Browns have the NFL's most anticipated quarterback and a new head coach, but the beleaguered franchise is now without a communications chief for the second time in two years.
Browns PR director Zak Gilbert resigned June 26 after a year on the job, the team said Thursday.
Gilbert, whose 2013 ouster from the Oakland Raiders caused a stir in NFL media and PR circles, said he made the choice to quit the Cleveland post. "After a lot of thought and discussion, I've come to the difficult decision to resign my position as head of the Browns' communications department," he said in a statement.
He replaced VP of media relations Neil Gulkis, who left the Browns after four years in June 2013.
The hapless Browns head into the 2014 season with PR winds swirling. They drafted the college phenom quarterback Johnny Manziel in May and in January named ex-Buffalo Bills and New York Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine as the team's head coach. Also on the periphery are the PR troubles of team owner Jimmy Haslam, the CEO of the Pilot Flying J truck stop chain under investigation in a federal probe over fuel rebate fraud.
"We greatly appreciate Zak's efforts, work ethic and contributions to the Cleveland Browns organization," said Browns president Alec Scheiner.
Dan Murphy is communications manager for the team.
Gilbert has worked PR for the Green Bay Packers, Major League Baseball's Colorado Rockies, and Colorado State University.