- The firing of Jerry Butler, the now former development director for the Cleveland Browns came as a surprise to most. Butler, well-liked within the player faction of the organization was deemed by some according to sources as being TOO close to the players .. Too close? What exactly is a development director expected to due other than gain a development edge with those within the organization. I anticipate we'll gain additional insight in the future.
- Another member of the Browns' front office could be on the outs in Berea, that being vice president, security Lew Merletti. Merletti has been a no-show in Berea for an extended period of time and his personal affects have all but been entirely removed from the facility. The Browns have previously noted to a local media entity what inquiring on his status that Merletti was a member of the organization, at that time.
- Recently defensive coordinator Dick Jauron spoke about the Browns' plan on draft-day in securing the services of defensive tacker Phil Taylor. Taylor, selected by the Browns with the 21st overall selection in the first-round of the draft as targeted by the team, according to Jauron.
The Browns in acquiring the 27th selection in the first round sat anxiously as the draft progressed. Hearing through the grapevine that no less than two teams, the New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs had an interest and the Pittsburgh Steelers had expressed a late inquiry, the Browns were concerned he would not make it to the 27th selection.
In trading up to the 21st pick in the draft, the Browns secured Taylor's services, and the timing appeared to be prudent as the Jets and Steelers both selected linemen following the Browns move.
- Having a night to dwell on the second round, general manager Tom Heckert, his staff and team president Mike Holmgren came to a decision that fit directing into the draft scheme established by Heckert.
On their draft-board, the Browns had defensive end Jabaal Sheard grouped with Adrian Clayborn and Cameron Jordan, both selected in the first round. Believing one of the three would slip to them in the second round, the Browns held their ground and waited for the pass rusher to fall to them, as he did.
The organization liked that Sheard played and developed under the watchful eye of former NFL head coach Dave Wannestedt. Sheard's quickness and strength off the edge could fill gaping void for the Browns.
- With a wealth of talent available that could help this team immediately, the Browns strategized their next move. Despite noting that the wide receiver position within the roster was good enough in the weeks leading up to the draft, the organization has their eyes on the position.
The organization liked A, J, Green above all at the position, but after Green the ranking of the remaining players at the position was up in the air. Some liked Julio Jones, others liked Jonathan Baldwin and Titus Young as value picks into the second round. The Chiefs jumped on Baldwin late in the first and young went with the 44th selection.
Interestingly, one receiver than the Browns had done extensive homework on was Greg Little from North Carolina. Little, was suspended for the 2010 season due to NCAA infractions, but came with a glowing recommendation from Butch Davis, the head coach of the Tar Heels and former Browns head coach.
Davis as well as the Browns organization believe Little, with a 2010 season of play under his belt would have been spoken of in the same breath as Green and Jones, the 4th and 6th overall selections in the draft.
On game-tape in comparison evaluation, Little rated as well in most instances as the two-high draft selections at the position, this being after converting from the running back position and not having nearly the exposure.
Little has worked extremely hard this off-season in preparation for the draft and understands the criticism he faced upon his suspension.
"Having to sit-out the season wasn't how I wanted things to go down. I let down my teammates and myself. All of that only made me work harder and improve as a person and a player."
And about being selected after five other receivers in the draft?
"I'm going to continue to work hard and get better and better. I'm going to do everything I can do to show what kind of player I am and help the Cleveland Browns."
- The first three picks for the Browns couldn't have fallen any better for the organization -- as each player selected was rated highly, and in some thoughts targeted.