Vinny the Fly; All About Winning

It's the off-season and where there is smoke, there is fire -- and Vinny the Fly. You may love him, you may hate him, but what is certain is, this fly loves to swoop in and deliver the goods.

Sitting on your hands will get you nowhere. The Cleveland Browns devoid of difference-making talent throughout the roster are in high-gear, as the brain-trust of the organization wants to see improvement, now, not in a couple years.

As general manager Tom Heckert and staff breakdown the talent to be available in free agency and the draft, its team president Mike Holmgren chomping at the bit to change the complexion of the team – NOW.

With a fan-base losing patience and walking away from the Browns, the message is clear in the Browns training facility in Berea, Ohio.

The time is now to make moves to get this team to more than a competitive bunch.

It's taken time for this fly to gather all the tidbits of information coming from and around this organization, so the few pounds added actually helped getting closer to the ground and hear the latest -

° The Browns are moving forward with their offensive coordinator search. As head coach Pat Shurmur leads the process, team president Mike Holmgren and general manager Tom Heckert maintain an involvement – an ear for Shurmur to rely upon.

With two head coach vacancies remaining in the league, some available coaching candidates are in play for the vacant opportunities. Once those coaches are hired or no longer considered candidates for a head coaching role, the opportunities immediately increase in the Browns search.

° With free agency nearly two months away, the Browns personnel staff has been busy evaluating the collegiate players coming out the in the draft, as well as potential pro free agents. The Browns have not reached a consensus on any particular players at this time (draft or FA), but this important marker will come to fruition in early April for the collegiate players and approximately 14-21 days prior to free agency.

° Speculation made its way through the Cleveland airwaves this past week, when word trickled out that the organization is leaning toward QB Seneca Wallace gaining the starting nod, replacing Colt McCoy.

Contrary to this information, the fly has learned the organization has not come close to making any significant decision about the status of the QB's on the roster (though the evaluation process has begun).

° Discussions within the organization of late has touched many areas of the player roster. The status of the RB position is an important area which the organization is taking their time to ensure they make the right moves.

Peyton Hillis has not been excluded from consideration, but those making up the organization remain on the opposite side of the fence on bringing him back (ie: offering a significant contract) and there has been discussion regarding placing a tag on him.

The issue in the tagging process is an area the organization isn't fully committed to, as the organization has no intention of a tag which would force them to pay Hillis as one of the top RB's in the league.

° When the Browns signed RB Chris Ogbonnaya off the Houston Texans practice squad, the move was generally looked upon as adding a body due to the injury situation within the positional roster. With each passing week, Browns coaches watched as Ogbonnaya worked diligently, learned his assignments and earned an opportunity to play.

Now, with the off-season escapades ready to begin, the Browns have not forgotten what Ogbonnaya provides and his desire.

With Hillis looming as a free agent, Montario Hardesty trying to find a way to remain healthy and Brandon Jackson due to return from a toe/foot issue which shelved him for the 2011 season -- Ogbonnaya appears on the verge of getting an opportunity to remain on the roster and work with coaches and training personnel throughout the off-season.

° The status of LB D'Qwell Jackson could be much simpler. Coming off one of the best seasons of his career, the Browns are seeking to retain the veteran for the long haul.

° While some look at OLB Chris Gocong and view him as an average talent, the Browns are quite happy with his play in the 2011 season and view the contract extension worked out early in the season as solid.

° The state of the other OLB position could be up in the air. The Browns defensive staff likes what veteran Scott Fujita provides (leadership, experience), but the organization seeks to become quicker at the LB spots.

° The Browns will look at defensive backs in free agency and the draft. The organization believes the lack of experience and depth, especially at safety needs to be improved.

The organization isn't looking to mortgage the draft for a defensive back or pay a king's ransom for one in free agency, never less, the organization is looking.

° Within the struggles of the Cleveland Browns in the 2011 season, the right tackle position is one which will be looked at sternly by the organization.

One potential move could see Jason Pinkston, the starting left guard in 2011 moving outside.

Presently, the move is only an option as the organization evaluates the potential free agents and rookies in the draft class.

° Another area in need of upgrade is at defensive end. Rookie Jabaal Sheard had a tremendous rookie campaign and the Browns seek another dynamic at the DE spot opposite Sheard to help rectify the mediocre play in this area.

Jayme Mitchell was believed to be a fit prior to the season when the Browns inked the veteran to a two-year contract, but his play was inconsistent, without a look of improvement as the season progressed.

° In the draft last year the Browns selected WR Greg Little to help improve this questionable area. In his rookie season, Little was somewhat inconsistent, dropping some passes and running some routes poorly, but he improved as the season progressed.

The organization is of the belief Little will be no worse than a number-two type receiver or better due to his ability to gain yardage after the catch.

As free agency approaches and the draft being a mere three months plus away, the Browns have scouted receivers endlessly.

Another receiver, one with a difference-making skill-set is likely to be grasped onto by the organization. From what this fly has been told by those in and close to the organization.


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