Browns Uncensored: Mini-Camp Edition

Dave Carducci chatted with us in the Bernie's Insiders chat room following this morning's practice. Here are the questions fans wanted answered about this morning's camp. From the mood about the QB "competition" to the latest wisdom from quote machine Gerard Warren, here's the up-to-the-minute scoop from the chat room...

ericthebrown Can we get a petition going to prevent all Browns players and coaches from playing golf again? :)
DavidCarducci Hey. Sorry. Took some time to get out of the locker room.
DavidCarducci And get online
Guest84 Dave, how did the QBs look this morning?
DavidCarducci Guest84, Couch was by far the better quarterback today ... not that I think it means all that much at that point ... He threw a beautiful 70-plus yard touchdown pass to Quincy ... 55 or so of it in the air
DavidCarducci Holcomb was picked off several times
DavidCarducci I talked with Gerard Warren for quite a bit after the practice too, by the way. He talked a lot about changing his lifestyle. Cutting out the partying ... especially chasing women
DavidCarducci It's part of rededicating himself this year
DavidCarducci It was really interesting stuff .... PLUS, he raved about Qasim Mitchell. He's calling Qasim ""Big Cakes"" because he pancakes everybody
Guest84 how are the LB's looking?
DavidCarducci The LB's are looking good. I like the experience Gardner is bringing.
DavidCarducci Chaun Thompson had a tough day, in part because Qasim blew him up on a goal line play, clearing room for Jackson to get to the endzone
ericthebrown Did anyone get tackled by anymore golf courses and go down with injuries today?
DavidCarducci Actually, Jackson was fine today. He practiced.
DavidCarducci I played in that tournament, too, by the way. Missed Josh Booty's long drive by about 10 yards, and my back is fine
DavidCarducci just a quick brag
ericthebrown LOL.. You stud
artbtz Is there an afternoon practice today?
DavidCarducci There is an afternoon practice today. Starts just after 3 p.m.
nettss77 Dave, how did Qasim Mitchell, and Izzy Indonije DE from Canada look?
DavidCarducci Qasim looks absolutely fantastic. He is huge. He moves well. He is a great guy to talk to as well. I love what the guy brings.
DavidCarducci Tough to get an idea on Idonije right now, in part because of the way practice is going. The offense has such an advantage on the D-linemen when they are not in pads
YMRY I read a couple articles that said Q might not be smart enough to pick up a pro system...is that true?
Guest84 if orlando brown can do it, Q can
YMRY lol
DavidCarducci YMRY, I haven't noticed that with Qasim at all. He's a typical young guy who asks a lot of questions, and may not come off as being terribly smart. But he seems to be pretty with it. He was smart enough to understand that he had to cut weight from the 400-pounds he was in college, then once he cut the weight, he bulked back up with muscle.
nettss77 ricky sharpe?
DavidCarducci Sharpe hasn't really done much to stand out as of yet. I have been enormously impressed with Michael Lehan, though. He has a real nice feel for the game. Very natural in the way he moves. Doesn't get turned around, like some other DB's, has nice size and speed. Closes well. He's starting to look like an early sleeper for some big playing time.
Guest84 who looks better at this point, offense or defense? shouldn't offense be way ahead since it's a new D system?
DavidCarducci Guest84, again, with just helmets and shorts, it's tough to really see how a guy is hitting the hole. There is great competition and there is actually some hitting going on, without pads ... which makes some players look even more impressive with the way they handle it... Warren is an example. Earl Little talked a lot about how well Warren played in goal line today.
nettss77 crocker?
DavidCarducci Crocker hasn't really done much to stand out, either.
Guest84 Is Faine, the rookie center, getting into any scuffles? how does he look against the veterans on the D line?
DavidCarducci Faine is working hard. His attitude seems just fine. The guys on the line seem to be taking to him quickly. Shaun O'Hara and Tucker both had some very nice things to say about him.
DavidCarducci Faine is having some problems with the shotgun, though. Davis said it is a part of his game he has to work on.
DavidCarducci Guest84, Faine hasn't been in any scuffles. But there was a fight at the end of practice today, and when the guys were getting into it, Warren and Jamel White ended up shouting obscenities at each other
Guest84 has white really bulked up? How is Green's attitude? we heard so many rumors that something was up with him the last few months...thanks...
DavidCarducci White has bulked up a bit. He looks very good. Hard to say with Green. He is here, and he looks fine, but we haven't had a chance to talk to him.
Guest84 who was in the fight?
Guest84 warren and white?
DavidCarducci The fight was between Chad Ward and a D-lineman I couldn't identify.
ericthebrown Are they subbing Q in on goal-line situations, or are they keeping the first teamers together?
DavidCarducci Eric, they haven't started doing anything with that yet. It's just first team, then second team.
nettss77 Enoch DeMar, Chad Ward? are they for real
DavidCarducci Hard to say right now netts77. Again, I'm looking forward to seeing them in pads. Butch Davis has said nice things about both, though.
ericthebrown I guess my last question for the day would be, are the receivers seemingly running crisp and correct routes?
DavidCarducci Eric, the receivers as a group are probably the most impressive part of mini-camp so far. Quincy is playing extremely well. He is getting open on the deep routes. He is going over the middle. Catching everything... Andre Davis looks very good, as does Northcutt ... I'm also very impressed so far with some of the unknown guys. Richard Alston from East Carolina seems like a tough guy who is willing to go over the middle and make the tough, difficult catch. He is like Frisman, too, in that he has played quarterback, and actually also some running back, so he can do a lot of things. C.J. Jones and Antoine Burns look good as well
artbtz The cornerbacks are being tested a lot, I'm sure. How is Anthony Henry looking?
DavidCarducci Henry has been good at times. He's had some trouble at times. He dropped an interception in the endzone during red zone drills today. He came out of nowhere to cut in front of a Holcomb pass, showed great break on the ball, but then didn't finish the play
Guest84 how is the D responding to Campo's leadership? do they like the guy, are they buying into his system?
DavidCarducci Guest84, they seem to really like Campo. He is a bit of a departure from Foge in that he has a ton of energy and is running all over the place.
DavidCarducci Little had a lot of positive things to say about the defense today ... He said that they sat back a lot last year, kind of read and react stuff. But this year, they are attacking more, trying to force the issue and force mistakes
Guest84 Dave, i know it's only been 3 practices, but are there any surprises, disappointments?
DavidCarducci Surprises and disappointments ... I guess Lehan is a very pleasant surprise. I had hoped Crocker would stand out a bit, considering I didn't understand how high a pick he turned out to be. Heiden has dropped some balls, as has Sanders.
Guest89 Have you seen J. Gonzalez at all? He seems to have disappeared from the news. Heard/seen anything worth commenting on?
DavidCarducci Gonzalez is here. I haven't noticed him doing anything special or negative, though.
DavidCarducci The things you've heard about Tucker and Verba seem to be true. They both look much bigger, and quicker. I talked to Tuck today, and he said he is up to about 338, but hopes to cut about 10 pounds.
Guest84 what is Butch's goal of these mini-camps? anything specific that he's said?
DavidCarducci Guest84, I think the goals are pretty simple. It's just an opportunity to get in some more work. Hammer home some things. Keep players working on and familiar with the gameplans or systems, actually
nettss77 Is Ben Taylor staying healthy and still flying around? or hard to tell (no pads)
DavidCarducci Ben Taylor is moving very well. He still doesn't seem to have the size I would like in a starting linebacker, but he is moving very well, and he always appears to be in the right spot at the right time. He looks more like a baseball player than a football player to my eye. I do like him though. He's another one of those guys who is such a good guy, you can't help rooting for him
artbtz The spin from Berea is that everyone loves a QB competition, there is great jolliness, blah, blah, blah. Do you sense that's real, or is there tension in the air?
Guest84 great question, I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop on this one, it's a bunch of pr crap, if you ask me...these guys are playing for a starting job!
DavidCarducci AB, absolutely no tension in the air.
DavidCarducci It isn't the typical quarterback controversy. It really isn't.
DavidCarducci Couch and Holcomb are getting along great. The players aren't talking about it. In fact, it seems like they don't even notice it.
Guest84 isn't there something wrong in that, Dave? Shouldn't there be friction? or is Davis just different than say, Parcells or Ditka, or Belichick?
Guest89 Could it be they think it's a sham? (no real competition)
DavidCarducci People around here actually treat it more like a running joke, wondering how big a deal the media and fans will make of it. The reality is that it's probably Couch's job, and Holcomb just played well enough to deserve more of a shot
DavidCarducci Everyone knows Couch and Holcomb will both play well in practice and probably the preseason, and that probably won't be enough for Holcomb to take the job
Guest89 wow.........
Guest84 why is Grossi making such a big deal of it, when all along you called it this way (so far!)
DavidCarducci Well, it still is a big story. I mean, they say it's an open competition, and that's the first time it's been said since Couch came here.
DavidCarducci There is reason to have the competition, too. One, it helps light a fire under Tim.
DavidCarducci Two, Holcomb deserves a bit more of a shot, simply because he did play well last year
Guest84 so, Holcomb sits unless they start 1-5...
DavidCarducci Probably.
artbtz Especially when Couch looks a lot better at times like today, right?
DavidCarducci Couch looks very, very good. He has zip on his ball. He seems to understand the system better and better. Holcomb played very well yesterday, probably a bit better than Tim. Then today, Couch by far outplayed Holcomb. It's going to be a neck-and-neck thing simply because they are two good quarterbacks
artbtz Has Nate Hybl had much opportunity to run the offense?
DavidCarducci Hybl hasn't had much of an opportunity at all.
DavidCarducci Booty does look very good as well
artbtz There were rumors that Booty was going to try his hand at pitching at one point. Does he ever mention that? That came from Gammons, I think.
artbtz It was stunned to read that, since it wasn't on anyone's radar.
DavidCarducci It hasn't come up at all. I'd be shocked if that were the case. He has worked so hard to master the offense, and he really is playing well and could have a future in the game... I don't think there is much to it
artbtz That darn ESPN!
DavidCarducci I get along well with Booty, though. I'll make sure to ask him.
DavidCarducci Booty shares my love of golf, so I have to respect him
artbtz LOL...
artbtz Anyone have questions for Dave?
DavidCarducci (((((by the way AB, the new Steely Dan album is very good)))))
artbtz Listening to it now :-)
Guest89 you dirty old man
artbtz Hee hee
nettss77 how are the young o line looking
DavidCarducci Like I said with Qasim, he's looking great. Warren said he's like ""a monster who came out of the abyss"" talking about how he has come out of nowhere to become a real factor. According to Warren, he just has to master a few techniques and learn a few tricks and he's going to be a bear.
DavidCarducci Faine is getting a lot of reps, but it's tough to see much in this type of atmosphere.
DavidCarducci Fowler has actually looked pretty good at times at guard. I like the way he moves. He has good footwork.
DavidCarducci And he seems to have lost some of that baby fat
DavidCarducci Another guy who has clearly become much bigger and stronger is RJ Bowers.
nettss77 thanks
artbtz Think Fowler has a shot at pushing aside Stokes or O'Hara?
DavidCarducci I'd be surprised simply because they'd like to keep the continuity on the line after the way they improved last year. Plus, they may use Qasim more, at least as a situational guy. And if they do that, I don't think they'll want to be that young in the interior of the line.
jb42776 do u think bowers will make the 53
nettss77 Bowers at FB a real possibility
skinnydog I don't know why but I Love Bowers he just seems like a grinder
DavidCarducci Bowers could have a shot.
DavidCarducci Bowers is a throwback type.
DavidCarducci And they did want a real fullback last year with the conversion of JJ Johnson. He had a role on this team before he got hurt. It was a real disappointment to Arians. Why shouldn't Bowers get that shot this year? He is bigger than JJ. He has more potential as a FB, in my opinion
DavidCarducci I just like the guy
jb42776 is Gardner the starter at strong side with Davis and Bentley
DavidCarducci Not right now jb... Gardner is starting at middle, with Bentley at strong (after playing weak last year in every practice) and Taylor at weak.
DavidCarducci second team has been Andra at middle, Boyer at strong and Chaun Thompson at weak
nettss77 any possibility of bringing in any FA or cut players in or are they set ?
DavidCarducci nettss, there is always that chance. They haven't brought anyone in as of late that I know of.
Grinch David - did the ""monster from the abyss"" quote (love the phrase BTW) refer to Qasim or AndrA
DavidCarducci Grinch, it was Gerard Warren talking about Qasim Mitchell
DavidCarducci Sorry if I wasn't clear.
Grinch Thanks Dave. That's what I thought but I wasn't sure.
jb42776 so is there a chance thompson could be the starter at weak by the opener
DavidCarducci It is possible with Chaun. He's impressive. Fast, great instincts, strong. But it may take a bit of time with him. I could see him as a third-down guy and special teammer until he is truly ready.
Grinch How is Andre Davis (WR) looking -- Has he made the 2nd year jump ?
DavidCarducci Andre looks great. Just as all the receivers do.
DavidCarducci Hard to say how much better, because I loved the way he looked at this time last year
DavidCarducci I was high on him from the start
Grinch Any further word on Courtney and how his knee is responding to drills
DavidCarducci Same old thing with Courtney. Just working individually. He is hear. He could be a bit ahead of schedule. How he comes out of this week will be telling.
nettss77 is Qasim really 375 and cut?
DavidCarducci Qasim is supposed to be right around 380, and he does not look fat at all. Standing next to him and talking to him is like standing at the base of a mountain
Guest89 unreal
skinnydog a little off topic but when do single game tickets go on sale
artbtz I think I have that on the calendar, Skinny
jb42776 july 19 at 9 am
artbtz July 19.... http://www.fanmonster.com/public/cal/webCal3_month.asp?site=149&date=7/1/2003
artbtz Whoa! Nice work jb!
ericthebrown Anyone that is a disappointment as far as how they look or their attitude?
DavidCarducci Eric, I can't say that yet about anyone. The attitude on the whole looks very positive. Today was a very spirited practice.
DavidCarducci A few fights. Lots of shouting. Good stuff
ericthebrown Fantastic
jb42776 they aren't doing any hitting in these practices are they?
DavidCarducci They are just in helmets and shorts. No pads. But there is some hitting. The work in the trenches today during short yardage was actually very physical
Guest89 let's hope the attitude lasts for the whole season
jb42776 man i wish i could be there, i got the football fever
DavidCarducci Of course, at this time of year, lots of people usually look good. You should expect everyone to look good. A few, though, often stand out, like Lehan and Qasim have for me
Grinch David - it seems we heard good things from Lehan from Rookie camp also -- what are you seeing in minicamp that makes him stand out ?
DavidCarducci Grinch, Lehan is very natural. Just to the eye, I like his combination of size and speed. But during drills I like that he never gets turned around, and I really like the way he closes and the way he breaks on the ball.
ericthebrown What's the sense you are getting from the practices? Are we a run first team, or are they going to open it up?
DavidCarducci It is fun. I like the way the locker room is this year. Very loose. Guys are having fun. Warren is trying to create some more unity this year. They have events planned to help guys get to know each other better. As Warren put it today ... ""If I know this guy's favorite food is a hamburger, than I'm damn sure going to know what his favorite move is on the field.""
Guest89 so he's emerging as a leader?
nettss77 GW has some great quotes
DavidCarducci Warren seems like a completely different guy. Yes, I think he is taking a leadership role. The whole decision to stop chasing women and partying, he seems much more mature.
Guest89 hopefully that translates to better performance on the field
DavidCarducci He does nettss. Wish you could have been in the locker room today. He was great.
DavidCarducci ONE VERY FUNNY MOMENT ....
DavidCarducci He talked about all the chasing women and how he's not doing it as much, and one reporter asked ""so, you've cut it off?"" ... Warren started cracking up, and said something like ""I wouldn't use those words.""
Guest89 oh brother
naxos Sounds like something Sapp would have said
nettss77 thats great stuff
naxos What sort of shape is Warren in this year?
DavidCarducci Warren said he would like to cut 10 more pounds by the start of training camp. He is bigger, but he's trying to bulk up. He said he needed more bulk in the upper body, and right now it's one of those things where he is trying to find the right distribution
jb42776 i hope GW and the rest of the d-line have a big year, i think the season is really riding on them considering the young lbs and secondary
DavidCarducci From what Warren was saying, he recognizes that he and the rest of the D-line really need a big year, especially with the young LB's. He looks at his job as similar to an OL. He needs to protect the LB's and keep them clean the same way the OL has to protect the QB
nettss77 is he still about 320
naxos I would definitely like to see a slimmer and faster GW.
DavidCarducci Netts, I think he is a bit bigger than that.
Guest89 really great to see such a turn-around
naxos You just can not put a price tag on good conditioning come game time though
DavidCarducci Usually between mini-camp and training camp, Warren would go on nightclub trips with his buddies. This year, he is going home and doing nothing but fishing, running and lifting weights
jb42776 david what's your impression of Faine and Willy green this year
DavidCarducci Jb, it's hard to tell with both right now. Green looks fine. I haven't had a chance to talk with him. Faine has had some trouble with the shotgun. A few bad snaps. Also had a poor regular exchange with Holcomb. He's getting a lot of reps, though, and I'm sure he will benefit from it
Guest89 Warren's attitude and dedication is music to the fan's ears....are his teammates buying into it as well?
DavidCarducci Guest89, they seem to be.
Guest89 cool
artbtz Dave will need to take off in a minute, BTW. Any last questions as we wrap this up?
Guest89 thanks for the great insight Dave
jb42776 thanks for the info Dave
naxos Thanks
artbtz Thanks everyone... I'll be slamming up the transcript in a few minutes!
DavidCarducci thanks
DavidCarducci You all have a great afternoon
Guest89 back at ya

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