Sunday Browns Notes

Lane offers his thoughts on the Browns quarterback battle, plus some additional notes from Dave from mini-camp.

During the Browns recent quarterback schools and mini-camps, what we've heard from Berea is that both quarterbacks have done well and neither player has separated himself from the other in the "Quarterback Soap-Opera" reality show.

On physical talent alone, Couch should win the competition hands down. Not to knock Holcomb, but Couch is tremendously athletic. On the other hand, many quarterbacks though the history of the league have looked good in drills, where the pass rush is limited and the general pressure of the game situation is non-existent.

From what we've been told, Davis is happy with the level of consistency of all three (Josh Booty included) of his quarterbacks, but knows that the school sessions are just a small part leading up to training camp, where the quarterback questions will ultimately be answered.

"To this point, Couch and Holcomb have done well. Holcomb is the more confident of the quarterbacks, but Couch has been solid and growth in his preparation is evident. The competition has been good for the development of both players. Also, on a team standpoint, seeing that both players will get a serious opportunity should help quiet down some questions within the roster about who should start at quarterback," a team source said. "(Butch) Davis has heard the rumblings from within the locker room. With the way that Holcomb when he replaced an injured Couch last season, he really has to see what he has at the position. Whether the starter is Couch or Holcomb, the confidence level of the organization is quite high that either player is capable of leading the team."

With all the hoopla surrounding the quarterback battle, some of which was generated when Davis stated that both Couch and Holcomb would compete for the starting job, all eyes are on Davis as the team heads into mini-camp then into training camp. He was aggressive when he stated that he wanted to name a starter prior to camp, that of which could only be name.

When the pressure is on and the quarterbacks face the daily grind of facing a live defense, only then will the true starter at the quarterback position should and will be named and you can count on some players on the Browns roster paying close attention to competition, as well as the decision that awaits Butch Davis. - Lane

THE VETS ARE SAFE: Don't expect the Browns to release any more high-priced veterans in an attempt to clear the money it needs on the salary cap to sign this year's rookie class.

"Right now, that's probably the easiest thing," said Butch Davis. "We could probably create an additional $3-to-4 million worth of cap money just by moving some money around with guys we absolutely know are going to be on the roster this fall, by giving them signing bonuses and cutting down on their paragraph five. There are several things we can do. We are not going to release anybody." - Dave

NEW ROLE FOR SANDERS: Cornerback Lewis Sanders is being groomed to take over for the departed Chris Akins as the Browns designated special-teams star.

"Any time you lose somebody who made as many tackles as Chris did, you miss him," said special teams coach Jerry Rosburg. "The thing that I am encouraged about is that Lewis Sanders made a tremendous improvement as the season wore on ... He was an impact player on special teams by the end of the year, both as a gunner and on kickoff coverage. "My objective is to get Lewis to pick up where Chris left off and have another younger player take over what Lewis did." - Dave

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