Browns Uncensored Chat Transcript

We had our pre-camp Browns Uncensored Chat last night. With the rooks showing up on Tuesday (after a nice team-sponsored time at Cedar Point) and the vets this time next week, we're starting to get fired up. David Carducci talked about Thursday afternoon's session with Butch Davis, and was joined by a new member of our Insiders team. Football season is right around the corner!!!

ramllov It is almost football season, oh Boy!
artbtz Dave will be joining us tonight... Davis had some time with the media this afternoon and he's slamming together a report.
YBD Yeah, Finally hit 100 degress today..... Hooah for football!
Swerb I've gotta figure out how Im going to pick up the Ravens and Niners games from Aruba on my honeymoon!
southdawg so whos got the beer
ramllov Art, do we really have a new insider?
artbtz What? Where did you hear that?
artbtz Ra! Here comes Dave!
DavidCarducci Hi AB
Ron Yes. I'm here. My name is Ron Jantz.
artbtz Hey, there he is!
ramllov Good, Hey Dave and welcome Ron!
DavidCarducci Hello Ron
Ron Hello guys. Good to be here
artbtz We'll make an announcement on the site in a couple of days, but Ron is joining the gang.
Swerb Welcome guys. And yes, Tribe is now up 4-2.
artbtz If you're from out of town, you may not know Ron, but he dominated the airwaves here for about 13 years, right?
ramllov Dave, I read your last report earlier this week, it was very optimistic. Thanks!!!
Ron well, I was on...don't know about dominate
artbtz LOL...
Swerb I knew the name sounded familiar. Welcome Ron.
Ron thanks Swerb
Greg I've only been to Cleveland for games, camp and to visit Bietz Estates, so I'm unfamiliar with Mr. Jantz...
DavidCarducci Sure thing Ram. I've been feeling a bit better about a few things lately. I'm a bit more optimistic than I had been ... especially about the linebacking corps
YBD I been gone too long, I guess.
artbtz We'll have Ron's bio up in a day or so... we're gonna send out a press release, etc.
ramllov I have been gone 24 years so, I guess I am an old Marnier!
artbtz Hey, time for football!!
Greg Welcome, Ron
Ron wow 24 years...back in the days of Nick Skorich...Forrest Gregg
artbtz Any hints on the rooks who are close to signing, Dave?
DavidCarducci AB, none at all really. As I'm sure most of you heard, Butch talked today about how agents are a bit nervous, worried that if they get their guy signed now, the guy behind them might get $10 more. We need a few signings to get the ball rolling, and sometimes the Browns are good for that considering they are usually willing to go a bit higher than other teams when slotting salary
ramllov I think I was a big Pete Franklin fan, some time around then. Kept those season tickets though.
artbtz You left right after RR88 didn't you Ram?
ramllov Yes, and flew back to Miami after the game and almost got put in the hospital for the cold I caught
Ron your psl is a valued item...isn't it?
ramllov I became a bleacher fan with the new team
ramllov I listed to the tape of Butch Davis, he sounded excited
Swerb Butch is a very positive guy.
DavidCarducci He did seem excited ... especially when talking about his family trip to Alaska.
artbtz LOL...
southdawg what's up the Lee Suggs? will he play this year?
DavidCarducci Suggs is not ready yet. He could play this year, but I still have a feeling he won't. Davis only said they'll have a better idea next week when everyone has their physicals.
artbtz He said they even asked him about Couch/Holcomb up there, eh?
ramllov Dave how good is this secondary going to be?
ramllov That ? includes you Ron.
artbtz Hee hee... no mercy on the new guy!
Ron I hope Griffith learned how to wrap when he tackles in the off season. I like Corey Fuller as a guy to talk to but I sure thought he was over the hill as a cover man.
DavidCarducci Ram, that's one of the positions I'm feeling a bit better about. I really liked what I saw out of Lehan in minicamp. Not that minicamp ever really shows you much, but for an early look, he was impressive. Big, fast, outstanding instincts. Also, Henry and McCutcheon are two of the guys who I hear have really found a benefit from a strong offseason.
DavidCarducci I think the fact that Griffith went out of his way to find Campo, tell him ""hey, I had a bad season last year"" and say he's not going to have one again, that makes me feel a bit better about him.
Swerb Well guys, my first question has to do with the Browns pass rush this season. Where will it come from? I think we'd be foolish to count on Courtney playing 10 games, or Word or Lang surpassing what they did last season...
DavidCarducci Swerb, I completely agree with Courtney. I pretty much am looking at this season without expecting a thing from him (much the way I did with Northcutt last year, then was pleasantly surprised). Campo has said this defense will be more aggressive, trying to take advantage of its speed, a bit more blitzing, etc.
ramllov Dave/Ron, Was the problem with linebackers last year. Were they unable to fill the gaps? Were they just too slow?
artbtz Slow physically, you mean?
ramllov Maybe both
artbtz Oops! Didn't mean to infer anything there... um...
Ron I think Butch would like us to believe his lbs were too slow. That's why they got rid of almost everybody and are going with the lean, mean, quick guys. I'm not so sure though...wouldn't you like to have Earl Holmes?
DavidCarducci I'd like to think the Browns will find more of an interior rush from Warren, now that he has re-dedicated himself. I like the speed and the ability to generate a rush up the middle with Warren and Roye
ramllov If this is going to be a building year with an expectation of the Browns making the playoffs maybe, I would rather have Andra Davis get some Experience in the middle.
Ron This has to be Big Money's breakout year. If he can take on a few guys that just opens it all up
southdawg do you think Crocker will be able to play in the nfl?
Swerb I see the pass rush as a big key to the production (or lack thereof) that we get from our secondary this season. While I feel the Roye/Warren duo will apply more pressure from the middle, we're going to need to get consistent pressure off the edge.
DavidCarducci Ram, I think it was a mix of problems. There was a lack of speed, and there was also a lack of understanding the system. You had two new starters in Hambrick (who came in right at the end of camp) and Holmes (who is slow and took a while to adjust to a 4-3 MLB), and you had a guy who simply was lost in Rudd. I've heard some stories about Rudd, and he just never got it
YBD Followup question for Dave... You said you feel better about the LBs now.... gut feel or something else?
DavidCarducci A bit of a gut feeling on the LB's YBD, but it is also based on the fact that Davis finally is using guys who fit his system and have the speed he so desires. Watching Chaun Thompson, you can't help but be impressed. He seems to be a pretty bright guy, so he's learing fast. Plus he has all the physical skills. And LB is one of the easier positions to come right in and make an impact. Like I said the other day, if Thompson slips and falls right off the snap on every play this year, how much worse is he really going to be than Rudd?
Greg Dave/Ron- are you guys getting some idea of the dynamics of the coaching staff? Butch's comfort level with the group? Will he be able to concentrate a little more on the big picture this year?
Ron Butch has his guy at Def Coord...I think we'll get a real clear picture as to whether or not Butch can let go and trust even ""his"" guy.
Swerb Dave/Ron, one of the things that really surprised me this offseason was that Terry Robiskie was not pursued as a college coach or NFL offensive coordinator. Is it safe to say this is his last year in Cleveland?
artbtz There were lots of rumors about Robiskie following Marvin Lewis if I remember...
YBD Yeah, there is that about Rudd... Thanks, Dave..... I'll be watching at camp.
Guest158 But can these fast LB's stop a powerful running game?
DavidCarducci Swerb, I would have thought that coming into last year... who knows. He is about as good at what he does as anybody out there. The receivers love him, and he really doesn't get enough credit for how good that corps was last year. Maybe he's happy here and it would take the right offer, not just any offer. I'm not sure.
Swerb Quite possibly the perfect mentor for that talented quartet of recievers. If our offense performs like we think it can this season....we may have a hard time keeping him and Arians next year!
DavidCarducci Guest158, Thompson and Bentley have the right combination of size and speed. Andra Davis, if he wins the job, and part of me hopes he will, can certainly be strong against the run. With young players, though, they need a good line in front to keep them clean to make plays. That's why it is so important for guys like Warren to have breakout years.
Ron in today's nfl...speed is definitely a plus. Youth doesn't exactly equate to strength though. I'd like to see the defense be more fundamentally sound. Sometimes everybody gets wrapped up in all the speed and flash and the fundamentals or lack thereof come back to bite you.
Greg Allegedly, that's the strength of Campo's defense- that it's based on being fundamentally sound
ramllov Dave/Ron, if you see the increase in speed as a positive and the youth improving, how do you rate this defense on a scale of 1 -32, with Tampa Bay at one?
DavidCarducci Ram, I'm not sure. Maybe a 20. With the potential for going up
DavidCarducci Actually, more like a 16 with the potential for going up
DavidCarducci On your rating the defense
ramllov So, If Arians goes, we have an offensive coordinator in waiting.
Swerb Dave/Ron, one of the things that worries me is that Butch may be a bit TOO confident in the abilities of guys he drafts. Am I off my rocker?
ramllov Thanks, the best I have observed in writing so far this year was about 20.
DavidCarducci I don't think Arians is going
southdawg Indians game tied at4-4
ramllov I had real high hopes for the defense last year. It looked so good on paper in the summer and then oops!
Greg Swerb, I'd be disappointed if it were any other way
Swerb Good point.
BUFFALODAWG Peter King said on a local Radio show about the New LBs that Butch had smile on his face that said it all, and he said that Butch Knows Talent and he can back it up from his track record.
YBD Ron / Dave..... what will you both be observing (especially close) at camp?
DavidCarducci Swerb, you are not off your rocker at all. Like I've said, Butch is going to either look like a genius or an idiot in a few years with some of the chances he's taken. I like most of the picks, but didn't initially like them for their ability to help right away. Watching guys like Lehan, Thompson, Faine (all at positions of need), I'm feeling a bit better about it. Davis' confidence may be misplaced for this year, but I think several of these guys are going to develop into very good pros
Greg Dave/Ron, I realize it's a year away, but assuming a bump of about 5 mill in the cap for next year, do you have any guesstimates on where we'll be? I have a feeling Butch will skimp on free agents, even with loads of cash, and focus on keeping our own... whatcha think?
Greg btw, GO YANKEES.... :)
artbtz Greg, go into the Tribe chatroom and say that, LOL...
Greg :)
Ron I'm very interested in the offensive line. I always have been...ever since the team returned and I'm still waiting to see one I like.
DavidCarducci I'm also anxious to see if Fowler, and even more, Qasim come in and make an impact. Qasim is a guy to watch in the preseason games to really get a feel for how he is coming along
DavidCarducci YBD, I'm going to be watching the LB's... going in it's Bentley, Taylor and Gardner on 1st team, but I think Andra could end up winning a job. I'm anxious to see how fast they develop. I'm very interested in seeing how Henry bounces back from his ""sophomore slump"", and if Lewis Sanders can be an impact player both as a S-CB and more importantly on special teams.
southdawg Can Cris Crocker play in the nfl?
DavidCarducci Southdog, I've talked to a couple Mid-American Conference coaches who were very surprised Crocker was a first-day pick. They knew about Crocker and liked him, but they didn't throw away from him last year
artbtz If he's not a much better CB than a S, then we reeeeeeeeeeeally reached.
ramllov I see Cris Crocker as a safety, what is your opinion?
Swerb Having heard a couple of radio interviews with Crocker, he seems like one of the more personable athletes I've ever heard speak.
DavidCarducci Ram, Crocker can play both. I think some of it depends on how Henry, Sanders, Lehan, and some others perform. Like I said, I really like Lehan, and he's pretty much a corner only in my opinion. I'm hoping to find something encouraging with Crocker
Guest158 Brown and/or Couch have to go by next year to help the salary cap.
YBD Ah, my two favorites. Thanks again. I'lll be looking dorward to seeing them and hearing your opinions.
YBD OL & LB, I meant.
Guest158 Browns gonna use more zones and less man on man?
Greg All the news around draft time said Butch really liked Crocker's ability at CB despite most teams seeing him play safety at Marshall...
ramllov Butch Davis talked about improving the tackling skills of these players, is the tackling going to be improved this year?
DavidCarducci Ram, I would hope so. It was dreadful last year. Davis said a lot of the problems are seen in the second half of the year because they spend less time on fundamentals during practice. That's something they are going to change a bit.
DavidCarducci I think the work on fundamentals is something that will improve with Campo over Foge. From what I understand Foge took a few things for granted with his defensive players ... like assuming they already knew how to do the basics.
Swerb Fellas, what were your thoughts on Bernie's statements in the latest copy of the magazine.
Ron swerb do you mean asking Couch to give back money
Ron It's all up to Tim and his agent. Bernie was right on by saying sometimes the leader (QB) franchise guy has to make a bold move. Any chance? I doubt it. I (and I don't mean to sound like an old guy) but I don't hink today's players get it about is a very big deal
ramllov What is funny about Couch and money, afer about 20 to 30 million what is 1.5 million?
Swerb I agree. VERY classy move for BK to give back a millskie, and not even say a word until now. I had no idea.
Ron guys. Couch has made a bundle in three's time to win. if him giving back 2 mil to help makes an impact he's gotta do it. I hope he knows that and I hope he doesn't let his agent influence him
Swerb He would have to be FIRMLY entrenched as starter before considering it IMO.
YBD How about Jameson? Seems to me that Jameson & Sanders were the standouts on ST last year (if you can call anyone standouts, that is)!
Swerb Yes Ron. Any chance of it happening? Im assuming him being entrenched as the starter would be an obvious prerequisite...
southdawg how big a year to y'all think Green will have this year?
DavidCarducci southdawg, I think we should expect a 1,000-yard season from Green. The line is going to be better, simply with conditioning, the add of Faine, and the continuity factor of keeping most of the guys around. If Qasim develops quickly, he can only help in the power running game. Plus, Green now has a year under his belt after taking some time to adjust to the NFL. This is also going to be his first full camp.
ramllov I like the idea of Couch being the starter with Holcomb coming off the bench in relief. It almost sounds like baseball. What is your overall opinion?
DavidCarducci I think with Tim re-working his deal, it will depend on his status. If he does not win the job, he certainly won't re-work the deal, nor would the Browns want to re-work it.
southdawg I'm hoping for 1,500 yards
ramllov What is the deal with the FB, HB and TE, are they going to contribute this year?
ramllov My understanding about the cap is that they can sign the rookies without adjustment today, but have to get some money back before September?
DavidCarducci Ram, that's a good question. If you remember, they were excited about the idea of having a FB with some RB skills and agility in JJ Johnson before he went down last year. They could look for the same thing with RJ Bowers this year. I hear they'd like to use Heiden as a true TE more this year. That could also mean Shea returning as an H-back, FB type.
DavidCarducci It's something to watch
southdawg will A Davis be the 3rd wr or Northcutt?
Swerb Adding to Rams question, with Willie expressing a discomfort with running nehind a FB, will we see that position continue to be phased out of the Arians offense?
DavidCarducci Swerb, I don't think it would be up to Willie. He is only uncomfortable with it because he hasn't done it. Same thing with Couch in this type of system. Guys have to adjust at this level, and if that is the offense Arians wants to run, Green will have to adjust to it.
Ron ramllov I've got a folder full of cap legalities in my office. I'll check that out and get you in the next chat. It's quite a fun-filled read
artbtz LOL
DavidCarducci I agree Ron. I always like to take the CBA to the beach with me for a little light summer reading
DavidCarducci Southdawg, I think that's something that could change several times during the season.
DavidCarducci I believe that's right Ram. THat's why the offers are already out on the table.
southdawg same as last year
Swerb Regarding the Pontbriand pick, obviosuly the Browns are going to say they thought he would be gone before their 6th rd pick. Would he have?
ramllov What I cannot understand is that the rookies would not sign before the 22nd. At draft time, they said they would play for free. The agents are going to get them in trouble.
artbtz You're going to see a flurry of signings over the weekend... but this is one of the problems with starting camp early.
ramllov How healthy is the DL man from Boston College?
Swerb Three guys I really liked, and got a chance to see play several times were Jeremy Bridges, Kindal Moorehead, and Shane Walton. All were there in the 5th and gone when we picked in the 6th. Thats why I ask.
ramllov The reason why I ask, is that I am looking for the fourth DT on this team.
DavidCarducci I really don't know Swerb. He may very well have been a 7th rounder by someone. Davis wanted to ease his worries at that position, so he pulled the trigger. Who knows, with what happened at Candlestick last year (it was at Candlestick, yes?), long snapper might very well be a premium second-day pick in years to come
southdawg game over walk out homer damn yankees
DavidCarducci Ram, no idea on his health right now.
southdawg off
Swerb I know. There was some legitimate talent still on the board though. And this team could use another OT/DE.
ramllov Considering the problems most teams have had, long snapper was not a problem with the Browns for four years. That is something
YBD I gotta run.... thanx guys & goodnight.
DavidCarducci I still think it was a very questionable pick
artbtz Yanks 5, Tribe 4... walkoff homer by Matsui.
Swerb Take care YBD.
Swerb Damn MAtsui!
DavidCarducci Another reason he'll either look like a genius or a fool in a couple years
DavidCarducci Take care YBD
Ron see ya YBD
Swerb Good point Dave. You have to have confidence in his talent evaluation skills after what he built at Miami Fla.
ramllov Butch Davis is getting some good coaching rating for the work he did in his first two years. Have you guys been impressed?
Ron I've been very impressed. I thought the first good thing he did was get rid of all of Dwight Clark's players. That should tell us all a lot. He has a way of finding the right guys.
DavidCarducci Ram, I've been impressed. I do think he needs much better control of his sideline. That was a problem in Miami as well. It seems very hectic, and it leads to mistakes.
Greg Dave, he had the same problem at Miami his first couple of years... but when he had his coaching staff in place and he trusted them, everything went much more smoothly on the sidelines
ramllov Dave has Pittsburgh's coach out coached Butch Davis? Cowher?
DavidCarducci I like the fact that he is building this team very much the way he did Miami. With speed. He's taken some risks, which is easier to hide when you have 100-plus on a college roster.
DavidCarducci Ram, I don't think so. I think Mularkey is impressive as hell, though. I look for him to be a head coach next season.
Swerb I still worry very much about the DE position. CB is a question mark, we'll be hard pressed to get more out of Lang, and Word will no longer be ignored (and must play the run better!).
Swerb Watching the opposing QB have all day when we rushed 4 or 5 guys last year still gives me nightmares.
Ron ramllov if you're referring to the way the fourth quarter was played last year in the playoffs I say yes...Butch backed off and it cost him. Hopefully a lesson well learned in his first trip to the playoffs as the top man
Greg Swerb, I think you need to toss in the new schemes when looking at the DL play... not just the existing talent...
DavidCarducci By the way, for all you Kent State guys, like me.... did you see a Kent State grad is 13th at the British Open ... shot a 72 playing in the worst of the afternoon wind.
ramllov Is there some LB on the team now that could be an edge rusher like the guys the Steelers have?
DavidCarducci Ram, that would be Chaun
Swerb Thats a good point. Have you guys had a chance to meet Andre Patterson? Thoughts?
DavidCarducci I've met Patterson briefly.
Ron Dave, what's the KSU grads name
DavidCarducci Ron, his name is Ben Curtis. Great kid. He's a rookie on the tour this year. You might remember him from the US Amateur at Pebble Beach when he made the final four in 2000
Greg Dave/Ron, are you guys getting more access to the assistants? If so, take advantage of it before Butch takes it away again.. :)
DavidCarducci 3
DavidCarducci .0
ramllov Dave/Ron are Browns happy with their punter?
Ron Dave I did a story on him while I was at Channel 3. Herb Page keeps churning them out at Kent
DavidCarducci sorry for the ""3"" and ""0"" ... spilled diet coke on my keyboard
ramllov Dave you should have said beer!
artbtz Dave, you misspelled "Miller Genuine Draft"
DavidCarducci He sure does Ron. Herb is a good friend (even though he's a Maple Leaf fan), and a heck of a coach.
DavidCarducci Plus, I love Windmill Lakes
SirPaul lol
Ron great track...that Windmill Lakes.
ramllov Dave/Ron, what is your opinon of the backup offensive tackles on this team and who are the best two to three?
DavidCarducci AB, that's for later. I have five stories I'm working on tonight after this
Swerb CJ Jones is a kid that really impressed me at Iowa (god knows they were on ESPN like 12 straight weeks last year) last season. From what you've seen, does he have a legitimate shot to press Frisman, King, and Breedlove for one of the last roster spots?
Ron ramllov I think Baab, Rakoczy and Reisen are the best back-ups they have and those guys haven't played in 15 years
DavidCarducci Ram, I think that's a real weak spot on this team. For right now, I think Stokes would move in at tackle if either were to go down. Then Zuk, Fowler or Qasim would move to guard.
artbtz I'm surprised Breedlove is on that list after his disappearing act in Europe.
DavidCarducci Possibly Swerb, especially with Frisman still the furthest to coming back of all the injured.
Ron gotta keep a guy whith a name like that around
southdawg David, what is the one think that scares you that can go wrong with this years team?
ramllov Dave/Ron, which players will the Browns bury on the injury list this year like Mitchell and the Louisville DE/LB last year?
DavidCarducci I shot a 77 at Sugar Bush last week, then a 91 at Windmill the next day. Can't figure that out
DavidCarducci Ram, too early to make a guess. CJ could be one of them. He was impressive in minicamp.
DavidCarducci I like Richard Alston, too, Ram
SirPaul since were talking golf...which Brown is the best golfer..
ramllov Holcomb
Ron Holcomb?
artbtz James Jackson. He hits the ball so hard he injures himself.
SirPaul I heard that Jamel sucks
vbf LOL
SirPaul lol art
vbf AB, you coming to TC next week?
artbtz A definate maybe. I'll see how it's going Friday morning.
DavidCarducci SirPaul, I think it is probably Josh Booty. He and Herb Page were teammates this year at the Browns outing, shot 17-under I believe in the 4-man scramble to win the tournament. My team was something like 10-under
Swerb Michael Josiah. A guy that impressed but battled injuries last year in camp. Was he at minicamp and healthy?
southdawg David, what is the one think that scares you that can go wrong with this years team?
SirPaul there a sport that Booty can't you know he'll be the PG for the cavs
ramllov Is Michael Josiah a LB now or does he play both positions in spring camp?
DavidCarducci Southdawg, I feel better about the line, but there is always that worry that the second half last year was a bit of an aberation. There has to be that worry that the line will play the way it did in the Pittsburgh finale.
DavidCarducci Also, the LB's. There is reason to hope that the young players will play above their experience level, but then they are also going to need help from the DL
ramllov Art is the chat going to be weekly or bi-weekly?
artbtz I think we're going to go back to weekly. It depends on everyone's schedule.
DavidCarducci Guys, I have to run. I'm sorry. I'm up against it on a couple of deadlines.
ramllov Dave thanks alot for your contribution
vbf later, Dave, thanks
DavidCarducci AB, I'll have that ready for you in the next hour. Sorry, I got a bit sidetracked by my office
Swerb Thanks for your time Dave. Hit em straight....
artbtz We'll see ya Dave!
southdawg thanks David
artbtz It's cool... I'll slam your article up tonight.
DavidCarducci Thanks Swerb.
DavidCarducci Thanks AB,
Ron see ya Dave
artbtz Thanks for joining us Ron...
DavidCarducci Thanks southdawg, Ram, vbf, everyone.
DavidCarducci Thanks Ron, and it's good to have you with us
Ron my pleasure
Swerb Congrats Ron, and looking forward to continued Browns dialogue.
Ron talk to you soon swerb
Ron I'm out guys. Nice talking to all of you!

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