Some site notes and combine data, as Lane, Tony, and the TFY Draft folks work overtime at the combine this weekend to get you every scrap of information from this event.
As expected, the combine is sometimes less interesting for the workouts themselves than for all the news that's stirred up as NFL teams, agents, and players get together to talk draft, trades, and free agents. The upcoming mega-issue of Bernies Insiders magazine will have an article from Jeff Schudel about what life is like at the combine, among many other features.
1. Live from the Combine
Here is the link to today's live updates from the Indianapolis Combine. We will be keeping the Browns rumor / news summary as the feature article for most of Saturday, due to the interest, but the link above contains breaking news from Tony Pauline.
Here's yet another reminder to keep refreshing that article and our front page in your browser this weekend because we have plenty of good stuff that is going to be showing up all day long. You don't want to miss breaking news just because your browser has put this morning's version of the front page in your local browser cache!
2. Player Tracker Updated
The player tracker is a BerniesInsiders.com exclusive: Every fifteen minutes, our web robots scour TheInsiders.com network for new Hot News and articles which appear for any player deemed of interest to the Browns. With over one hundred college and pro sites on the network, and the ability to read any of them with the BerniesInsiders.com Total Access Pass, the player tracker helps Browns fans get through the data overload to the latest players of interest to the team.
We've expanded the list from present the last 10 updates to 15 due to the volume of information coming through.
3. Additional Combine Articles
There's so much data coming out now from Indy that we want to make sure our front page stays relevant to stories and news of primary interest to Browns fans. Here are some stories that we didn't link via our front page headline module that you might want to look at:
4. Butch Davis Transcript
Little bits and pieces of Butch Davis' comments to the press have been coming out via the local papers, but we figured that you would want to see a complete transcript of Davis' remarks. These were provided to us by our old friend Rob "Boomer" Rang of West Coast Draft Services. Since full premium access to TFY Draft Preview already comes along with your TheInsiders.com Total Access Pass, you don't need to purchase it seperately and might consider joining Rob's site if you want to join a draft specialty site this off-season.
Rob will be visiting our chat room in the coming weeks for a free draft chat. Thanks again, Rob, and here's the transcript:
Q: You've said you talked to Casserly re: Henson ... any future talks?
Davis: Yes, there will. My first inquiry was basically just the parameters ... if you're interested, do they have any guidelines as far as, like, is it going be a dozen quarterback choices? Could it conceivably be a player? Is it a dozen high draft choices? Are they opposed to escalators? If he plays X-amount of plays, does it escalate? We're just trying to find all those different parameters.
Q: Why didn't you personally attend his workout?
Davis: I watched it on tape. And he was only going to throw and he hadn't been throwing that much. We felt like if there was enough interest that we wanted him we were going to try to set up an opportunity to bring him to Cleveland and then watch a fullscale workout and give him a better chance to be in better condition to throw.
Q: Did you consider drafting him last year?
Davis: No, to be honest with you, we really didn't.
Q: Did you set up a workout in Cleveland
Davis: No. We have not. It was just an initial inquiry as to what Houston would be asking for.
Q: Were you OK on their parameters?
Davis: Yeah. And I don't want to divulge anything, but it was pretty basic and there was a lot of flexibility. You got the sense that it was potentially going to be driven not only by the Houston Texans by certainly by Drew and his father, and also his agent (Condon). Which I'm sure the agent's going to play a huge role in the organization, where's the best place for him.
Q: Will you talk to Condon here about Tim Couch?
Davis: Uh, I personally will not because that's something Carmen's (Policy) will be doing. I've left that alone with Carmen.
Q: You said there are issues with Couch that need to be resolved...
Davis: Hopefully it wasn't misconstrued as things of a negative nature. There's some things that transpired, obviously, during the '03 season that we need to clear the air and talk about. We need to talk about when the season was unfolding when Kelly Holcomb was named the starter. There's just things that I'd like to sit down and take a day and talk about. How he saw things. It's good for us to visit.
Q: Publicly couch is very diplomatic... how is he behind closed doors?
Davis: Awesome. It was a difficult situation for the whole organization and Tim, and I think both Tim and Kelly handled it as well as they conceivably could, and I think a lot of that had to do with mutual respect they had for each other. They obviously had a good friendship relationship prior to that, and I think that relationship helped them deal with the trials and tribulations of one guy starting, one guy getting hurt, the other guy coming in and back and forth ... And had it not been for their prior positive relationship it probably would have been a bigger disaster than it was.
Q: do you see a scenario by which both Holcomb and Couch will be your two QBs in July?
Davis: Probably not vying for the job at that time, but I think there are definitely some scenarios that have both those guys on the Cleveland Browns next year.
Q: (would you decide starter before training camp this time?)
Q: How much a disadvantage does Holcomb have being laid up with torn labrum 6 months?
Davis: Well, there's not going to be a tremendous amount of stuff done until the first of May anyhow. Having been there for 3 years, there's not a lot of secrets that we don't know about both those guys, watching them play, practice. It's not going to be a major factor.
Q: (Couch's contract situation, you want it done by March 3?)
Davis: It's not driven so much by Tim being on the team or Tim not being on the team ... we're in the midst of trying to find out exactly how much cap room we will have for free agency. Tim certainly holds a large key to any potential cap growth we might have. If we get a little bit from this guy, little bit from this guy, restructure ... it drives whether or not how big a player in free agency we'll have a chance to be.
Q: Does the bigger cap help Couch in any way?
Davis: I don't know. It's certainly good. But it doesn't give Cleveland any advantage than it gave the other 31 teams. Everybody got the same $2 million raise. With the re-signing of Brant Boyer and the anticipation of a couple other guys in next couple weeks, hopefully we'll have more room under the cap than we already have.
Q: Anyone restructure lately?
Davis: Nobody's gotten down. But the positive thing -- and I don't get involved, to be honest with you -- but I think our players are starting to get a greater appreciation of the fact it's a team game. The more money we can generate, the better the team has a chance to get. If they can take a tiny little bit piece less than what they're currently making, it might be the difference of adding one or two players to the team. To me, that's a positive move in our team, that guys are concerned enough about the team that they're willing to discuss it.
Q: Carmen said you and Bruce Arians were never on same page ... how'd that happen for 3 years?
Davis: Bruce and I had a good relationship. I think a lot of it is, philosophically, every coach has ideas the way you'd like things to go.
When you're not on the same page, it doesn't mean every single day. There were lots of times we were in total harmony, as far as gameplans, how the offense should be run. Invariably, during the course of ballgames at times personalities come out. ... And in 24 seconds you have to make the call you don't all the time have the chance to discuss every single play. There are some things Bruce did well. But I think, clearly, my personal preference in the way I'd like the direction of our offense to go is totally different and in a lot more harmony with Terry (Robiskie).
Davis: I am in favor of it. I think any chance you have as a coach to try to rectify calls to determine the outcome of a ballgame is good. I was part of the movement last year that presented the proposal that if you get the challenge right, you shouldn't be penalized. (He means, you get a timeout back in return for a correct challenge.)
I think there's enough coaches (to pass it again).
Q: When will the Browns talk with couch?
Davis: Between the end of combine and March 3.
Q: Will you insist again on 5-year contracts for rookies?
Davis: I think it's made an enormous positive impact on our team. Because I think guys know now they have a chance to be there a long time. 3-year contracts, by the time they get good, you've got to keep them from leaving.
Q: Are you counting on William Green this year?
Davis: Absolutely. We're counting on William Green to be a part of the scenario.
Q: Why give Jamel White permission to seek a trade?
Davis: We think Jamel has value for this football team. He's proven it the last three years. This is kind of at his request. He's looking at the roster and wanting a bigger piece of the pie.
Q: Will you pay Jamel's $350K roster bonus in March?
Davis: Uh, yeah, we intend to.
Q: How's William Green's attitude?
Davis: I think it's excellent. He is so excited to be back, in the facility working out. He's in there a couple hours every day. He's anxious to work through the issues he has and mend the fences. It's not an easy process. Credibility, relationships, he's working at them every single day.
Q: Are you confident he'll stay clean?
Davis: Yeah, I have very good expectations of that. I know it's going to be because of a lack of commitment on his part.
Q: Any observations on Robert Gallery?
Davis: The only one I'd offer is I think it's a statement by him that he's going to work out and do everything here. I applaud the guys that are not afraid to go out and do everything. They've had virtually 6-8 weeks knowing this day was coming up. Coming in here and doing all the drills is a statement of confidence and you want to draft players with confidence.
Q: Can you win in the NFL without a big time quarterback?
Davis: I think any quarterback that's winning is a big time quarterback. I think that sometimes people get enamored with some of the physical tools. There are certainly a lot of guys that have taken their teams deep into the playoffs that are not in the category of 'this guy's a Hall-of-Famer or franchise quarterback.' They know how to win, manage the game, are smart, have unbelievable work ethic.