Ask the Insiders forum. Get the scoop from two of the few people who were able to see the team in action earlier this month!"> Ask the Insiders forum. Get the scoop from two of the few people who were able to see the team in action earlier this month!">

Highlights from Ask the Insiders

Questions about the Browns offense and recent acquisitions, including intriguing WR Jason Geathers (above, making a nice one-handed catch), dominated over the weekend in our <A HREF="">Ask the Insiders forum</A>. Get the scoop from two of the few people who were able to see the team in action earlier this month!

Kamala: So it comes to this: I have a source -- honest to God. He says that Kevin Johnson was the most selfish player he had ever come in contact with. The second most selfish? Tim Couch. Insiders, Do you agree?

Mike McLain: I hate to comment on players that are no longer here, especially ones that I had a good working relationship with, like KJ. I do think that KJ's number one priority on game day was getting his catches and his yards. There's no denying that when he wasn't involved in the play, he did little to help out in terms of blocking. I never looked at Tim Couch as a me-first player. What bothered some players was what they perceived to be a lack of leadership qualities in Couch. You might remember Jamir Miller challenging Couch to step it up as a leader two years ago. I asked a now ex-Brown what he thought of Miller's comments. He said he couldn't comment on it, but he then said, "For your information ..." and then he nodded his head in an affirmative way.

Tradition Est 1946: I was wondering if Jason Geathers was able to show any of his talents throughout the 3 days ? If so what was your take, although probably premature on the possibility of getting cut, landing on the practice squad or making it as one of the receivers that they keep ? He obviously needs the time to be coached, so i hope they hang on to him.

Barry McBride: Geathers practiced exclusively at wide receiver, and I never saw him get the opportunity to run back kicks. If the team continues to look at him only at WR, and doesn't want to put him on the practice squad, his fate may be closely tied to that of Dennis Northcutt.

Geathers made some nice catches, including a nifty one-handed grab that we captured in the first set of our photos from mini-camp. I wasn't able to see a significant difference between Geathers performance at camp and that of fellow UDFA Chris Pittman from Colorado State, but both were a step ahead of Eddie Galles from Northern Iowa.

Right now, I'd have to list the WRs as follows:

Andre Davis
Quincy Morgan
(Dennis Northcutt)
Frisman Jackson
C.J. Jones
Andre King
Richard Alston
Jason Geathers
Chris Pittman
Eddie Galles

Going into training camp, I'd have to say Geathers best shot is to land on the practice squad, and Davis' awareness of his potential makes that a real possibility. He could emerge in camp like Jackson did two years ago, but that's my version of things as of 5/10/04.

BarleyDawg: Insiders, I'd like to hear your projection as to what might happen with our CB position this year as well as the near future. I like Cutch in coverage and as a tackler, but I'm only comfortable with Henry in coverage. His lack of tackling ability makes me think that he would be better as the 3rd CB and that he could be upgraded. I like the looks of Lehan, but I know that he is still a little raw. Also, I don't know if he is a good tackler or not. Williams seems like he might have potential, but I don't know that much about him. I'd like to hear your take on how happy Butch is with these guys and any info regarding changes, etc. Thanks.

Mike McLain: I know that Butch felt the Browns pulled off a coup when they signed Williams. He proved to be a good acquisition as last year wore on, especially at the end of the season.

Butch went through an up-and-down infatuation with Leigh Bodden, a rookie free agent last season. He liked what he saw of Bodden's coverage skills in camp, but Bodden didn't impress early on in game action. Bodden, however, regained Butch's confidence in the late going, especially with a strong effort against Chad Johnson in the finale.

I think Michael Lehan can be a solid starting cornerback, but there's one problem. Lehan is hurt all the time. He seems like the type of guy that can pull a leg muscle getting out of bed. If he stays healthy, he could develop into a starter.

McCutcheon is clearly the best form tackler in the secondary. Butch ideally would like to use McCutcheon as a nickel back, but that doesn't appear possible at this time.

Henry does post a concern because he's not a strong tackler. Butch likes his coverage skills and instincts in the passing game.

Mojo1011: With a new O-coordinator, how much different will the offense be this year and if so what team could it be comparable to?

Barry McBride: Quincy Morgan may not like it, but the team's new offensive direction seemed pretty clear from the recent mini-camp. There is going to be a much stronger emphasis on the short passing game, with the tight end position being the target of many more passes than in the past. Expect running backs and even the fullback to see the ball more often, and for Garcia to stretch the field sporadically to keep the safeties back.

The team was working incessantly on flare patterns, pushing the ball to the fullbacks and throwing between 10-20 yards downfield. Actually, Dennis Northcutt would look pretty good in this offense ;-)

Clearly, Davis will unleash the running game this year, as he has long hoped to do. The minute Arians left, the new direction of the team's offense was never in doubt.

Mike McLain: With William Green hopefully on the right track and Lee Suggs healthy and set to become the starter, this is going to be a run-oriented offense.

As for the passing game, look for a lot of short passes to move the chains. They didn't draft Kellen Winslow to run deep routes.

Plus, Jeff Garcia is a down-the-field quarterback. He's accurate on short and mid-range throws and when throwing on the run.

And you can expect Garcia to be on the move quite a bit. When he endorsed Winslow over Gallery as the best choice for the Browns to Randy Lerner, Garcia apparently tapped his legs when telling Lerner that his wheels provide him with his best protection.

Moony: A little early, but... Just curious what the Insiders thought on how many players the Browns will keep on their final roster regarding the TE and FB positions.

Personally, I think they will keep 3 TE's (Winslow and Heiden for sure), and 2 FB's (Smith for sure) or possibly one of the FB's will be a hybrid H-back like Shea (though I think he gets cut or traded this year) or Ben Miller(great kid, but longshot to make the final cut IMHO).

I believe if FB is going to really be a key position on this team, they can keep just one, because if he gets injured, then throw away half of the playbook and preseason preparations. Browden looks to possibly be our best option at back-up FB, but of course it's kind of too early to tell.

TE is awfully crowded this year. It's obviously make it or break it time for projects like Darnell Sanders (a BD draft pick, but will he cut him?) and Chad Mustard. I liked what I saw late last year from Keith Heinrich, but with such a crowded position, he will really have to shine in training camp/preseason to be the 3rd TE.

Anyway, would love to get Insider's thoughts first, then anyone with something half-way intelligent to add... Thanks!

Barry: Moony, I think your speculation is pretty solid at this point, and that Sanders is a guy who definately needs to impress during Training Camp this year. The team likes Heinrich as well, and I have a hard time seeing any scenarios where Shea continues his career in Cleveland (which is a shame).

My guess would be Winslow/Heiden/Heinrich going in, with Mustard being an interesting possibility when the team deploys two tight ends. This will be one of the more interesting competitions to watch, and in particular it will be notable to see how the definition of the tight end position changes under Robiskie.

The one quirk is the amount of practice time I saw devoted to throwing the fullback at mini-camp. I would typically say that I expect to see Smith to make the roster, with Miller being a candidate for the practice squad or being deactivated on game day, but Browden just seemed to have good hands to me.

Nutz75: Art, A friend of the family drives the limo for the Browns and when Sanders was in camp, Davis said that out of all the rookies that year, he was extremely impressed with Sanders and felt he was going to be a force on offense. What are their thoughts on the kid now?

Barry: I remember that there was a lot of optimism about Sanders his rookie year, so I can confirm that. To date, though, Sanders hasn't risen to the opportunity and has actually seemed to move backward on the depth chart behind Heiden and Heinrich. This is a very important mini-camp for him.

Mike McLain: I think Heiden is a lock to stay, along with Winslow, of course. I agree that Heinrich looked decent late last season, but I still think Butch will stay with one of "his" guys and that Sanders makes the cut.

Aaron Shea simply needs to stay healthy. If he does, I have to believe he'll earn a roster spot.

JDawgy: Barry or someone: Heiden came out of nowhere last year. Was he an undrafted Rookie free-agent? That just happened to be sitting at home? Does anyone know if he was in camp at least with another team?

Barry: We actually picked up Heiden late in the pre-season the year before last, dealing a low-round draft pick to San Diego for him. His profile is due for an update this summer, but you can find it here. Heiden was originally a third-round draft choice in 1999, but the timing of his acquisition and the low-key way the team did it meant that he sort of flew in under radar when we got him.


The OBR Top Stories