CLEVELAND, Ohio - We've dug deep, twisted a few arms, called in a couple favors, and asked the questions. This is what we've been told.
We've been told that the Browns have serious reservations concerning the arrests and charges against Mike Sellers and Lamar Chapman. The suspensions handed down were a necessary means for the immediate handling of the situation. Many of which have had the opportunity to digest the charges believe that they will be significantly reduced, but the playing careers of Sellers and Chapman in Cleveland after the 2001 season are in jeopardy.
We've been told that Gerard Warren heard more than just a 'what we you thinking' from the Browns this past week. Arrested in possessing a concealed, unregistered handgun in Pittsburgh, Warren apologized to the Browns for the incident,
We've been told that the Browns have been taking a hard look at other teams practice squads in attempts to find a player or two that would improve depth and overall ability of the offensive line.
We've been told that the Browns have had a keen interest in a couple wide receivers from the college ranks, and are keeping an eye on Marquise Walker, from the University of Michigan.
We've been told that the Browns covet offensive left tackle named Bryant McKinnie from Miami, but know that he will not be available for them to select in the 2002 NFL Draft, but fully expect and are serious about another offensive lineman from Miami, Joaquin Gonzalez.
We've been told that the Browns will not be looking to obtain a running back. The Browns believe with improved offensive line play the trio of James Jackson, Jamel White, and Ben Gay will be effective.
We've been told that Paul Zukauskas, recently signed off the practice squad has earned the opportunity to play. A seventh round draft selection of the Browns, Zukauskas has been steady and solid in practice and is believed to been performing at a high level in practice. One coach noted that he has performed as well if not better than any offensive lineman that has been anchoring down the right-side of the line.
We've been told that some in the organization liked the energy and explosive possibilities that running back Ben Gay provided in the game against Baltimore. One source within the organization tells us that last Sunday was just the beginning for Gay.
We've been told that 60% of the Browns starting offensive line could be replaced for the start of the 2002 season. If you haven't figured it out, Dave Wohlabaugh and Ross Verba are the keepers. Right tackle Roger Chanoine is a player that keeps getting better but must make great strides in run blocking.
We've been told that the Browns are taking a hard look at the middle linebacker position. The organization seeks an athletic and quick MLB.
We've been told that cornerback Lewis Sanders is recovering well from surgery and should be a factor in the Browns defensive backfield in 2002. Sanders has been sidelined for the season due to his body making excessive amounts of calcium, which deposits and builds up causing his problems in some of his joints.
We've been told that while the Browns don't offer up information regarding player contracts, the Browns and defensive end Keith McKenzie are working on a contract extension. As we told you here first a few weeks ago, McKenzie wants to finish what he started when he came to the Browns.
We've been told that while the impression of peace and harmony resides in Berea, that was not the case for a long period of time. Tension was evident in Berea for a long period of time earlier in the season, the root of the tension was interwound between Butch Davis, Dwight Clark, and Pete Garcia. Most is said to be pretty quiet now.
We've been told that offensive lineman Tre' Johnson would like to return to the Browns, at this time that isn't looking promising.