Transcript: Last Week's Thursday Night Chat

Carlos "Big C" Holmes and Bernie's Insiders Managing Editor Barry "ArtBtz" McBride hung out in the chat room last week with the dawgs for a free chat. We've had a number of subscribers ask for the transcript, so here is a heavily edited version. We had a wide-ranging discussion covering everything from Jeff Garcia's impact on the offense to who the guys think will be the team's break-out performers in 2004...

Greg hey BigC...
Greg Are you the BigC who had the column in the .... Dayton Flyer, was it?
bigc Hey Greg . How's it going. Glad to be joining you guys on this chat.
bigc Nope. I'm the Big C from Dayton Daily
Greg My bad... I knew I was going to screw that up... I'm not an Ohioan, so I don't know all the papers
artbtz You're planning to hit some training camps this year, Big C?
bigc Absolutely, tentatively scheduled to attend about 9 training camps this season to bring the noise on what's going on.
artbtz Which ones?
artbtz You going to New England?
bigc Won't be attending New England, however, I will be attending Ravens, Steelers, Browns , Bengals, Colts, Panthers, Falcons, Titans and Detroit.
artbtz Excellent. We've got some secret missions for ya in Ravens camp.
ramllov I saw a recent post, saying for teams for Everage safety and the Browns were not one of them. What is up with this rookie safety?
bigc That's me - undercover brother.
bigc Don't know what posting you read from but the browns are definitely looking at Everage. In fact we had one of Everages reps join us on a radio show earlier today to give us the 411 on how well this 2 time All American safety is progressing in his off season workout
Greg Everage would get lost in the shuffle in Ctown... too many bodies at safety now to get a read on anyone
JSinCT What's the deal with the FB... Terrelle Smith sp did he ever really tweak his back or was that all rumor?
bigc Don't know status on Smith but I will say this that was one heck of a pick up for the dawgs. They have been looking for a Clydesdale to put in front of their featured back. I will say he will be sorely missed in New Orleans.
artbtz JS... I never talked to Terrelle, but I talked to Steve King and Terrelle's agent, as well as the Browns. His agent and the Browns deny it, King's source was absolutely positive something was going on.
dadaman When will we here from John Collins?
artbtz I don't think Collins is going to be in front of the press a lot. We're going to get a steady diet of Butch, Butch, and more Butch.
dadaman I thought Butch doesn't like the media? I guess he is better than collins who seems like a stiff.
artbtz Collins doesn't have an electrifying presence, but I've personally had enough of charm and wit from the team's front office. Maybe low-key and more, um, to-the-point will be a welcome change.
FunkyDawg I'm late so this may be a repeat question: Will the Browns spend any more money and sign more guys?
artbtz Funky, I think they're going to keep signing their existing guys.
DawgHowl whats the latest on winslow?
Greg featured back? which one?
bigc Good question. Personally I would llike to see Suggs get some more carries.
JSinCT Thanks AB and BigC... IF Smith isn't avaiable for Blocking duties.. what will the BRowns try in your opinion?
ramllov I am interested in them signing more of their veterans to extended contracts, What about that?
artbtz Since everyone is gone, Ram, we haven't heard much, but I really want to talk to Cutch when the team comes back.
Greg I think William Green is going to absolutely explode this year... 1800 yards type explode... he's got talent that we've only seen the tip of the iceberg on...
artbtz He's looked really good in QB school, Greg, but so has Lee Suggs.
artbtz Course, it's easy to look good when there's no hitting going on ;-)
bigc Green could explode on the scene but he's going to have to be a better runner when the season starts rather than just in training camp.
Greg Green's got more pure talent, IMO... I really like Suggs.. don't get me wrong... but I think Will Green is a franchise back type player
artbtz Suggs just seems to find the gap and burst through, but Green seems to have some turboboosters he can turn on if he gets in the clear.
bigc I also believe Suggs has more speed than Green. Green has to learn to run strong not only in training camp but during game time as well.
FunkyDawg Does Butch work the players too hard? Is this the cause of so many injuries?
artbtz He's not working them hard this year, Funky. They've been ending most practices early. He's kicking it back a notch, I think.
Koesters Green may be more pure talent, but you can't go wrong with the head on Suggs shoulders
bigc I agree with what you say about Suggs but remember this guy was Heisman material before the knee injury.
artbtz For some reason, I got the impression that Suggs was bigger in camp, but I look at the stats and he's not. He just plays big, I guess.
DawgHowl Green has talent, but can he control his off field issues?
artbtz I wish I could answer that, Howl.
ramllov \What is your opinion on Quincy Morgan and what do you see him doing this year?
artbtz Looks like the same Quincy to me.
bigc Quncy is an outstanding receiver but has proven a little inconsistent in his play. The guy I believe that's going to reap the benefits of the browns high powered offense this year is Andre Davis
artbtz I agree with that Big C. I'm looking for Andre to shoot out front this year.
FunkyDawg Yeah....and what about the WR we signed that I forgot about? You know, Latamian Duncan or something like that?
artbtz Latarence Dunbar.... kick return is how he'll make the roster. I'm anxious to see him.
FunkyDawg That's the one. I had forgotten.........
JSinCT I'm interested in Guest127's question on Contracts... any news ongetting these guys signed?
artbtz All we've heard about is McCown getting close.
artbtz Lane said that the team seems earnest about giving Jones a ""fair"" offer.
FunkyDawg Dunbar. Now Geathers. What about him?
artbtz Have you heard anything about Jones yet, BigC?
bigc Nothing on Jones as of yet. But still digging.
artbtz So would I, Koesters... in the new mag, I talk about Northcutt pushing Morgan for the starting job.
Koesters i'd love to see northcutt have a great year, receiving and in the return game.
Koesters wish i had an opportunity to get a hold of the copy. i think if morgan remains inconsistent, he's gonna lose the spot.
artbtz Got a magnum opus in the upcoming mag on position battles. Love the drama!!
dadaman Do think they will put jones on PUP like suggs and maybe he will play at the end of the season?
bigc That's a given - Jones will be on the PUP list.
artbtz The thing, dadaman, is that we've heard nothing about how his surgery went. The team ain't talking and his agent hasn't been talking with folks over beers about it.
FunkyDawg Kentrall Curry? Can he step up and replace Jones?
artbtz Jones was looked at FS, pushing Little, but Curry is at SS, so I don't see him making the same type of impact.
artbtz It will be tough for him to get a lot of playing time this year unless Griffith gets hurt and he really kicks butt in camp.
dadaman I think Curry will the suprise of the year if he can stay injury free
JSinCT Wut about Jameson?
dadaman Curry is better at stopping the run than jones
Koesters i think chambers is going to be the big surprise.
DawgHowl will curry make the team?
bigc Griffith was once thought to be a salary cap casualty but with the injury to Jones it looks like the veteran warrior may hang on just a little while longer.
artbtz I think he will, Howl. He's a darn good prospect.
dadaman Griff gets hurt every year so he will get playing time.
DawgHowl art: I agree he should, but at who's expense?
Koesters Griff at least makes it a point to try and play through the injuries.
artbtz Griffith will probably hang on.... Butch needs guys in the locker room he thinks can keep order.
FunkyDawg Is Thompson looking more ready to emerge?
artbtz Not to me Funky. Too early to tell, but he still seems like he's out of position sometimes.
dadaman I heard the jags pick has the postons and he told them to make sure he is camp on time.
FunkyDawg How is Thompson's progress - orlack thereof - differ from LB Andra Davis from year one to year two.
artbtz You know, Funky, I don't think I can accurately answer that. I wasn't at camp in previous years, so I'm not as good at doing comparisons as I am at just saying what I see yet.
artbtz If we get some of the beat writers in here, I think you should quiz 'em on it. We'll try to get Mike McLain and Pat Mac in here soon.
FunkyDawg I hear ya. It just seems like Andra Davis came outta nowhere in year 2 - a very questionable LB selcetion in year one!!
artbtz Andra was sort of a Kentrell Curry situation - very highly regarded, but dropped because of a poor-timed injury.
bigc As I learned earlier today the browns have already entered some sort of negotiations with Winslow and his agent. Although this may be one of those last minute deals like it was with William Green when he signed.
Guest127 when will the browns talk contract with winslow big c
dadaman Do you guys think the poston will try to get more guys in camp on time to help their image?
bigc yeah, right when has the Postons worried about getting their players to camp on time. It's all about the money, baby. mo money mo money mo money
dadaman bigc have to talked to Chris Gamble isn't he a poston guy
JSinCT That's really the question... is will the POstons screw up the possibility of getting Winslow in on time...?
FunkyDawg Why so hard on the Postons? Just agents like all the rest. What about Boozers people?
bigc The postons have developed a reputation around the league as being difficult to deal with.
JSinCT I think I heard out of one of ESPN""s talking heads that the Postons a retryign to change that... but it remains to be seen
artbtz The only theory I've heard that's positive was floated by Pro Football Weekly, I think.... that there could be an early agreement because the Postons are looking to soften their rep.
artbtz But, at the same time, I've listened to Winslow slowly shift his tone to be less encouraging. He's talking to the Postons, so I'm guessing they're the source of that.
FunkyDawg ALL agents are difficult!!
Guest127 any word on mc cown contract
dadaman Bigc since Randy will be involed in the K2 deal do you think that helps the browns chances of getting him in on time
bigc Nope.
DawgHowl How does Gerard Warren look these days?
artbtz Warren looks pretty good, Howl. Definately not getting blown away and seems a bit more fit than in the past.
artbtz The chatter among the press corps is that he seems to be in better shape.
DawgHowl art: good to hear, do you think he is serious about having a breakout season?
artbtz I'm not sure if Warren is serious about anything, to be 100%% honest, but I haven't talked to him a lot.
artbtz Warren does talk out there, man. All the D-linemen seem to dog the QBs, especially Husak.
dadaman Big money now wants to coach so maybe his attitude has changed?
ramllov bigc, I was wondering about our secondary. These backup guys going to be challenging the nickel or potential starters?
bigc I think the Browns have some promising young players in their secondary and I think the key to their success is going to be the play of cornerback Anthony Henry. Another guy the team was high on in training camp last year was Leigh Bodden.
dadaman Last year Randy seemed to let Carmen and Lal do their thing but this year since Carmen left he is more involed.
dadaman AB was Randy at the Practices?
artbtz Randy was constantly there.
Guest127 big c heard anything about mc cown the qb
bigc i heard McCown had a pretty solid mini camp and looks like he can possibly develop into a potential NFL starter. However, we definitely will have to wait and see on that one.
VTBrowns Who will be the surprise player for the Browns this year?
hollywooddawg How does the team seem to be responding to garcia...will they back him...
artbtz As far as I can tell, they respond to Garcia, yeah. He's definately a take-charge guy.
Jake Will the safeties be any better vs the run this year?
artbtz Jake, they're hoping that the second year with the cover 2 will help, but you know that they were hoping Jones would step up and improve the run defense.
artbtz Losing him was a blow to the team's plans, no doubt.
VTBrowns Who will be the surprise player for the Browns this year?
artbtz Surprise player....? Hmmm.... (ponder, ponder)
VTBrowns Offensively and defensively Art.
artbtz I think Ekuban will surprise some people.... whoever wins at weakside will have to play top-notch.
artbtz I guess I'd go back to my earlier answer on Andre Davis as stepping up, but I think the line in general will do better than folks think.
artbtz One of the things on the line is that there weren't wholesale changes this off-season. Most folks complain about that, but I'm always nervous when I see lots of new linemen.
artbtz I think I sat down last year and figured the Browns had at least two new linemen each year since 1999. This year, there's really only one.
bigc Residing in SW Ohio you hear a lot of talk about the Bengals and Browns and it's always stated how much the Bengals have improved but I believe folks are selling the Browns way too short. It seems the only thing thats etched in their minds are the two games against the Ravens when Lewis ran buck wild on the defense
VTBrowns Thanks Art.
VTBrowns I think WGreen will win the RB position, what do you guys think?
bigc William Green may win the RB starting position by default. Rumors are there are people within the organization behind Suggs. Green will be under the microscope come training camp.
VTBrowns I was reading a mag the other day they were saying with JGracia at the helm QMorgan should be more consistant and is primed for a breakout year?
artbtz That wasn't our mag, VTBrowns, so I disagree vehemently with the assessment. ALL OTHER MAGS ARE WRONG! WRONG!!!!
artbtz Sorry.
VTBrowns LOL
artbtz I think Northcutt pushing him will have more effect.
VTBrowns I never thought of that part art.
artbtz Morgan hasn't really been pushed until this year. I'm hoping it improves his concentration, and can't blame Couch/Holcomb for his problems. More tha other way around.
lehooper The Fan 66 in NY was bitching about the two no name linemen from cleveland the Giants picked up
artbtz Hee hee, lehooper. You figured vultures wouldn't be circling over the linemen we let go, eh?
VTBrowns I hate reading those mags, they all dissed the Browns really, really bad.
Guest14 The Browns lost 7 games by 7 points or less last year with a bunch of backups. The national media fails too mention that and the number of guys on IR again last year. The team could have been 8-8 if healthy last season and with many improvements this season could win 10 games.
wonderbredd24 ESPN's training camp preview was actually pretty positive
VTBrowns Especially that butthole Espn so-called expert. Sean Stalesbury
ramllov I remember hearing how great the Browns receiver coach was, now he is the offensive coordinator. I just wonder how all these guys fell off the earth all of a sudden?
VTBrowns Saying the Browns will go 5-11 and that we are the worst team in the NFL. LOL.
lehooper if you listen to the Media art
artbtz A lot of the national guys look at the standings from last year and assume the next year will look the same. I rarely put a lot of stock into what they say.
wonderbredd24 How big is the rule change for DBs gonna help our WRs, especially Northcutt. It may actually help Northcutt
artbtz Good point WB - I bet it will help whoever the third or fourth receiver is, because it will take longer for LBs to adjust. Just a guess, to be honest.
wonderbredd24 The same thing helps Winslow
Guest14 What's going on with Everage?
krupka What are the chances Shea makes this club?
artbtz They went up a lot when Heinrich got hurt, but he'll have to look good in camp to make it. Logjam there.
wonderbredd24 slim and none imo
ramllov Maybe the idea of four good receivers, Three WRs and Winslow, the ball is only spread so many places. So no one player gets high receptionsm TDS or yards.
artbtz IT will make it hard just to drop back in the Cover-2, Ram. I think the team may have the opposite problem this year. Unless Garcia is considered a credible threat to go 35+ yards downfield we may wind up with safeties playing tighter.
artbtz Garcia needs to show the long ball early and make teams respect it. That will open up the field for Winslow and things could get interesting.
artbtz I'm only worried if teams don't respect Garcia downfield - not only downfield but at the sidelines as well as the Tim Couch middle-of-the-field bomb area.
bigc Things could get very interesting when Winslow is in the mix. you're talking about a big physical speed receiver working underneath the defense. This should open things up for the WRs and the RBs out in the flats
hollywooddawg Is his arm that weak...??
artbtz There are murmers to that extent, Hollywood, but Garcia and the team brush them off. Longest I've seen him throw in practice is about 35 yards, but didn't appear to have arm strength issues when tossing that long.
artbtz Ball does not flutter as much as Couch's did, either.
bigc That was the knock on garcia - he couldn't throw the deep ball. The Browns offense will consist of a power running game and a control type passing attack meaning short to intermediate routes until the big play presents itself.
krupka A healthy Holdman will suprise some people this year IMO.
artbtz He's gotta win the job first, Krupka. That battle is going to be fun to watch.
wonderbredd24 Hey AB, do you put much faith in PFW's report that Ben Taylor may start over Warrack Holdman?
wonderbredd24 their words were 'don't be surprised if'
krupka I agree
artbtz Yeah, I saw that. I think it's pretty insightful, frankly.
artbtz I thought Taylor would have been the man to beat, but not everyone thinks that way. The assumption is that the Browns have been in love with Holdman, and he'll have the edge.
artbtz I wouldn't surprise me at all.
dunedindawg What are the chances the Browns will take Ben Miller and have him start packing on size and weight to play offensive line? He did play there in college.
artbtz I haven't seen anything to indicate that they're contemplating that Dunedin. He's been going exclusively at FB.
wonderbredd24 Has anyone talked to Chaun Thompson... he seemed like he had a really good attitude in the article written about him
newdawg any word on terelle smith's injury?
artbtz Other than Steve King's source, everyone is saying there's nothing there, newdawg. Talking to Steve, though, his source is a legit guy and was very strong in saying that is what he had heard.
dunedindawg Thanks AB. I like players who are versatile. I think it gives them a great chance to have long NFL careers. Someone like Michael Boulware could adapt to safety now and as he gets older and a step slower adapt to playing LB very easily because of his college experience.
artbtz I would have loved to have seen Boulware come to Cleveland and move to safety. The Browns chose Jones instead, and I guess I can't argue with that either.
wonderbredd24 I really like Sean Jones... it's a shame he got hurt
artbtz Keep your eye on Kentrell, wb24.
newdawg Jones would have payed dividends earlier. at least till he got hurt.
dunedindawg Speaking of safety, any word on Everage trying out with the Browns?
dwrose what side of the ball will be better this year,last year iwas expecting offense,but defense held their own ,this year i don't know what to think???
bigc Reps for Everage are expected to make contact with the Browns within the next few days.
artbtz My personal opinion is that you will see an offense that is dramatically improved. Winslow and Smith are key, and another year of most of the line playing together will help.
artbtz Everyone's enthusiastic this time of year, so lump me in with them when it comes to the Browns offense.
wonderbredd24 Is there anyone on the OLine you are really keeping your eye on?
artbtz In what way, to improve?
wonderbredd24 stand out, improve, etc?
artbtz Faine. Look for Faine to step forward in year two.
newdawg I think Garcia is key.
ramllov Are they happy with Kirk Chambers?
artbtz Too early to tell, Ram. Gonzo is getting a lot of reps at LT, BTW
dunedindawg He was decent against Justin Smith last year.
artbtz Agreed dunedin... I was ranting about that earlier. Don't underestimate the value of the team NOT making wholesale changes. The line is more stable coming into this season than any year since the return.
ramllov I thinkyou will see an improved offensive line.
ramllov Last year it was all pass.
ramllov This year the emphasis is on the run
dadaman It teams try to blitz the browns K2 should be the hot read
ramllov I believe it will make a big difference\
dunedindawg Allot of guys got much needed experience on the line last year and that will build much needed depth.
artbtz Look at the Chiefs line - everyone loves them, but until Tait left they had been playing together a long time and ran a very complex scheme as a result.
newdawg they also have VERY good players on their line.
artbtz True, but their time together makes the unit look even better than the sum of the talents, if ya know what I mean.
artbtz I gotta run folks... thanks for hanging with us Big C!
hollywooddawg Later AB
artbtz Thanks to everyone for swinging by... we're going to be doing this a lot from here on it.
artbtz Cya!
wonderbredd24 Does Ben Miller have a chance to make the team fresh off his tour with the AF?
bigc Ben Miller may be alright if he can avoid pulling up dawg stakes out of the ground.
newdawg huh?
bigc Ben Miller - theback injury he sustained last year that held him out of camp was due to the fact that he was summoned by his father to take the dog stakes out of the ground and instead of doing it the way he was supposed to he thought he would be a he-man and do a dead lift pull. True Story.
bigc Well, folks I really enjoyed my time here getting a feel for what takes place in the chat room. I must say it gave a whole new meaning to the fast and the furious. I hope to join you animals on a regular basis throughout the season.
dunedindawg Keep us posted on Everage BigC.
newdawg that would be great bigc.
bigc Will do. Thank you. Goodnight.

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