The Wire: ... And There Was Much Rejoicing

Browns Head Coach Butch Davis was outwardly optimistic about the team's improvement in the off-season yesterday, saying that the club has improved as much in the last six months as the previous 2 and a half years. Did this optimism survive into the newspapers? You can find out that, as well as some other roster tidbits, in this morning's newswire!

Good morning Browns fans!

The Newswire wrap is arriving a little later this morning, because the system we use to publish articles was cranky. Fortunately, using his years of experience and technical expertise, your webmaster was able to provide just the right sequence of backhands, expletives, and thrown objects to convince the balky web server that cooperation was in its best long-term interests.

With that accomplished, we can now turn our attention to the contents of this morning's newswire.

The optimism of Browns head coach Butch Davis, which we reported on yesterday, has survived intact into the fishwraps, with some additional information that was withheld from all but the daily newspaper writers, who were invited to a separate session with Davis.

Among these tidbits was the unexpected revelation that OL Enoch DeMar, who had been playing with the first team at left guard, will be primarily focused on work at left tackle. The Browns did use Joaquin Gonzalez at LT in camp, and also drafted Kirk Chambers, who played LT for four years at Stanford.

The tackle situation, which the team had hoped to address during the off-season, was clearly considered to be too dependent on the health of Ross Verba, leading to the team's new focus on DeMar as a back-up.

The primary beneficiary of the new approach is OL Chad Beasley, who moves into the tentative position as the #1 LG. He will still be facing competition from Melvin Fowler, Paul Zukauskas and others, and will have to win the role in training camp. Beasley, a converted defensive lineman, has been a Browns project since the 2002 season.

There are also some shake-ups at linebacker, if the stories accurately relay Davis' comments. While Chaun Thompson remains the starting strongside linebacker, the Browns have moved Kevin Bentley over to the weakside (which we knew), but are now saying that Ben Taylor will back up Chaun Thompson on the strong side. Warrick Holdman will compete with Bentley.

This morning's articles also discuss the signing status of draft picks, with Tony Grossi providing the information that conversations with Kevin Poston will continue via telephone now that the agent has left Berea after four hours of discussion yesterday. The Browns continue to zero in on signing Luke McCown to a five-year deal, although the quarterback and his agent are hesitant about the five-year length of the deal.

This afternoon on Bernie's Insiders, look for the first part of Swerb's look at training camp (to be completed Friday morning), and my take on the Browns approach to signing rookies. We have also been continuing to update our player profiles and will be updating the depth chart this afternoon.

See you on the forums!

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