Browns Uncensored Chat Transcript

Proving that the double-switch exists outside the National League, David Carducci and Mike McLain pinch-hit for Lane Adkins and John Taylor last night in the Browns Uncensored chat. Get Dave and Mike's insights inspired by the Browns most recent mini-camp!

Greg OK, welcome to our uncensored chat tonight with David Carducci and Mike McLain when he arrives..
Greg David, thank you for coming
DavidCarducci Sure thing Greg. Thanks for having me.
Greg Before we get to the questions, could you take a few moments to give us your general thoughts on the offseason so far?
DavidCarducci Sure. I think there is plenty for the fans to be excited about. As Lane wrote about earlier, Buddy Morris has had a pretty big impact on the offseason workout program. The team is significantly healthier than it was at this time last year ... (more coming)
DavidCarducci Obviously, the addition of William Green and a few more weapons for Couch should have the fans excited. Andre Davis looks like a player. Special teams should be better. Things are continuing to move forward and honestly, I think the playoffs aren't far off
DavidCarducci How's that for a big prediction ...
Greg Very nice... thanks David..
Greg Welcome Mike....
MikeMcLain This is Mike Mclain. Sorry I'm late, but I've had computer problems
DavidCarducci Hello Mike
MikeMcLain Hi Dave
Greg Mike, we're starting off with some quick general impressions of the offseason so far.... Care to give yours?
MikeMcLain I think it's been very positive, with the exception of the offensive line. I wish they had signed one more veteran up front. I love the pick of William Green and Andre Davis, and I think Melvin Folwer will be heard from. So far, so good
Greg Great...
Greg CP, go ahead
CP OK... hey guys
DavidCarducci Hello CP
CP Any idea what the Browns' rookie cap is?
MikeMcLain It obviously won't be as high as in past years because they didn't have a top-three pick. I'm not sure of the actual number, but it's something that will be easily dealt with by the front office.
CP There are a ton of guys in camp that are supposed to play in the front 7... Who gets squeezed out? I hear they like Josiah and they drafted 3 LBs, not to mention having Marquis Smith in at the position and bringing Mike Smith back in... at DT they seem to have Roye, Gregory, Spriggs, Caldwell, Warren, Mark Smith...
DavidCarducci Right, like Carmen said, it will be significantly less ... the entire group will cost less this year than Warren did in year one.
CP I count 17 defensive linemen and 13 LBs...
MikeMcLain All three drafted linebacker will probably stay, which means that Brant Boyer could be in trouble if they go with six linebackers. Up front, Warren, Brown, Roye, Smith, Lang, Rogers, Miller are sure to stick.


Obviously, they like Spriggs and recently re-upped him. THey want to see what he can do if healthy. Roye should be more of a factor if given the opportunity to focus on one job. It will be interesting to see how quickly Marquis Smith can make the change to LB. Obviously, he got a chance to work at it for a bit last year. There are so many variables and it's so hard to say right now. I think Boyer will stick around. Same up front as Mike said.
CP that's Arnold Miller right...?
CP all 239 lbs of him...?
DavidCarducci I still think they might do something else to add another DT on June 1 if it's possible. A run-stuffer to complement Warren.
MikeMcLain I talked to Marquis last week at the mini camp and asked him if this is a crossroads time in his career. He indicated it isn't (what else would he say?) but I have a gut feeling he won't be around in September.
DavidCarducci You know, at one point they toyed with the idea of Arnold Miller at LB
DavidCarducci And he looked pretty good
CP for the record I would like to point out that Arnold Miller is 6-3, 239 and QB Kevin Thompson is 6-5, 236...
CP thanks guys, I am done
Greg Miller throws a better spiral too..
Greg :-)
redright Orpheus Roye 28 6'4"" 313 good speed age 28 does he have the strength and attitude to be great? Will he do as KJ did and word at greatnest?--Take the challenge? June 1 Espn says Roye is a 3.7m saving and a 1m. cap hit in 2003. Roye is the only DT listed as at risk for all teams. may or may not get a good deal in free agency. Your thoughts, please. I'm thinking he can do the job at DT but hasn't done it in his career, yet! How's chances for a Jamir Miller season? Is Roye working at it with Morris?
DavidCarducci You know, those numbers aren't necessarily true. Often, the weights that you start your career with follow you through your entire NFL career. They are rarely updated
MikeMcLain Dwight Clark is the one in the organization who loves Orpheus Roye, which is understandable since he was instrumental in signing him in 2000. I don't think Butch is on the Roye bandwagon. Roye is an average tackle. He's definitely not worth the money. If he doesn't agree to a new deal, he's likely gone.
redright The rookie cap # i read was 3.2m+ number 16 in the pack and not an apparent problem
DavidCarducci I've always been an Orpheus Roye fan, going back to his days in Pittsburgh when he was almost like a gunner on special teams with his speed (an additional gunner, that is) ... He clearly has the talent. He had bulked up last year, then found that bulk to be a problem when he was asked to fill in at DE. The good thing about Orpheus is that he's a pretty intelligent guy. A high football IQ, at least that's what I've found in talking to him. When he was in Pittsburgh he had the rep of a high-motor guy. Not so much in Cleveland, and some of that could be the lack of definition in his role. Sure, he could have a bigger year, and should have a bigger year. Will he? again, that's a question that will start to be answered in camp
DavidCarducci I think he will agree to restructure the deal, and he'll be back
redright Have you seen any extra effort by Roye? Does he get it? I guess it pads and reps before we know.
DavidCarducci I didn't see much of minicamp, so I haven't been able to notice anything this year. I was only at minicamp for 20 minutes, then left for the weekend to be in a wedding in Pittsburgh
MikeMcLain Dave, you're obviously higher on Orpheus than I am. If Spriggs doesn't break an arm again, he looks like a sure fit in the tackle mix. Again, Orpheus didn't seem too excited about restructuring his contract when we talked to him last weekend. Something has to give there.
DavidCarducci I agree. Something has to give. But I think when it comes down to it, he'd be foolish not to restructure. He has a role on this team and he doesn't have great market value right now around the league. He'd probably have to take a Keith McKenzie type deal.
Artbtz (Message me by Person-to-person if you want in)
redright I think the left DT is the key to the defense and important while the Offense gets up and running! no intended pun.
redright thanx I'm done
BryanK Thanks for the opportunity to chat. I was wondering how is Courtney Brown looking? Is he completely healthy? I look for him to have a breakout year. How do you guys feel?
DavidCarducci Sure. Last year was a complete waste for Courtney. I had heard that the coaches were after him a bit to up his intensity level. Again, I didn't have the chance to visit with him this weekend. Did you Mike?
MikeMcLain It's hard to tell how Courtney looks or feel considering his locker -room appearances are rare. He participated in the mini-camp drills and appears to be healthy. If he can turn on the intensity like he did in the Chicago game last season, it could be a fun year to watch the defense. There's no question that this is a big year for number 92.
BryanK I just envision a line with him and Warren dominating offensive lines. I hope it happens!
DavidCarducci I think it will be interesting to see how he does against the run. He was, in my opinion, far better than expected against the run as a rookie. He and Lang could make the Browns very solid on the ends
DavidCarducci Two very good run stoppers
BryanK The only other question I have is about Corey Fuller. What do you see as his role this year? (I'm done)
MikeMcLain I agree, Dave. There's never been a doubt about Courtney's play against the run. What the coaches would like to do is to get him to decrease the wasted motions he has on his pass rushes. He doesn't use his quickness and speed as well as he should.
BuckyBreech Everyone wants to know what moves the Browns will pull with the June 1st cuts, I think we need to address wide receivers, o-line, and defensive tackles. What are your comments on this, and whom will the Browns cut besides the given. I think Northcutt is a BUST and should be the first out the door!
DavidCarducci I think it's the same as last year. Ultimately, however, I think he would be a nice fit to move to free safety to extend his career. He didn't do a great job at safety when he filled in there in 1999, but I think he has the skills to be a good fit there when Sanders, McCutcheon and Henry are ready to take over the top 3 corner spots in a year
MikeMcLain I don't think you'll see much action after June 1. If anything, I could see them looking for a blocking fullback, a hole that stands out like a sore thumb. You're right about Northcutt. There's little room for him at WR, and Andre Davis will move him out of the role as punt returner.
DavidCarducci I don't think the Browns should add another WR. THe time to add a vet WR in my mind was a year or two ago, when this group was all young and inexperienced. Now KJ is a vet. He's a leader, and he can help the young guys like Andre Davis and Quincy Morgan. Also, it's time to see what Quincy can do. He's worked hard and really could have a breakout. RObiskie loves him, and he also loves Andre Davis.
BuckyBreech What about Keenen?
DavidCarducci Northcutt is obviously the odd man out as of now.Just the way butch talks about Andre Davis, it is clear he will be the return man this year.
DavidCarducci I don't see McCardell as an option. He's really not needed now. The young guys need to stay on the field. KJ has outstanding hands, and he can be that same type of possession receiver that McCardell is, just without the same size. Morgan and Davis have what it takes, from what I've seen, to make it at the NFL level. They are big, strong, athletic, they can get off the line. They are dedicated. Davis, also, is very intelligent and should adapt quickly to the pro game.
MikeMcLain One of the more interesting things that might have gone unnoticed at the mini camp was that Butch mentioned JaJuan Dawson's name ... not once, but twice. There were times last season when I wasn't sure that Butch knew JD was on the team. Maybe he's come to the realization that Dawson is a perfect possession receiver, but with more speed than some who fit that role.
DavidCarducci What Mike brings up is encouraging too. Dawson can add the same type of dimension that McCardell would bring.
BuckyBreech How will the new divisional line up change our playoff run, what about Pitts?
BuckyBreech I just do not want another year where we have a dropped ball every time we throw.
MikeMcLain One less wild card, but two less division opponents. Pittsburgh is still the team to beat
DavidCarducci Pittsburgh is obviously still the class of the division. Cincinnati could be better, but I don't see them finishing ahead of the Browns. Baltimore is obviously on the decline.
thekid how is James Jackson handling the situation with William Green?
MikeMcLain Jackson was his usual talkative self last weekend, but he knows that Green wasn't drafted to share time with him. Jamel White put it best when he said there's a reason why Green was the first pick.


Again, I was not able to talk to JJ since I had to get out of town this weekend. If I know Jackson, though, he's confident in his abilities. In the end, it won't matter how JJ takes Green's addition. Green is going to be the feature back, even if they start the year splitting time. He knows, though, that if he can be productive, Butch will find a way to get him some touches. Butch has a history of doing that at Miami, using a one-two punch in the backfield.
thekid any word on Ricky Dudley's leg? if he's not ready what are our options at TE?
MikeMcLain Dudley couldn't have helped his cause by missing the mini camp to -- of all things -- get married. If he had been in attendance, Dudley wouldn't have worked out. He's still a few weeks away from being able to participate with his teammates in drills. Maybe when the May 15 quarterback camp opens
DavidCarducci According to Clark, he's doing better than expected. What that means, who knows? Obviously it is an issue considering TE was a priority in the draft. The Browns felt they had to get one of the top 12 TE's in the draft. Sanders is still a project. That means Shea and Campbell are the options if Dudley is not ready
thekid I was surprised to See T Saleh go when we don't have a lot of depth at fullback. Who is going to line up there for us? Do you smell trouble?
DavidCarducci Shea can still be a nice option at TE if he is allowed to stay at the position and grow. He can stretch the defense over the middle and he still has well above average hands for the position
MikeMcLain Dave, talking to you at the draft, you didn't seem too excited about Sanders. I don't know much about him. What is it about him that you don't like.
DavidCarducci Right now JJ Johnson is being given a chance to play FB. I've heard from a few people though that his injury problems over the last few years have really slowed him down. He's not a great option.
MikeMcLain A note on Shea. He looks much bigger than last year. The key is for him not to lose any of his speed. He shouldn't be playing at 255-260.
Greg Hey guys... just a couple quick ones.... How goes the Marquis Smith experiment at LB? Any chance to salvage something there?
DavidCarducci Well Mike, I was always disappointed in Sanders. His hands never impressed me at OSU, and I watched a lot of Buckeye football. I also thought he was a below average blocker. BUT, SHOWS WHAT I KNOW ... Davis said Sanders was rated by his teammates as the best blocker on the OSU team, that includes Jamar Martin and Bentley. And, he caught the ball well at his workouts, so who knows. At OSU, maybe he wasn't given the chance to tap his potential, as is often the case for TE's in Columbus.
MikeMcLain I think it's less than a 50-50 proposal. He's 232 and looks the part. Then again, he looked the part at 219 when he was a strong safety, and we all know how that didn't work out. My guess is that he goes the way many of the 1999 draft class has gone
Greg 14 picks and little to show.... sigh....
DavidCarducci That move of Marquis Smith was something a few of us have talked about for a couple of years. It has a chance just from the standpoint that Butch has been successful moving players around in the past and finding the right position for guys who had spent most of their football lives playing other positions. Remember, he wanted to put Bryant McKinnie on the DL when he first arrived at Miami and had to be talked out of that. I think Smith has the ability to be a very good OLB with work. Will he get the work here in a crowded LB corps, who knows? Butch has to love his speed, though. He has to rediscover that same intensity he had in college when he was known as a fierce hitter. I can only think of two or three memorable hits by Marquis since he's been here, and one of those was in camp
Greg How do you see the competition at the two CB positions playing out? Can Sanders and Henry make legit challenges to start this year?
DavidCarducci If Sanders can stay healthy, he is a legitimate talent. I love the potential for 2003 with Sanders and Henry having the potential to be bookend cover corners with size and great instincts. I love the way both players use the sideline as an extra defender in coverage. I think Fuller is still a starting corner this year, with Henry maybe moving in at the other corner. McCutcheon is ideally a nickel slot guy, anyway. I am anxious to see how Sanders comes back
MikeMcLain Butch referred to Daylon McCutcheon as one of the top shutdown corners ""in the slot."" I think Henry has an excellent chance to start, and don't count out Sanders. he struggled because of rustiness last Friday, but Davis praised his ability to improve as the weekend progressed. He might be the team's best cover corners. Fuller probably starts, but watch out for Sanders.
dunedindawg Will the Browns attempt to sign Wiggins now that he's been released? TE is a huge concern for the Browns and Shea and Campbell aren't the answers.
DavidCarducci I don't know that Shea is not the answer. He's an intense guy who really has never had the chance to show what he can do at TE. I know he won Butch over for his intensity and his refusal to quit on plays in special teams (remember his touchdown saving tackle?) THat type of intensity goes a long way with Butch Davis. I haven't heard anything about an interest in Wiggins, but who knows. If Dudley can't return, who knows.
dunedindawg We haven't heard much about the defensive free agent signings from Butch. What does he think of Holmes and Griffith?
DavidCarducci When he talks to us, he loves Holmes and Griffith. I'm sure he does love Griffith, but deep down, he has to have some concern with Holmes. Otherwise he would have been a priority right from the word go in free agency. The Browns first choice was Wong, a guy who has very little experience inside. While Holmes appears healthy, there is no question he has worn down a bit in the last couple years, and who knows how he will adjust to a 4-3 MLB. He obviously preferred to stay in the 3-4, considering his interest in Houston and in staying in Pittsburgh.
MikeMcLain I agree with Dave. Pittsburgh would have secured Holmes if they thought he was still a quality player. That's not to say that he will be a weak spot. There's no doubt that he'll be an upgrade at middle linebacker over Wali Rainer. One mini-camp observer told me that he expects Andra Davis to be the starting middle linebacker by this time next year
dunedindawg Who is going to be playing next to Griffith this year Little or Bush? There hasn't been much word on who is leading in that race.
DavidCarducci Like I said earlier, I wish they would try Fuller there. I think the obvious first choice is Little. He is ideally an extra DB and special teams player, but he has shown a knack for finding the ball. Or at least the ball has shown a knack for finding him. My choice would be Little. I don't think he gets enough credit.
dunedindawg Thankfully the FO structured Holmes the way they did! Any thoughts on Andra Davis? Is he our long-term MLB? LAst one Art. Thank you.
MikeMcLain Andra Davis is an interesting guy. He was an big-time prospect in 1999, but he blew out a knee and missed most of the 2000 season. It's too early to tell how he'll fit in at this time.
DavidCarducci I think Andra Davis has to be the long term answer in the Browns current plan. That's assuming there isn't another upgrade in the future. Davis is considered a first-day talent, so he was a great bargain in Rnd 5. He still has that same speed question, as does Holmes. It is amazing to me that a defense under Butch Davis, which relies on speed, has two starting linebackers with below average speed. Miller and Holmes are not going to blow anyone away with 40 times, and Miller is really most effective at the line of scrimmage. You wouldn't think the two could coexist together. I thought the same thing with Rainer.
redright There seems to be a theme of health and hitting with intensity. Is BD looking for more aggressiveness than we had last year? 2) Do the receivers just need a lot of work to get better?. seems they didn't run great routes or show great hands last year..
DavidCarducci That's always a theme with Butch. It's just more ""His"" team now, so he has more guys who play and practice to his style. According to Butch, that leads to a winning atmosphere. As for the WR's ...
MikeMcLain KJ was it as far as the receivers were concerned last year. Quincy Morgan needs more work, while JaJuan Dawson just needs a chance.
redright Truly enjoy the more than one opinions of the panel on the questions tonight! I spoke with BD last year about Damien Gregory, how does he look to you. Highly regarded in Miami as a player but mouth.
MikeMcLain Don't know much about him, other than he has had off-the-field issues. Butch wanted him last year, so he must think he can do something with him.
redright Gregory was written as the best pass rusher on Miami's line. Had serious confrontations with the line coaches,.
DavidCarducci I do think it is a matter of getting these guys on the field. For the first three years, I didn't like the youth at WR. I thought it left Tim out to dry as a young quarterback. KJ is becoming a very good route runner and he has outstanding hands. That along with the connection he has with Couch gives Tim that bail-out guy a veteran would have brought in 1999-2001. Dawson is also a very mature route runner for a guy who still after two years has very little game experience. I'm anxious to see what Quincy can become with more playing time. Same with Andre Davis. If you read Lane and JT today, you could see how the coaches were talking about having to get Davis on the field
redright The question would be his run stuffing. High motor Im done
DavidCarducci Same as Mike. I really haven't watched Damien Gregory. All I know is his rep.
DavidCarducci Check back during camp, though redright.
newdawg who is going to be the #2 h-back behind shea?
MikeMcLain I have no idea about the backup H-back. They could still sign someone else to compete there, but we know it won't be Mike Sellers
DavidCarducci I think what Arians does with the offense is still changing every day. Right now Shea is likely to be playing more TE. How much the Browns use an H-Back is going to be determined. How much they use a FB is still to be determined. Also, Butch has talked about the idea of using more TE's and 1-back sets. So anything really can happen. You could see a big FB come in after June 1, too. Who knows? It is completely up in the air
DavidCarducci Supposedly JJ Johnson is going to get a chance to show he can play in that FB H-back role
DavidCarducci I don't see that, though.
newdawg how do you think the new oline is going to hold up after tre johnson goes down?
MikeMcLain You're thinking like me. I'd be surprised if Johnson makes it halfway through the season, which is a shame because he's a great run blocker. Paul Zukauskas started at right guard in mini camp, and Shaun O'Hara backed him up. That's a concern. like i said earlier, they should have added another Olineman in free agency.
newdawg it seems to me that we are depending too much on late round draft picks on the oline.
MikeMcLain Lots of teams do that with varying degrees of success. I have no problem with that, as long as money is spent in free agency on the line.
DavidCarducci I'm hoping Tre makes it .... First, he's a great quote. Second, he can be a dominating run blocker. Like so many of us have talked about since the halfway point of last year, the Browns coaches really like Zukauskus. He was a steal as a 7th rounder becasue he was coming off an injury. At some point a guy like Zukauskus has to be given a chance. The Browns have yet to draft and develop an offensive lineman.
newdawg after so many severe injuries to tre johnson, he may not be the same player.
DavidCarducci That's true
newdawg who do you think of the new lb'ers has the most potential. I'm betting on Bentley.
MikeMcLain I say Andra Davis.
newdawg the last lb'er pick???? and a 2 down player? why is that mike?
newdawg that's it for me.
DavidCarducci I say Andra Davis, as well. Bentley is so hard to figure coming from a very bad Northwestern defense. When he was successful two years ago, so much of that was because of the talent around him.
MikeMcLain How many true every-down linebackers are there when you think about it? If Holmes can stuff the run with consistency, no one will care if he's not on the field every down
DavidCarducci I like Davis more just because of his potential and his earlier production at Florida. He's a tenacious guy who can fill the hole. In Rainer, Holmes and Davis, the Browns have never had anything but two-down linebackers. Of the three, I think Davis has the most potential to impact the Browns at this point in their careers.
DavidCarducci While I've always liked Holmes, as most of you know, I am not high on his signing
Piper How does Butch see M. Josiah(sp) fitting in, pass rush specialist? Any other UDFAs to keep en eye on? Should any of the new LBs expect to see any playing time other than STs?
MikeMcLain The picking are slim for unrestricted free agents, and most teams don't have much money to spend. None of the rookie LBs will start at the outset, Butch wants them for S teams right now.
Piper Undrafted Rookie Free Agents they signed.
MikeMcLain Butch said he got all the ones he wanted, with maybe the exception of one.
DavidCarducci Right. The LB's are all being counted on to make an impact on special teams. The one free agent I would have liked to bring in was Bob Hallen, partly because I know him from his days at KSU. I also think he can be productive as a LG. He has experience and a mean streak. Just fell out of favor in a bad situation in Atlanta. He signed with SD, though
MikeMcLain Give up the KSU football talk, Dave. Only kidding. The Flashes might be good this year. I can't believe I'm talking MAC football.
DavidCarducci According to both Butch and Dwight, the Browns are not likely to add a FA until June 1, if at all
DavidCarducci I know. Did you see Prentice is back with Palmer, by the way?
MikeMcLain A you go from there, Dave
DavidCarducci For those of you who don't know, that's typical Palmer speak.... . ""blah, blah, blah, and we'll go from there.""
Artbtz (FYI... the Prentice to Houston story is on top of the tipline)
Piper Could Breedlove and Jackson really push for spots on the roster?
Piper thanks guys--Peace Out
DavidCarducci I think Breedlove and Jackson are a lot like Drew O'Connor last year. They are big wide receivers, and that makes them interesting. ALl those guys are from small schools, though. They are far from ready to win an NFL roster spot, but maybe, just maybe if they flash something (AS I THOUGHT O'CONNOR DID LAST YEAR), they can win a spot on the practice squad. I really liked O'Connor, and thats not just because he was a Black Bear (FYI, I'm the first member of my family not to go to the U of Maine)
Artbtz Alright, Mike and Dave, that's the last of the questions for tonight. Thanks for dropping by and thanks to all our questioners for some great questions!
MikeMcLain Thanks, guys.
Artbtz Thanks everyone!
DavidCarducci Thanks guys. I enjoyed it. As always, it's great talking to intelligent fans

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