Highlights from Ask the Insiders

Here's a sample of the conversation and info provided in our exclusive forum. Bernie's Insiders web subscribers have access to this unique message board, where Browns, NFL, and draft experts will answer your questions.

idrthrbncleve: I read Phil was going to start doing the veteran contracts during the second half. What is the word on Droughns? I heard they were talking to Andra. Anybody else?

Barry McBride: The other player mentioned by Savage as a "priority" was Orpheus Roye.

Lane Adkins: There has been some dialogue between the team and Rosenhaus, but nothing of notable substance at this time. While Droughns is having a solid season, the priority appears to be on Davis and Roye at this time.

DrewDawg: Lane, What are the chances of signed Davis & Roye back? Do you think this would get done before the end of the season?

Fred Greetham: I just thought I'd throw my two cents in. Davis wants to stay here and I think they're confident they can keep him. ALso, Roye is in their cross hairs and i think they'll both be back.

BryanK: Would they consider using the Franchise tag on Davis if they can't come to terms?

Barry McBride: Bryan, I'm sure it's something to be considered, but applying the franchise tag would require the team to pay Davis an average of the five highest salaries at the position - which is likely a lot more than they would feel that he's worth. Davis is a very solid linebacker, but I would not put him among the league's elite at this point.

Hamster: Lane, who is Charlie's biggest backer, Phil, Romeo or even Randy? Crennel seemed to want to play Charlie before but didn't, why say it if he wasn't going to? Was Phil wanting to protect Charlie and then said no?
Since Phil has the history and brought in Trent, is Phil keeping Trent in as the starter? Does Crennel have total authority as to when and how to play Charlie? How much is Phil 'really' involved in this issue? Seems like a lot of things happening in the backgound, what say?

Lane Adkins: From what I have been told, Savage offers suggestions to Crennel about players and/or evaluation.
Crennel has been provided the opportunity to coach this team and make decisions based on his title. There does not appear to be an issue between the coach and GM on playing time, etc. Both men understand a time will present itself where some of the youth will have to have to either play or be evaluated otherwise. As for Frye specifically, Savage did ask Crennel about whether the rookie was ready to see some limited action. This organization is of the belief he (Frye) can be the real deal (better than servicable player) and would like to see him under pressure before the season concludes. At this time, I hear nothing which leads me to believe either side is pressuring the other on player issues.

Hoolihan: Why the seeming disconnect between Crennel and Savage a couple weeks ago? Crennel almost seemed to go out of his way to not answer who the starting QB would be, and seemed to be openly considering the possibility of playing Frye. The next day Savage speaks on the radio and not only explains who the starter will be that week, but that Charlie will probably play this season, but maybe not start. Since then, events have followed Phil's version.

Lane Adkins: I wouldn't call it a disconnect, but rather a GM which tends to speak much more than the head coach. Crennel rarely speaks where you gain a clear picture of his intentions.

Practice time, progress, etc all played a factor in Frye gaining some playing time this past week. From what I have been told, there is a plan in place to get the rookie QB some snaps throughout the balance of the season.

Savage tends to be more open with the fans and media, some of this coming from his nature and his knowing how hungry this city is for football and a winning team. Unlike the past, this organization under the new direction wants to put tidbits out there, which gives the appearance of openness with the masses.

Also, Crennel will not go public or to the media with his thoughts, he is a close to the vest type. While the offense has struggled, he is not going to throw Trent Dilfer to the wolves, as he knows and understands the issues with the offensive performance are far from being Dilfer sole issue.

The veterans in the locker room believe Dilfer provides them a solid chance of winning and this team has been competitive, in spite of their offensive showings.

There is no division in the locker room and there is not a power-struggle between the coach and GM, rather it is a difference in approach and character which has been noticed.

Crennel will talk in circles, only giving up exactly what he wants to come out, on the other hand, Savage has been the open source as the season progresses.

Hoolihan: Is it fair to say that Savage has been integral in developing the plan for how to introduce Charlie to the game?

Is it fair to say that Savage is pretty gosh darn sure Charlie is the real deal, and has no plans to draft another in this next draft?

Is it fair to say that for Crennel to decide to start Charlie...oh...say in two weeks, and play him the remainder of the year, he would have to talk with Phil about it first?

Lane Adkins: It is fair to say the coach and GM talk often in regards to the development and future of this team.

The ongoing evaluation of talent on this roster is and always has been a close topic between the two and there is no reason to believe this will change.

Lumpy: Is it fair to say the best TEAMwork so far in Cleveland is between Savage and Rac?

Lane Adkins: My understanding is as follows;

There has been some issues on personnel between the coach and GM. While differences are expected, this hasn't been an issue where the team/players suffered.

The GM may want to see some players in action before the coach feels they are ready and vice-versa.

The key to the story to this point has been the ability to work through this type of situation, thus basically having the front-office and staff on the same page.

Teamwork with this staff and FO is better than those we have viewed in the past.

Nutz75: Ben Taylor at Safety? Ok, I don't understand this move...can any insider give me the scoop on this?

Fred Greetham: I don't think Ben Taylor is going to play safety. You might be referring to the fact that Crennel said Taylor would absorb some of the duties of Pool if Pool can't play. What he's referring to is in sub situations. Sometimes, Pool drops in to a linebacker's zone and Taylor would play that spot, if necessary.

NYBiggDawg: Can anyone give us up-to-date info on how Winslow is doing in his rehab?

Fred Greetham: He's doing very well. He's been in the locker room frequently when we're in there. He genuinely seems to be humbled by what's happened and how the organization has treated him. He's put the weight back on and the knee rehab is ahead of schedule and he's 75 percent back. Everything else, including the staph infection has healed back.

SethHW: What grade would you give LJ Shelton so far this year? Do we need to be looking for the likes of D'Brickshaw or Winston or can we turn our attention to the exciting outside LB class in this draft?

Lane Adkins: Shelton has been better than average and this team can win with his play at LT in the short-term.

Brokenwing: Lane, just out of curiosity, do you think Shelton has the potential to improve?

Lane Adkins: As a LT, I don't believe so. His physical stature actually limits his ability and I don't see much of a change in that regard. He may actually look better on the right side in the future.

Lumpy: Lane, any insight on how the org feels about Nat Dorsey at this point in time?

Grumpy72001: Didn't Green try him on the right side last yr? wasn't his performance there below average?

Nutz75: Is Tucker more athletic that Shelton? Could they switch sides?

Lane Adkins: Shelton did not play badly last season and actually was performing well enough to warrant a starting spot, before going down for the season with injury. He rose out of Dennis Green's doghouse, which isn't the easiest thing to accomplish. I believe Tucker is playing the position best suited for his make-up.

Lumpy: If Shelton goes down...who goes in? And if Tucker goes down....who goes in? In other words is Chambers slotted in one spot and Dorsey the other? Or is one ahead in such a way he would fill in no matter which side?

Lane Adkins: Chambers is the first option in both cases. As for Dorsey, there is a reason why he has been relegated to the pine. His physical conditioning needs to improve (which it has) and he is a little raw and inexperienced for Crennel's liking at this time and there are better suited options at this time ahead of him on the depth chart. I wouldn't read much more than this into the Dorsey development.

Lumpy: Wasn't Dorsey a high draft pick?? Did the gurus miss on him or are we thinking this development will happen with proper coaching and some inner strength and self discipline from the player's perspective?

Lane Adkins: I believe you hit it on the head regarding Dorsey. This is a player which could go either way, but it appears the hard-work he and the staff are putting in may be benefical in the long run.

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