Getting information concerning the Browns recent QB Camp is about as tough as penetrating................forget it, lets not go there!
Bernie's Insiders has learned of some of the QB Camp happenings from various sources close to the Browns, players, and/or agents.
While we haven't had the opportunity to view the camp, we can bring you some of what we've been told from these various outlets.
QB camp has been deemed a success at this time by those associated with the organization. Players have had the opportunity to get on the same page with the coaching staff, teammates and expectations for the players became clearer for the entire squad.
Head coach Butch Davis expects the game to be played a certain way. He wants drills run correctly, he demands that a player have his head into the game, practice or not. There is no doubt that the game will played Davis' way or aplayer shall be shown the door.
Word has leaked to us here at Bernie's Insiders that Davis has been pleased with the work of the rookies that have been brought in. Two specific players have been mentioned on more than one account in regards to standing out in the sessions, wide receiver Andre' Davis and middle linebacker Andra' Davis.
Andre' Davis has shown great speed and quickness in the practice sessions, from what we have been told. At the present time, he has clearly shown that he has the ability to hold onto the ball and beat a defender, whether it be on a deep pattern or over the middle. Holding onto the ball hasn't been an issue for the youngster from Virginia Tech, as we've heard he has been making the routine plays and electrifying the team with some spectacular grabs.
Linebacker Andra' Davis on the other hand has been rock steady and always in position, from all accounts to Bernie's Insiders. Showing natural instincts and much better mobility than most scouts believed, Davis has shown the coaching staff that he can play the game and has taken snaps with the first unit defense. Presently, Davis is quietly being targeted as the backup middle linebacker to Earl Holmes.
Offensive lineman Tre` Johnson is progressing very well from season ending surgery and is in much better shape than at any time in 2001. All indications are that Johnson will be good to go in training camp.
Melvin Fowler, drafted in the third round of the 2002 NFL Draft has been more than the Browns envisioned when they selected him. Known more for his technician-type play, Fowler has shown the ability to bring a physical presence along with his technical expertise. He has seen time at guard and center, with the indication that he will be a reserve at both positions in the 2002 season.
One current member of the offensive line believes that once Fowler gets a taste of the game, it will be only a matter of time until he is starting.
Undrafted free agent offensive lineman Qasim Mitchell has impressed the coaching staff with his footwork and approach to the game, but has been advised to work on his strength. Early indications are that Mitchell will be brought along slowly, much in the same manner that the team worked Paul Zukauskas was during the 2001 season.
Speaking of Zukauskas, he and backup center/left guard Shaun O'Hara have had the opportunity to work with the first unit (loosely-termed) during camp. A member of the organization tells this column that both players figure prominently into the teams 2002 plans.
From what we've been told, the coaching staff is quite content at the present time with the make-up and development of the team. Without question the team is believed to be further along at this time as any time since the team returned to the field in 1999.
One major point made to this column by numerous players is that there is a direction in the locker room and definitely a leader on the sidelines.
These Cleveland Browns under Butch Davis are certainly not the same unorganized, undirected, and non-believing group that wallowed through the 1999 and 2000 seasons in turmoil.