Lane Adkins; Quick Hits from my PM Inbox
From the forums of The Orange and Brown Report, my PM (private message inbox) has been filling up with questions regarding the team and specific players.
Here are Quick Hits from those the PM messages:
Q: Knowing what you know and expecting what you don't know, how do you see the quarterback battle playing out in training camp? Who will be the starter and/or who should be the starter?
LA: The quarterback position is as much up-for-grabs today as it was heading into the OTAs and mini-camp. While Derek Anderson has received some praise and promising press coverage, being the lesser of all the evils at this point, doesn't necessarily mean squat. All we know is that Anderson throws a nice ball and has made fewer errors than Frye and Quinn. I expect a clear-cut candidate to emerge, but that may not necessarily equate to the best player grasping the role and lining up under center. A little fly keeps buzzing by me, telling me there is a faction within the Browns organization that wants Frye under center until Quinn is ready.
Q: If Quinn and Thomas are in camp on time and play well, do you expect them to start and let the team take it bumps along the way? If not, who do they sit behind and do you believe sitting them because they are rookies is a legitimate reason?
LA: If both players are in camp on time - which is very questionable at this time - I would expect them to compete for a starting role. In the case of Thomas, if he is in camp, doesn't get hurt, and doesn't fall on his face, he is the starting left tackle. While Kevin Shaffer is an adequate talent, he is not not nearly as athletic, nor is he as fundamentally strong.
The Brady Quinn situation could prove to be an interesting tale. Getting him into camp on time is going to be difficult due to the perception of his value relative to draft position, as well as the position he plays. As for his on-field ability, Quinn displayed some very good things in the camp sessions, as well as displaying his inexperience with his surrounding players, speed of the game, and offensive scheme. For him to legitimately complete for the starting role, he needs to be in camp on time and make an immediate impression. When the games begin to be played in August is when I expect Quinn to display his ability to the fullest and make the decision at quarterback spot tough on the Browns' staff.
Q: What can you tell us about the rumors surrounding the Browns and Bill Cowher?
LA: Bill Cowher, due to his ties to the Browns of the past and his availability will remain a name mentioned in regards to Cleveland until this team wins, Crennel is let go, or he goes onto coach another team. From everything we have been told, he has not discussed anything with the Browns, officially or unofficially.
Q: Much has been made about wide receiver Tim Carter and how well he has done during the off-season training sessions and mini-camp. Do you see him as a viable option as the second or third receiver for the Browns this season?
LA: Many a man has considered a special talent until the pads go on and the hitting commences. Carter has been known to display great speed and quickness in the past. The issue with Carter while a member of the New York Giants was he tends to display the tendency to falter under pressure or when he is expected to contribute in a significant manner. He is getting a new start with the Browns and he is a player Crennel and Phil Savage like a great bit. Until he shows he can do it when it counts, I don't view him as anything more than a potential return man and a depth player at receiver. For the sake of this team, I hope I am missing the boat on Carter.
Q: If there was one thing about the Browns organization you could change, which would make this a better team today, what would it be?
LA: Tough question. The Browns track record in the draft has been poor. Free agent acquisitions have not really panned out, and the high profile positions on the coaching staff have been regularly maintained by inexperience.
In a nut-shell, I always fall back to Carmen Policy and Dwight Clark. These two men laid the groundwork and direction of this organization and it has been a failure. Also, Policy is responsible for Butch Davis, the coach and commandant.
Q: Tim Couch or Brady Quinn, who is the better quarterback?
LA: At the college level, both played with marginally talented teams and elevated those players around them. Where Couch played in a gimmick type offense and was successful, Quinn played under two different offensive systems and excelled. Tim Couch was not a bust of a player, though he ultimately was a bust of a selection, if that makes any sense. The Browns failed Couch starting in week-two of his rookie season when he thrust into the starting role and took unmerciful beatings for a few seasons. In the case of Quinn, let's see what transpires, as he does have much more talent surrounding him, especially along the offensive line. Though, in the end I believe the mistakes made with Couch will not be made with Quinn.
Q: Could you tell me the one defensive player you expect to be a surprise or make consistent contributions, which really would be unexpected this season?
LA: Rookie cornerback Eric Wright has been outstanding during the off-season training activities and mini-camp and could be starting opposite Leigh Bodden this season. This kid has star written all over him and he is very personable and confident, with great talent. An underdog due to his place on the depth chart is linebacker Leon Williams. I believe if he can gain the playing time, one of the starters, Andra Davis and D'Qwell Jackson may be relegated to being a backup. Williams' play late in the 2006 season was as good, if not better, than that of the present starters.