Q: I have been following the ongoing saga of Brady Quinn and am confused. How can a player expect or demand such a ridiculous contract from this team, when he was selected as low as he was in the first round? Is this a common practice around the league?
LA: Asking the world has become the norm in the entire sports industry, not just in the NFL. We live in an era where the athlete is (or believes he is) bigger than the game itself. Quinn, the 22nd player selected in the draft, should be compensated as such, in my opinion. Anything he gets above the approximate compensation figure for a player selected in his position should be considered above-and-beyond, but it certainly is not viewed this way by the player and agent. Personally, I was glad to hear Phil Savage display some emotion regarding the negotiations recently... the Browns have offered a very favorable deal to Quinn.
Q: You seem to be siding with the Browns in their dealings with Brady Quinn and Tom Condon. Would you say the Browns are nearing a point in time where they are going to end discussions with the player or agent and let the chips fall where they may?
LA: The representatives' primary responsibility is to get the player the best deal he/she can, without damaging the relationship and potential future earnings of the player in question. Brady Quinn selected Tom Condon as his representative, which is a smart move if you are seeking every last dollar. Condon is known as a very tough negotiator and the Browns have had their share of dealings with him. I do know the Browns are unhappy with the state of the negotiations and will draw a line in the sand at some point in the future. This may be sooner later if the discussions remain stagnant.
Q: Do you think the Browns would have traded back into the first round to select Quinn, if they would have known how difficult getting a deal done would be?
LA: I know with certainty that the Browns did not expect the negotiations to drag out like they have. This has turned into a cat-and-mouse game, with the Browns chasing down the players representative to get something done. This has gone on since late May and the deal still remains on shaky ground. All things considered, I think the Browns would have traded for Quinn. They still think he is a great fit in the Chudzinski offensive scheme and expect him to be a high caliber player.
LA: Eric Wright has looked very good in camp thus far and I believe he will start opposite Leigh Bodden if continues his fine performance. Wright's arrival will relegate Holly and Perry into the nickel and dime packages, possibly along with veteran Kenny Wright. As for Gary Baxter, I do not expect to see him playing cornerback this season, as the team is going to work him in slowly. I can see him playing some at backup safety during 2007.
Q: I have recently read the Browns have been using Tim Carter as a number two and number three receiver in training camp. Is his play been that good where he could supplant Joe J. in the starting lineup?
LA: Tim Carter is a very fast, quick receiver on the outside, which is something the coaching staff really likes. The belief is Carter could open up the field for players like Braylon Edwards and Joe J. in the passing game. If Carter shows he is the real deal and can be counted on, the Browns passing game could be extremely interesting. I see great things on the horizon for Edwards.
Q: What has been the best surprise and biggest disappointment in camp to this time?
LA: I really like what I see coming from the offensive line and defensive backs. The offensive line is definitely more athletic, appear to understand and play within the scope of the scheme, and they communicate well. The pass blocking from the starting line has been good and I am impressed with the run blocking as well. The biggest disappointment has to be the Quinn holdout, as I really believed he would really push Derek Anderson and Charlie Frye for the starting job. Outside of Quinn, I would have to say the inconsistency of second-year wide receiver Travis Wilson has been a big disappointment. Wilson has a ton of talent and has struggled in camp. He is coming on, however, thanks to receivers coach Wes Chandler really coaching him up.
Q: How do you feel about an ex-Baltimore Raven, Jamal Lewis being heavily counted on to help this team win for the first time in years? Do you really think he can be effective?
LA: Jamal Lewis is not finished by any stretch of the imagination. He came into camp in great physical condition and has lost a significant amount of weight to regain some of the quickness he displayed in his earlier career with the Ravens. Also, Lewis has been tremendous coming out of the backfield as a receiver during training camp. I anticipate Lewis is going to have a very good season with the Browns in 2007, as long as he does not suffer an injury to derail him. As for the Baltimore factor, the moving of the team is still fresh in my mind and this is something that will never escape my memory, but Lewis is a player and had absolutely nothing to do with the moving of the team.