Q: Following the Holly injury and signing of veteran Terry Cousin, what should we realistically expect the Browns to do next at cornerback?
LA: I simply fail to believe that the organization is going to sit in a holding pattern. The staff does want to get the youth on the field for further evaluation, which will give this organization a better feel for the talent level and timetable for some of these players to contribute.The signing of Cousin was in the works prior to Holly's injury and the organization does have a few players in which they are evaluating and inquiring about for trade. Expect another corner to be added to the roster at some point.
Q: We have heard the Browns have an interest in veteran linebacker Roosevelt Colvin, is this legitimate? And what is the latest in on linebacker Al Wilson and the team?
LA: Colvin expressed recently during an interview on Sirius Radio that the Browns and New York Jets have expressed interest in his services. At this time, however, Colvin is not on the front-burner, but he certainly could be a player of interest as training camp nears. The Browns had an interest in Wilson throughout the free agent player signing period, but the Browns only sought a short-term, minimum compensation deal. Wilson's representative simply wasn't receptive to the offer, at that time.
While anything could ultimately happen, the Browns organization feels better about the talent and depth today than they did a couple months ago. A Wilson signing is always possible, but not very likely at this point.
Q: With the additional talent accumulated along the defenisve line, fans are going to expect linebacker Kamerion Wimbley to get the quarterback more. That being said, what types of adjustment or defensive scheme will help provide a pass rush?
LA: Higher expectations for Wimbley are reasonable. The issue along the defensive line was the biggest factor behind Wimbley's "sophomore slump" last season. With the added size and talent along the line, some change in defensive scheme and mentality, as well as getting the OLB's in space, Wimbley (and Antwan Peek at the other OLB position) should be in position to make plays in the 2008 season.
The defensive line should not only handle its own at the point of attack, but the 2008 defensive scheme hopes to take advantage of some double-teaming of the defensive linemen. This, in turn, will open running lanes for the ILB's and clear off the edge for the OLB's. An interesting facet of the Cleveland defense will be when this team blitzes with Sean Jones from the defensive backfield.
Granted, we're only in OTAs, but there is a genuine excitement alongst the players on the roster who could benefit from the new line. With Mel Tucker installed as the new defensive coordinator, I do not expect the defensive scheme to out-think itself... nor will this unit be put in a position of running alignments that haven't been practiced recently.
Q: With all the talk and discussion about the team, a hidden issue could be the loss of Chaun Thompson's contribution on special teams. How does this team make up for the loss of the oft-underrated linebacker?
LA: The organization re-signed Kris Griffin and brought in Shantee Orr to fill the void left by Thompson's departure. Thompson was a valuable member on specials and will be missed, but Griffin and Orr are established special teams players and fill the role quite well. Interestingly, Orr and receiver Travis Wilson looked good in kick coverage drills, with Wilson showing solid backside support.