Here's some of what we're hearing from people in the know...
On the off-season progress of the team and what is the impression of the team after the first week of practice -
"We targeted our needs immediately and we were aggressive to secure the talent, especially along the defensive line. We had talked on numerous occasions to the Lions and Packers heading up to the free agent player signing period and was of the belief Shaun Rogers would not be in a Browns' uniform. When the deal with the Bengals did not meet approval, we negotiated what the market had set in other to obtain Rogers.
After the first week, we are pleased with the progress of the team and we have come away without any significant medical issues."
Which players have met the expectations of the organization, exceeded expectations and have been a disappointment -
"We're less than a week into camp, so I wouldn't get too excited as we have plenty of practice sessions ahead of us. Looking at the practices to date, you can't help but be impressed with Shaun Rogers' physical ability and attitude. LB Willie McGinest came into camp healthy and in great condition, and he has been a presence on the field and in the locker room. Right now we have a few questions about our depth at WR and CB and continue to talk and monitor the situation, but we like what we are seeing from the young guys at the positions."
Looking at the QB situation, has anything changed regarding the status of the starter view the perspective of the organization -
"After completing the first week of practices, we are happy with the progress of Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn. From these practice sessions, you can clearly see why we wanted to retain Anderson before and when we got into free agency. This isn't a knock on the ability of Brady Quinn, but more of our belief that Anderson has the ability to be a special player and he did lead this team to ten victories last season."
What is the opinion of the organization regarding the state of the defensee -
"We like what we are seeing out of the defensive unit overall. The new linemen are becoming increasingly comfortable in the system and this talent is bringing out the best in others on the line and at other positions. Mel (Tucker - defensive coordinator) has done a very good job bringing this unit together throughout the off-season and we are seeing some of his ability on the practice field. Our belief is that players will make plays when provided the opportunity to play to their respective strength."
DB Gary Baxter has been on the practice field, but has not saw extensive practice time. Is he progressing and when will see know if he can make it all the way back from his devastating injury -
"Gary (Baxter) continues to be a great story, but getting him back on the field and playing at a competitive level is the goal throughout the camp process, rather than pushing the issue in the first week of practice. He is running well, he may be as quick as he was prior to the injury. (Note - this is reference to straight-line speed and quickness) In individual drills Gary (Baxter) is running, cutting starting and stopping, we are extremely happy where he is physically and he will be on the field when the pre-season games start."
Watching WR Travis Wilson, he looks like a young man that finally is getting the message that he has to be committed 100% to have a chance to compete in this league. Is the organization surprised at his proficiency in the off-season practices and those in training camp thus far?
"Travis Wilson is a young man with a lot of talent. He had shown flashes of that talent in practices over his two-years here, but he was never consistent and struggled. He has put the time in to understand what is expected of him and this shows when he is on the field. Wilson is now looking like the player we drafted a couple years ago and has earned the opportunity he is getting, it will be up to him whether he becomes a player we can count on in a role or not. Right now due to the length of time he has shown to be consistent, he is earning the trust of the coaching staff."