John Taylor: Circling The Browns

A few years ago, NFL insiders would chuckle when talking about the Cleveland Browns. Not any more. John Taylor bring us the word inside Berea and NFL offices about the Browns cornerback situation, Anderson vs. Quinn, RAC's comments on Jerome Harrison and much, much, more. You want the inside scoop? JT brings it.

-- Just to piggyback what Lane Adkins spoke about earlier today regarding Jerome Harrison, I received an unsolicited text message shortly after his story was published, which read as follows (changed only for proper punctuation and capitalization): "This whole Harrison thing? That's why they are where they are, and why we are where we are."

The "they" he refers to is the Cleveland print media.

The "we", of course, is the Browns.

Just guessing here, but I'm thinking that the thought of Harrison being a potential victim of the roster cut-down is overblown. And that's being kind.


-- The cornerback tandem of Eric Wright and Brandon McDonald has caught the attention of teams around the league, including those in the AFC North. Suffice to say, it's in a good way for the Browns; not so good for whomever they may be facing, however. There are a couple of teams, in particular, who are downright envious of the youth and talent at the starting position.

"(Phil) Savage's staff really hit on those two. You can't predict injury, but the upside for those two is right up there with anybody in the league… Two second-year corners with that much talent? Damn right there's some jealousy going around."

One source, though, voiced a note of caution.

"They are both on the smallish side.  Can they hold up to the pounding for a whole season?  For a few seasons?  No denying their talent, but you'd have to be worried about the sixteen-game thing."

--On the other hand, the back-ups brought a markedly different – and not exactly unexpected – response.

Not-so-concealed chuckles were abundant amongst the scouts I spoke with. "(Savage) is too smart to go into the season with that behind them, isn't he?" one scout questioned to no one in particular.

To be specific, none of the scouts I spoke with had anything decent, let alone encouraging, to say about either Mike Adams or Terry Cousin manning the crucial nickel corner slot over the course of an entire season.  Their comments regarding the players behind Adams and Cousin could best be described as "non descript" and left at that.


-- Scout #1, regarding Brady Quinn: "If you gave me a choice between Quinn and (Derek) Anderson, I'd go with Quinn. We just see a bigger upside there."

-- Scout #2, regarding Derek Anderson: "Why are you even asking me this question? You can't teach what he has. I wouldn't care if I gave up three #1's (for Quinn)."

-- Scout #3, regarding Quinn and Anderson: "We've thought (Quinn) was the real deal going through our (pre-draft) evaluations, and nothing has changed that. But you'd have to be suicidal to just throw away a Pro Bowler for potential. That's not how this game works."

-- Scout #4, regarding Quinn and Anderson: "29 touchdowns speak louder than any potential somebody else might have."

-- Scout #5, regarding Quinn and Anderson: "I wish we had that problem. But if I had to choose one? Quinn, for the upside in the long-term.  But, if we had to win this year?  Probably go with Anderson."


-- After being told of the wide array of opinions regarding their QB situation, one Browns source sighed slightly and said simply, "And people wonder why we kept both?"

Then, he got a wee bit indignant and a tad bit defiant.

"Nobody knows what we have (in Anderson and Quinn); not us for the most part, and not anybody who's outside of this organization and doesn't see them on a day-to-day basis. Those (scouts) can think what they want, but only how this plays out this season is gonna tell us what happens (in 2009)."

So, what exactly is the point of this whole endeavor? Nothing more than this QB "situation" the Browns find themselves in is an enviable one for the vast majority of franchises in the NFL, and one that will play itself out – one way or the other, right or wrong – over the course of the next seven months.

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