- Recent claims by general manager George Kokinis that the organization has not looked to deal QB Brady Quinn and WR Braylon Edwards are true. The Browns did not initiate discussions with the New York Giants regarding the Cleveland wide receiver, so one could say the team has not sought to deal the player.
The same can and should be noted about Quinn; the Browns have not initiated trade discussions for the QB, but have done nothing to squash them, either. While the Browns GM can safely claim that Quinn and Edwards weren't being shopped, the same could not be said about the former starting quarterback Derek Anderson, who has been involved in numerous trade rumors since the off-season began.
- Much has been discussed in regards to the Browns starting QB position heading into the 2009 season. All early indications were that Quinn would be the starter, due to his experience in an offensive scheme somewhat comparable to that the Browns are expected to use. As the weeks have passed, some subtle thoughts and notes have found their way to theOBR that need not be discounted too quickly.
All I can say at this time is, the head coach is big on players playing within the system -- and nothing more.
He's doesn't look for the QB to do anything more than manage the situation. In the case of Anderson, I have been told during film work the new staff came to believe that the QB was not put in the best situation in the past. This caused Anderson to press. He then tried to do too much and got outside the borders of what he does well.
Does that mean DA has the inside track? Frankly, I am uncertain, but it does tell me that the coaching has seen what many of us have noticed - that DA has issues playing within himself and will make mistakes.
I interpret this as indicating that Anderson has a much better opportunity to stick here than many of us originally anticipated. I could be wrong, of course, and the QB could be dealt tomorrow, but I believe this evaluation process really opened up the eyes of the staff and cast a better feeling for their ultimate decision.
- This Edwards/NY Giants talk are the same discussions which we noted early in the free-agent signing period. Since that initial period, talks between the two teams has been minimal at best, though the likelihood of those discussions being rekindled remains squarely predicated on talks between the WR and head coach.
- Eric Mangini came from the New York Jets with a less-than-stellar reputation. Media reports of Mangini being difficult to deal with were legendary, as were reports that the head coach could easily turn players and coaches against him -- as well as the organization.
Last week, Mangini met with the team for the first time as a collective unit. Numerous players contacted by theOBR were skeptical prior to the meeting as they had heard the rumors and did not know what to make of the man. Adding to that uncertainty was the fact that he did not openly hold meetings with players that were in and out of the training facility over the past couple months.
Mangini's message, according to numerous players was "team' and "family". The head coach was said to be direct in addressing the team and was open in discussing what the organization wants to achieve in the days and weeks to come. Mangini noted that he needs the players to be on the same page as the coaches; working together, they can transform what is perceived to be a bad situation into a surprising success. Mangini emphasized that they all need to be committed to a single goal -- the success of the Cleveland Browns.
- The organization is of the belief that they have turned the corner in the off-season relationship drama between nose tackle Shaun Rogers and Mangini. Much of the speculation about Rogers' issue lays directly at the feet of Mangini not acknowledging his star defensive lineman. Issues regarding the direction of the team, Rogers' weight issues and contract have surfaced as additional issues in this ever-evolving equation.
Yes, the head coach has talked with his star pupil on more than one occasion, as has the general manager to the agent. At this time, both sides are in "wait and see" mode and the organization has discussed the options if this ongoing saga continues. These include contractual obligations as well as the worst-case scenario of possibly dealing the All-Pro.
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