Ask the Insiders forum over the last couple of days, and Michael Doss and E.J. Henderson have come up for discussion. Catch the early draft discussion and lots more in the latest Highlights from Ask the Insiders..."> Ask the Insiders forum over the last couple of days, and Michael Doss and E.J. Henderson have come up for discussion. Catch the early draft discussion and lots more in the latest Highlights from Ask the Insiders...">

Highlights from Ask the Insiders

You know that off-season has started when draft topics start hitting the boards. Off-season plans have dominated the <A HREF="">Ask the Insiders</A> forum over the last couple of days, and Michael Doss and E.J. Henderson have come up for discussion. Catch the early draft discussion and lots more in the latest <I>Highlights from Ask the Insiders...</I>

chitwnbrown: I really enjoyed Lane's article yesterday it got me over my depression from the loss. I am so excited for this offseason, it seems that BD is commited to making changes. My Q to you is what should we expect in the offseason? From what lane writes we could be 5 to 7 mil under, do you expect the team to be active in FA? Will we go after a big named high priced guy (TAKEO SPIKES!!!!) Is there a fa that any of you have a particular interest in that we have a shot at landing?

Lane Adkins: The Browns have had some intial meetings heading into the off-season. Now that the season has concluded, the team will be in meetings over the next couple weeks regarding personnel.

One thing that you can count on, we will be all over every aspect of this team and organization this off-season.

This off-season will be extremely important in the growth and continued development of the team.

Now, the next step is to take this 9-7 team to that of that of a 12-4 type team, the leap will be difficult.

OLROY: How bad is Andre Davis' injuy?? it looked serious.

Lane Adkins: I couldn't get much on the Davis injury on Monday, other than it was not considered serious.

I'll continue to dig around for further updates.

bowwowwowyippyyoyippyyay: I don't know if you've seen much of him Lane, but if you have do you believe EJ Henderson out of Maryland could fit the mold of a Butch/Campo MLB?

He reminds me a bit of Jeremiah Trotter. He's a bit of a tank, but one hell of a playmaker. And since we reportedly pursued trade possibilities with Philly for Trotter last offseason, it would seem to me that their preference for smaller faster LBs might not necessarily carry over to the guy in the middle. Any insight?

Lane Adkins: EJ Henderson is a tremendous talent and a player that has the potential to be an outstanding linebacker in the pro game.

He certainly would look nice in a Browns uniform, the kid is a player. Davis just loves guys that are quick, can cover ground, and have the ability to be physical.

Henderson would be an interesting prospect.

ramllov: What do we know now? We know that Campo is coming to Cleveland and Foge is going into retirement or another team. We know that the Browns will select a cover corner with their first choice and address the offensive guard or left tackle with the second choice. We know that if a good LT is available in free agency they pick him up and put Verba to LG. We know that another safety or two will be high on the list.  Will Campo bring one of his undersized LBs to Cleveland after the Big Tuna gets larger LBs for his Texas team? What else do we know?Rudd is gone. Wolhabaugh is gone.

What else is needed I would like to know. I thank Art and company for a good season of coverage and look forward to a better season in 2003 by both the Browns team and Art's team.

Mike McLain: You left one important ingredient out of the mix when discussing offseason needs -- a pass rusher.

Courtney Brown has shown no signs of being able to get the job done. He's also developing a disturbing trend of getting hurt too often.

I talked to a player Monday that has a great feel for what the team needs. When asked about the defensive side of the ball, his first comment was "a pass rusher."

I'd like to see a cover corner or a big-hitting free safety, but if there isn't a player available at those spots when the Browns pick in the first round, I wouldn't be surprised to see Butch go for a strong pass rusher.

I'm convinced that Dave Wohlabaugh won't be back. He makes too much money, and Butch is high on the potential of Melvin Fowler.

I've been of the belief that Dwayne Rudd would be gone, but I'm not convinced of that. Rudd played better down the stretch. Plus, you can't simply start parting ways with veterans and think that the Kevin Bentleys of the world are going to step in an have an immediate impact.

Butch has to be careful during the offseason. If he goes beyond the tinkering stage, he might do damage to the nucleus of the team, while at the same time irritating veterans that don't want to see massive changes.

h8dwg: Mike, I simply don't see the logic in the pass rusher need. With Jamir Miller under contract, and the development of Mark Word and Tyrone Rogers seems we already have those guys on the roster. Is the blame on the position coach or the players ? I think we have the horses to get to the qb, we did it in 2001 ....Let's just get the player's on hand back on track.

Mike McLain: I would be nice if it was that simple, but I don't think it is.

I'm now of the opinion that Courtney Brown isn't going to be a great pass-rushing end. Gerard Warren seems to be eating himself out of the league.

Jamir Miller's return will be huge, but the front seven needs more than his presence to make dramatic improvements in the pass rush.

I'm just going on what a player told me. From what I've heard through sources about Butch's offseason objectives, a pass rusher might not be high on his list.

It's too early to tell at this point. A lot will change after postseason evaluations are complete. Who knows, maybe the Browns will draft a quarterback in the first round.

ramllov: Do you see significant changes in 2003? ...  It almost looks like they want at least two new starters in the secondary, one linebacker and one or two defensive linemen. ... The offense appears to need only offensive linemen, a fullback and another TE unless there is something in what they saw in Darnell Sanders. Could O'Hara replace our special teams center to adjust the cap number for 2003? What other changes to you envision?

Lane Adkins: Changes................Yes. I believe that Campo will be hired, along with Jeffcoat. (editors note: Jeffcoat elected to stay with Dallas)

Being said, I believe that the Browns will take an a different look. I have been told that they will look to improve their speed and athleticism in the defensive secondary.

Additionally, I would say that there is no linebacker among the starters that is a lock to be on this team in 2003. This team is going to have a younger, aggressive look to it.

Indications are that the team will be looking and addressing the offensive line situation, but they need to remedy some salary cap issues first.

All the high-salaried players, you know the names, could be in for a rude awakening.

donagandawg: Insider's... I found something curious about the article on the front page. There is a section in which Robert Griffith defends Foge and says the following:

"How do I put it? Some of the calls at the end, I don't think that's necessarily the way he would have wanted to call the game."

Is he saying that Foge was not running the defensive play calling or scheme late in the game? If not was it BD? We are all clamoring for Foge's head but is Foge the problem?

As I stated in a previous post we rushed 3 down linemen for the last 7-8 mins of the game. I'm sorry Lane but I disagree that we blitzed off the corner. We did earlier in the game and that's when we were successful. But during the last 2 Pittt TD drives we rushed 3 linemen!!

Watching this I was livid watching the game. I thought we have got to get rid of Foge... but then I thought why doesn't the head coach straighten him out?

I like what Butch has done for the team but I don't know if the kill FF is the correct call. Maybe it's the head coach's late game D scheme. It has killed us on numerous occasions this year (Pitt, KC, Indy, almost Atl, ect...).

Insiders who is the numskull running the D play calling?

Mike McLain: No one is going to reveal who made the defensive calls in the fourth quarter. At the same time, I think Griffifth's remarks are telling. It leads me to believe that the calls were out of Foge's hands and in the hands of Butch.

I agree with Corey Fuller when he was asked about the calls. He basically said calls don't matter. It's up to the players on the field to make a play.

The Browns' defense doomed the team for defeat when the secondary committed three penalties on one Pittsburgh scoring drive and Anthony Henry couldn't come up with an interception that was in his hands.

One big play by the defense, and none of us are talking about poor coaching calls.

Lane Adkins: To say that Davis had a direct input in the defensive playcalling and scheme in the waning moments of the Browns loss to the Steelers is an understatement.

We'll hear more on this in the next couple weeks or so when some roster and player issues are addressed.

woowoo: Insiders- what positions do you think the Browns will focus their early draft selections on?

How have last year's LB selections progressed this year? Will any of them be ready to contribute as starters next year? What does that mean for the future of Hambrick, Rudd, Holmes and Miller for next year?

that's all of my questions- thanks very much for your time,

artbtz: Just my opinion, but I think a lot of it will be determined by what happens early in free agency. The Browns are at the point where they are filling specific needs now (finally) and not just getting the best athlete on the board.

If I had to put money down, it would be on defensive speed. A defensive back wouldn't shock me at all. My $0.02.

Lane Adkins: Hambrick and Rudd returning are 50-50 at best right now. Actually the odds of Hambrick sticking may be better than Rudd.

From what I have been told, I am pretty confident that Holmes will be back in 2003, as well as the much All-Pro of the defense, Jamir Miller.

As for the rest of the defense, DB's and DL'men will be strongly evaluated.

marktroy: At this point it wouldn't be considered a reach but more juniors coming out could drop him.

If Ed Reed is worthy so is Doss. Pass coverage is his weakness but he's certainly athlete enough to get better.

GregTNG: without turning this into a Miami/tOSU thing, there is a world of difference, IMO, between Ed Reed and Doss... Reed is so much more of a complete DB- run support and pass defense... Doss has known pass defense is his weakness and he has yet to improve it significantly... IMO, a first round pick on Doss would be a wasted pick based on return value...

Lane Adkins: I agree with Greg 100% on this one.................

Doss is a fierce hitter in run support, but he has shown to be inconsistent pass coverage ability at this time.

Possibly will further coaching at the professional level Doss will improve in this area. But based on first-round value, Ed Reed is the better all-around player, IMO.

bw: Lane, it may have escaped your attention ( ) but we really stink at stopping the run. I mean, we really stink. Now I'm not pimping for Doss, but we have to do something about our run defense. (30th in the League??? Whoa)

Consider this; of the four teams that got eliminated from the playoffs immediately, three of them were at the bottom of the League in run defense all year--Cleveland, Indianapolis, and Green Bay. Until we can stop the run, we'll always be a first round playoff casualty--at best.

Lane Adkins: Nothing that I stated in my post leads me to believe that anything has escaped my mind :-)

All I have stated in this thread is that I agree with Greg's assessment of Doss in comparision to Ed Reed.

Now if you want to know what I think, I'd be glad to share that.

The Browns defensive line is not aggressive or does not posses the ability to get to the quarterback. be it coaching, or whatever, they struggle to generate a natural pass rush.

The defensive tackles quite often are manhandled, pushed by the offensive. They, at times play very good defense, at others, they are horribly inconsistent.

The linebackers are a weak area of this team and they have spent a significant amount of money in this area. Rudd is terribly inconsistent and often out of position. Holmes is servicable, but not close to a long-term answer, Hambrick is servicable at best.

Jamir Miller was sorely missed this season, by the standards of his leadership ability and playmakng ability. He was the one defensive player among the front-seven that had to be accounted for. Courtney Brown takes a tremendous amount of flask and deservedly so, though he is also a player that will at least occasionally see a double team.

Looking at the defensive secondary, Griffith did not have a good year, average would be a high grade on a curved scale. Earl Little is average, Bush did not well at all, Corey Fuller was easily the best defensive back on this team, which he has simply amazed me with his play the past two seasons. Cutch is a better than average nickel corner.

Speed is an issue with this defensive unit, they are below average and the majority of cornerbacks struggle in coverage.

This team would greatly benefit from having a shutdown corner and improved play from the safety positions. Do the Browns have these players on the roster? Only time will tell, but I am certain that we will begin to see the transformation in the secondary. We will find out if Henry and Sanders are cornerbacks or safeties, maybe even Fuller, but he is still playng at an above average level and this team may not be in the position to lose his ability at the corner heading into the 2003 season.

redright: Tim Green and Kenny Albert during the 3rd quarter of the Falcons game discussed the offensive line of the Browns and clearly stated that in the opinion of the falcons coaching staff Wohlabaugh was the best offensive lineman on the Browns. Assuming Wohlabaugh is willing to restructure, why wouldn't he be back?

There is almost a conclusion running through the boards that Wholy is gone. Why?

Lane Adkins: Lets just say that this coaching staff from what we have been told does not have that same opinion of Wohlabaugh.

One area that has been described as the biggest hols along the offensive line has been the center position.

Wohlabaugh's play improved in the 2002 season, he did come into camp bigger and stronger, but I am hearing that the team is not sold on him.

Also, let me add that the LG and RG spots are an issue that play into the overall productivity of the three positions.


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