Q: News has quieted about the Browns now that the mini-camps have concluded. Can you provide insight regarding the cornerback position and if there is going to be improvement in the 2009 season?
LA: The entire defensive backfield of the Browns could be an improved unit this upcoming season. We have heard it in the past, the team must generate a pass rush -- and in the case of this head coach (Eric Mangini) and defensive coordinator (Rob Ryan), I do believe we are going to see this team scheme to add this facet.
The best friend of the defensive backs is a solid pass rush. Look for the Browns to mix-up the looks of their front-seven to ramp up the pressure.
As for the cornerbacks, Eric Wright, Brandon McDonald and Rod Hood are expected to be the top-three CB's heading into the season. Hood, a free agent acquisition from the Arizona Cardinals, has starting experience but may be best suited as a nickel CB, where he has been most successful.
Q: There has been plenty of information lobbed out regarding the quarterbacks on the roster. It appears Brady Quinn is going to get the opportunity to finally start. Being said, what do you expect and can Quinn be the guy to lead this team?
LA: I agree, the path has been readied for Quinn to take the ball and run with it. In OTA and mini-camp sessions, Quinn has battled inconsistency -- as have all the Browns QB's in the camp setting. Installing a new offense as the Browns are takes time for the players to grasp, Quinn and Derek Anderson are no exception.
While some within the organization are intrigued with Anderson, it is Quinn that is expected to rise to the occasion and be named the starter for this team.
Due to his mental make-up and tools which are deemed a 'fit' for the Cleveland offense, Quinn is the front-runner. The staff in Cleveland remains hopeful that the QB's in camp, including Quinn improve and display consistency lacking in the off-season sessions.
Come September, Brady Quinn should be under center for the Browns. If not, something went terribly wrong.
Q: I have read the Browns want to be a power-rushing team. My concern is running back Jamal Lewis has not proven to have the quickness and durability to hold up. His always dinged-up, dancing style to the hole prohibits the run from being successful. Is Lewis still being counted on to be the primary back, and if not what is the option?
LA: Jamal Lewis is tentatively scheduled to be the starting RB for the team in the 2009 season. What we know is Lewis has not been involved in the physical portion of OTA and mini-camp practice sessions, as he has been rehabbing his surgically repaired ankle. Despite this setback, Lewis' conditioning is great -- as it always is, but his issue has been staying healthy -- nagging injuries a season ago slowed the veteran.
I am of the impression the coaching staff believed Lewis has at least another season in him and are anxiously awaiting training camp to get the RB on the field to see what he can do.
Backup Jerome Harrison has impressed the coaching staff. There is a belief that Harrison is going to gain plenty of opportunities in training camp to prove he is a talent to be depended upon in more than a depth role.
In not adding a proven talent at the RB this off-season, the Browns are banking on Lewis to tote the rock as he did in an impressive 2008 season for the Browns.