Highlights from Ask the Insiders

All OBR subscribers have access to our exclusive premium forums for Browns fans only. Here are some recent questions answered by the OBR crew on subjects like WR Matt Jones, contract issues, Coye Francies, Braylon Edwards and more!

CaryNCBrownsBacker: Francies and Edwards injury / Could these two guys have gotten hurt playing basketball with one another?  Seems odd that they both would have sustained non football injuries in the the same period of time?

Lane Adkins: No. Edwards issue goes back prior to the last mandatory camp session, while Francies' issue occurred much more recently.

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Kawoodwa: While all the talk has been about Quinn vs Anderson - where does Ratliff stand in this? I recall an old LA post back in May saying that Ratliff is the most athletic of the bunch, he has a "lively arm, soft on his toes," and knows the Mangini system. Should we expect to see more of Ratliff in this QB battle?

Fred Greetham: They like the idea of having a player in the meeting room who is on board with the system and coaches. His time will be in the preseason, but he is the third qb with a chance to be the backup, if and when they decide to part with the non-winner of the qb derby.

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OutlawJesseJ: Is there any thought that these new (Cribbs, Dawson) contract requests are due to agents/players testing the new Brown's Regime? Specifically Kokinis? If the Browns do give in, doesn't that set a dangerous precedent?

Lane Adkins: Both players are of the belief they have outperformed the contract they agreed to in years past. At this time, it does appear that the players involved and representatives are only seeking comparable compensation to those under contract elsewhere.

As for giving in, this is a double edged sword. The organization must give the perception at some point that they are working toward the best interest of both player and team -- if they indeed rework either deal. If they do not, the door will be open for any player under contract to have a pissy fit and want a new deal. In this case, I credit the job being done by LB D'Qwell Jackson's reps -- they are working toward a new deal for the player, while keeping everything under wraps.

John Taylor: These "new contract requests" were initially brought to the attention of the previous regime. This is not a case of a player suddenly finding a bug up his ass about his contract; the bug was found prior to Mangini and Kokinis taking up residence in Berea and going Orkin on the place.

What we are seeing is the residuals of promises made by people no longer in Berea.

Lay any blame with that baseline in mind.

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Brokenwing: I am happy with the drafting of Mack and the FA signings. How far into training camp and/or Preseason will it take to see what we have for our OL especially the right side? Do you think we have the potential for an above average line?

Sobo: There will be plenty of switching around, especially early in camp, to really get a feel for who the best five are.   Once you get to that 3rd preseason game or so; that's when you'll probably see the whole unit solidifying and really coming together.

When I look at the talent on the roster and how this should all play out, the opening day unit should read: Thomas-Steinbach-Mack-Tucker-St.Clair

Think that's your betting favorite as long as Tucker is fully healthy and committed.   St. Clair is slightly more athletic off the edge than Porkchop.   George Foster can be a major wildcard or off the roster by the time it's all done.  

Then you look at guys like Porkchop and Hadnot as pretty much locks as two of the backups because of their versatility they present plus the staff already showing they like what the've seen in both.   That basically leaves one active roster spot open to win.   Which will probably leave Fraley and Foster battling.

Even with all this upheaval and uncertainty, I believe this unit is a fringe top 20 unit that has a ton of potential to solidify and definitely be top half of the league.

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iupuiguy82: I know that Matt Jones is known for his character issues and legal problems. However, apparently he is trying to change his image around. The patriots are known for taking players of susceptible character and giving them a chance. Do you see this new regime doing this also, for any position?

Barry McBride: At this point, they haven't shown those sorts of tendencies. There may be a legitimate case for them to change this approach for Jones, who would instantly step in as the top candidate at the #2 WR spot.  I wrote about this a little on our blogs as well: blogs.theobr.com/?p=1164

Lane Adkins: The Browns have shown no interest in Jones and are not likely to display interest in the future, unless there is a dramatic turn of events at the WR position within this roster.

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tochigi: Does our offenslve line really rank 31 out of 32? I just scanned the Fox Sports report ranking our OL as 31st, and only ahead of the Lions. Duh? So they are ranking based on wins last season?  I thought OL would be one of our strengths and that we should have been ranked somewhere in the middle one-third of the pack. So how would you all rank us. Is our OL as bad as 31? Where would you put us?

Barry McBride: That's nonsense, in my view. The presence of Joe Thomas alone, along with Eric Steinbach, invalidates the conclusion that our friends at FoxSports.com have reached. I'd put the Browns offensive line in the middle of the pack, making hopeful assumptions about the right-side group of Tucker, Womack, and St. Clair. I have a lot more confidence in them than I ever had in Hadnot and Shaffer.
Oh yeah, I'm calling out our corporate overlords. They have my number. Bring it.

Lane Adkins: The Browns are no worse than middle of the road. Lets remember, if this team can run block as the HC indicates they will, this unit will be OK -- nothing special.

Sobodawg: I responded to this thread over the 'Cooler and after trying to whittle it down myself, I slotted the Browns 19th overall.    The only reason they're not even higher than that is because of the uncertainty that still persists on the right side of the line.   Once camp and the starting lineup is hashed out and set, then that ranking should only rise.


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