With less than a month left before the Browns season comes to an end, expect rumors to start getting tossed around all over the internet. We'll do our best to help you separate the accurate from the inaccurate, and to find the kernels of truth hiding under speculation which will run rife as the off-season gets closer.
Here's the latest, from what we've been told:
- Change is coming. While we do not know the eventual fate of the head coach or those on his staff, we do know that team owner Randy Lerner has been active in the process of garnering information on potential VP and GM type candidates. While team had hoped to have a new front office executive in place prior to the end of the season, it is looking more likely the search will continue into the early off-season.
- The possibility remains that Lerner could hire an executive prior to the end of the season, but discussions disclosed to the OBR lean toward Lerner looking at potential candidates other than the currently available Mike Holmgren and Charlie Casserly.
- The biggest name to flow through the Browns executive search is Bill Parcells. Some claim Lerner met with Parcells in Florida, others claim Lerner and Parcells have conducted numerous meetings on the subject of heading up the Cleveland Browns organization. We can't positively confirm or disprove those rumors, although denials will flow. What we can tell you is that a source close to the Browns and another close to Parcells tells the OBR that Lerner has a definite interest, and Parcells is said to be intrigued.
- Nothing has changed regarding the status of head coach Eric Mangini. Despite a 1-11 record and the fan-base turned off by the team, Mangini is not going to be terminated prior to the end of the season, if even then.
- According to those evaluating collegiate talent, defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh is rated the most gifted and impressive defensive player in the nation. Suh, according to this evaluation, projects to be a potential force in either a 3-4 or 4-3 defense. With the Browns in the running to grasp the first overall selection in the draft, Suh is expected to be at or near the top of every team draft board.
- The Browns will tend to the offensive line issues during the off-season. Questions remain about the right-side of the line, as RT John St. Clair and RG's Floyd Womack and Rex Hadnot have failed to impress, while rookie center Alex Mack continues to make progress and has graded out well.
- At quarterback, the picture is becoming clearer. Brady Quinn has performed much better when handed the starting job for a second time in the 2009 season. The staff likes that Quinn is making quicker decisions and has protected the ball well. The staff wants Quinn to work on his timing, which sometimes results in accuracy issues, but the third-year QB is showing promising qualities.
- While Quinn is grasping the opportunity, former starter Derek Anderson is not expected to return next season. Anderson, due approximately 10 million dollars in salary and bonus money, has accepted his fate and looks to the future -- and an opportunity to start somewhere.
- Head coach Eric Mangini was impressed with the way two inactive players have risen to the occasion. RB Jerome Harrison and WR Brian Robiskie have come off excellent practice sessions and played a positive role in the Browns loss to the Chargers on Sunday. Now, the question is... should Mangini should be looking at ways to enhance the communication between himself and this roster of players?