Adkins: What We've Been Told

The calendar has just turned over to February, but the Browns already have most of the pieces they need in place for the off-season. Lane looks at the recent machinations and what may be next...

- There was a time during which team president Mike Holmgren believed he could have landed another of his former assistants to help change the landscape in Cleveland. Holmgren interviewed Will Lewis for the Browns' GM position that ultimately went to Tom Heckert. When Lewis (director of pro personnel) was out of consideration for the vacant Seattle Seahawks GM spot, Holmgren attempted again to secure his services, but was rebuffed. Upon naming John Schneider GM in Seattle, the Seahawks organization again rebuffed the Browns in retaining the front office executive.

- Heckert acted quickly in changing the complexion of the personnel department of the Browns. Heckert secured Jon Sandusky, formerly of the Philadelphia Eagles, as the new director of player personnel and John Spytek as an executive assistant. In an agreement between the Browns (Heckert) and the Eagles, Sandusky will be the only front office executive type coming from the Eagles organization at this time.

- Keith Gilbertson, the new director of pro personnel, was a quick hire of Holmgren. Soon after Holmgren agreed to a deal to lead the Browns, Gilbertson, a longtime trusted assistant of Holmgren's in Seattle, was one of the first hires made under the Holmgren watch. Gilbertson is responsible for opponent scouting and will be part of the pro player scouting process.

- A.J. Durso, another trusted member of the Holmgren staff in Seattle, has been elevated to a scout position in Cleveland. Durso was an offensive assistant under Holmgren and has been quickly elevated up the ladder. Durso will be involved in opponent scouting and statistical trait comparison.

- With the purging of the player personnel department, the scouts of the Browns remain intact. The new regime in Cleveland has not promised the scouts anything, but there is a belief within the organization that these important contributors will be given every opportunity to secure their role with the organization. Contracts for some of the scouts on staff will end in May, which could be another opportunity for additional Heckert and Holmgren types to join the organization.

- Upon the news coming out of New York indicating five assistant coaches would not be returning for the 2010 season, an initial reaction was whether head coach Eric Mangini would attempt to secure the services of the coaches. At the present time, indications are the Browns have no intention of adding coaches at this time. As the off-season gets underway and the organization evaluates the staff thoroughly, this situation could be reevaluated.

- Despite all the negative stories surrounding the Browns and Mangini throughout the 2009 season, the new year may be providing a different outlook for the head coach. Upon being informed he would be retained by the organization, numerous Browns players sent congratulatory text messages to Mangini, as did a handful of others around the league.

- News making its way to theOBR through a former Browns assistant from the Senior Bowl in Alabama may provide some insight to the thoughts of the new players in the personnel department. The Browns spent a considerable amount of time talking with and about the offensive linemen and defensive backs. One representative of the Browns organization charted the QB's extensively.


The OBR Top Stories