Holmgren Looks for a Leader

The Browns President made it very clear why he felt that Jake Delhomme was the right choice. The OBR's Fred Greetham was in Berea today for the press conference. Here is his report...

BEREA--Mike Holmgren made it very clear that what he was looking for most out of newly acquired quarterback Jake Delhomme was leadership. Holmgren said he feels the Browns need a leader to take the team out on the field. He also said he wrote off the 2009 season as a bad year for Delhomme.

"(Delhomme) has been very candid," Holmgren said. "This was not a physical reason and if there was, I don't think you do it. I have a lot of confidence in him."

He's counting on him to be able to return to his accuracy rate of just under 60 percent in his 12-year NFL career.

In 2009, Browns quarterbacks combined for under 50 percent. Brady Quinn was 53.1, while Derek Anderson was just 44.5.

"The most important thing for a quarterback is to complete passes," Holmgren said at the NFL Combine.

In the West Coast offense, the most important aspect is accuracy and he feels with Delhomme and Seneca Wallace, he has that.

Some media have labeled the two quarterbacks brought in by the Browns as an ‘aging quarterback and a career backup.'

Holmgren said he doesn't look at either that way.

He said that he feels that Delhomme can step in and be the leader the Browns need.

"This team doesn't need an aging veteran," Holmgren said. "It needs a leader to grab the role and have the team rally around him.

"Seneca was a player I've had for a long time and know him quite well," he said. "He's a good player and I think you'll see that."

Holmgren talked about the struggle in his mind on what to do with Anderson and Quinn, particularly Quinn. He admitted that he really hasn't been given a fair shot with the Browns, but felt with the way the quarterback situation has been with the Browns, it was best to clear the slate clean and start fresh.

Reading between the lines, it appears that Holmgren had come to the conclusion that Quinn needed to be away from Cleveland to get his fresh start. Only time will tell if Quinn develops into the quarterback some felt he would be when he came out of Notre Dame in 2007.

Also, coming out of the press briefing Monday was the strong indication the Browns will draft a quarterback. Who knows where it will be, but Holmgren is known for taking guys in later rounds. Matt Hasselback was a sixth-round selection. Holmgren intimated the Browns could use their extra picks to move up in the first round or they could get someone they like further down in the draft. Holmgren said he thought it wasn't a bad idea to draft a quarterback every year for development purposes.

Holmgren sounds as though he is planning on either Delhomme or Wallace to carry the torch until the ‘young quarterback' is ready.

"We signed (Delhomme) for two years and I think you can see what we're trying to do."

Holmgren said the moves were based on a consensus basis.

"I had last season and that's what I had to go on, and it looked like (the quarterbacks) were struggling," he said. "When they play the way they play, it's hard to win football games.

"It wasn't just me," Holmgren said. "Eric, Tom Heckert. There were five guys in there talking through these situations."

The re-shaping of the Browns will to a large degree be based not only on the moves made in the last week, but those to be made in the coming weeks.

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