OBR Daily Blog: 3/18/2010

Holmgren returns from Tebowpalooza. The off-season machinations continue, recorded obsessively here in the world's only OBR Daily Blog and Natterzone.

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Posted by: John Taylor
on Friday, March 19, 2010 at 12:45:00 AM

Interesting RB draft news

Things that make ya go, hmmm…

Scout.com's Chris Steuber has dropped the following very intriguing nugget into the lap of theOBR regarding Fresno State running back Ryan Mathews:

I know it's been reported that A.J. Smith (Chargers GM) attended Wednesday's Fresno State Pro Day, but there were a couple of running back coaches in attendance, as well as another high ranking executive.

Cleveland Browns RB Coach Gary Brown and Cincinnati Bengals RB Coach Jim Anderson were in attendance watching Ryan Mathews and Lonyae Miller. St. Louis Rams Director of Player Personnel Lawrence McCutcheon was also at the Pro Day, and I'm told he was focused on WR Seyi Ajirotutu and CB A.J. Jefferson.

Mathews, the nation's leading rusher in 2009 – yes, the former Bulldog averaged 150.7 YPG, compared to Toby Gerhart's 143.9 and Dion Lewis' 138.4 – is a 5-11, 220-pounder who is very quickly rising up the draft charts and will likely not be available once you get past the first round.

Again, hmmm

Posted by: OBR Newswire
on Friday, March 19, 2010 at 12:00:00 AM

Latest Links from the OBR Newswire

These are links from the OBR Newswire for March 18th from 19:23 to 23:29:

Posted by: Barry McBride
on Thursday, March 18, 2010 at 9:08:00 PM

Browns After Eagle's Gocong?

For a new General Manager, Tom Heckert has been somewhat lax in bringing over tons of players he likes from his old team. Anyone who had seen the flood of Giants following Belichick, Jets following Mangini, and guys-he-couldn't-recruit-in-high-school following Davis couldn't help but expect to see a flock of Eagles flying in.

We may have some opportunities of that type beginning to appear (newly available Shawn Andrews, anyone?) in the low-key personage of LB Chris Gocong.

The rumor appeared first, to our knowledge, in an Eagles blog called "Eagles Blitz". Before you wave it off as a fanboy invention, though, understand that this blog is written by a part-time contributor to the Eagles official site. So, maybe…f

Is there anything to it? We've already jumped on it for subscribers in the Insider Blog, which is where you can find Lane Adkins' 411 on it. 

Posted by: Barry McBride
on Thursday, March 18, 2010 at 9:00:00 PM

Tales from the Dork Side

Miscellaneous notes from the land o' OBR on a beautiful Thursday evening here in Cleveland. 

  • We've updated the Free Agent Database with the latest moves, including the player purge in Philly that has made Shawn Andrews and Kevin Curtis available. Plus we've accounted for the retirement of Jon Runyan and trade of Charlie Whitehurst. Adam Caplan and I are deeply obsessive about maintaining this thing. It might not be completely healthy, frankly. Someone needs to have an intervention.
  • We haven't posted it on the front page yet, but Greg at Prime Sports Network has both Windows Media and MP3 versions of last night's sonic OBR brilliance posted. I think we kept the on-air belching down pretty well last night, considering what day it was. Professionalism = us.
  • In case anyone's tracking it, Samuel Smith's Taddy Porter is expensive but also "da bomb", as the kids say.
  • For the record, the notion that Jake Delhomme was signed as a precursor to hiring John Fox next year is one of the stupidest things I've ever heard. Well, perhaps that's hyperbole… I've been covering sports for a decade, so I've heard a lot of really stupid things. Still, that's really pushing it, unnamed gigantic sports network with a rigid top-down management structure. Please stop.
  • Updating a previous story, Taylor's brand new iPhone works now, and he's giddy with techno-joy. When last seen, he was calling Chloe O'Brien and demanding that she download the Library of Congress to his cell along with the satellite feed of Lou Groza Blvd in Berea. For the record, he didn't have time explain why, she just needs to do it now

Posted by: John Taylor
on Thursday, March 18, 2010 at 5:21:00 PM

More Pro Day ‘stuff'

Per Scout.com's own Chris Steuber, the Browns were in attendance at a pair of Pro Day workouts today.

According to Steuber, and citing an unnamed source, the Browns were one of a mere 13 teams to head down to the holler and take in West Virginia's Pro Day.

Cleveland was also one of 22 teams to attend Middle Tennessee State's playerpalooza.  Steuber notes that the player most were likely there to see was DE/OLB Chris McCoy.

Now it's off to the AT&T store to get this (very, very, very bad word) iPhone working…

Posted by: John Taylor
on Thursday, March 18, 2010 at 4:54:00 PM

Browns to get private look at Tebow

(I know I'm a little late with this one, but getting a new netbook and my first ever iPhone – in the same freaking day!!! – has me a little bit "distracted".)

New Browns president Mike Holmgren was not shy in pushing his feelings about Tim Tebow out to the general public following Florida's Pro Day Wednesday.

Now, to make those comments even more interesting, the Browns are about to get up close and personal with the former Gator quarterback.

According to the Sporting News, the Browns will be one of at least five teams to hold a private workout with Tebow at some point before the April draft.

The Browns, along with the New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills, Seattle Seahawks and Washington Redskins, will all get some quality time with the much-hyped QB.

While it doesn't mean that the Browns will or won't be drafting Tebow, it's yet another indication that something that not too long ago was considered a long shot at best is something in the realm of reality.

At least, that's what the Browns want the other 31 teams to think.

Posted by: Barry McBride
on Thursday, March 18, 2010 at 3:47:00 PM

Press Release on Yates

Pushed to the wall by the OBR's aggressive, pull no punches journalism, the Browns have had to come out and admit the truth of what we exposed a mere two hours ago: They have, yes, re-signed OL Billy Yates.


Erm. Anyhow, here's the press release.

The Cleveland Browns re-signed offensive lineman Billy Yates, the team announced today. Yates was an unrestricted free agent.

Yates joined the Browns as a free agent on September 16, 2009 after spending his rookie season in Miami (2003) and the following five years in New England (2004-08). He appeared in seven contests with Cleveland all in a reserve role. He has seen action in 32 career games logging 11 starts.

Posted by: Barry McBride
on Thursday, March 18, 2010 at 3:43:00 PM

An Off-the-Radar Private Workout

We've got another workout between the Browns and a defensive back that the mainstream media probably isn't going to care about (*sigh* Tim…. *sigh*). This one's in the Insider Blog for subscribers.

Posted by: OBR Newswire
on Thursday, March 18, 2010 at 2:00:00 PM

Latest Links from the OBR Newswire

These are links from the OBR Newswire for March 18th from 09:56 to 13:31:

Posted on Twitter at: 1:51:00 PM
Hot News for OG Billy Yates http://bit.ly/9oVnrP

Posted by: Barry McBride
on Thursday, March 18, 2010 at 1:08:00 PM

Gibson Joins List of Visits

My pal Aaron Wilson is just a super-freak on the blog he does for the National Football Post. One of his latest scoops, which got some attention locally due to the fact that Gibson is from OSU, I guess, has to do with OLB Thaddeus Gibson getting a private workout scheduled with the Browns.

Gibson will get media attention and some hype locally because he's from Ohio State, but that probably won't help him with Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert. Chris Steuber gives Gibson four stars, but he's only 14th overall on our OLB list in the draft database.

Posted on Twitter at: 11:39:00 AM
(Subscriber) Prospect Profile: Kareem Jackson: Scout.com's NFL Draft Analyst Chris Steuber profiles the top prospe... http://bit.ly/buPyus

Posted by: Barry McBride
on Thursday, March 18, 2010 at 10:54:00 AM

UPDATE: Heckert True to Alma Mater

UPDATE 11:15AM: We have learned that Browns GM Tom Heckert has not – repeat NOT – betrayed his beloved Hillsdale College. The Browns, as well as the Packers and Titans are also at their Pro Day, watching Veldheer do his thing.

Phew! Faith is restored.


Oh, how quickly they forget (sigh). Hillsdale College may have highly-touted OT Jared Veldheer working out for scouts at the Hillsdale Pro Day today, but the Browns don't appear to be among the observers.

Scout.com's Chris Steuber reports that only four teams are confirmed at Veldheer's workout: Indianapolis, Baltimore, Seattle, and Detroit.

Browns GM Tom Heckert is an alumnus of Hillsdale and spoke about Veldheer at a recent press conference.

Posted by: Barry McBride
on Thursday, March 18, 2010 at 10:26:00 AM

More from LSU's Pro Day

Louisiana State has a number of highly touted players in their draft class this year, including two five-star players (S Chad Jones, WR Brandon LaFell) and three four-star players (DE Rahim Alem, OT Ciron Black, and RB Charles Scott).

Our team from TigerSportsDigest.com was there, and have brought back the numbers, times, and video of the timing drills and bench presses (video 1, video 2). It's like, you know, you're there. There are also photos and a wrap-up.

Last two links are free… three before that are for subscribers. Remember that OBR subscribers get access to premium content not just here, but throughout the Scout network. If you want in, try a seven-day free trial today.

Posted by: Barry McBride
on Thursday, March 18, 2010 at 10:12:00 AM

Browns Scouting Another Top DB

The Browns have been confirmed by Scout.com's Chris Steuber and Virginia's Sports Information Department as being present today for the University of Virginia Pro Day. Shockingly, the Browns are present once more as a top-rated defensive back goes through his drills.

The DB in this case is CB Chris Cook, a top ten corner in our ratings, who is one of four Virginia players we have in the draft database. Cook has the size pro scouts look for in a corner. For subscribers, here's a more in-depth profile of Cook.

All but five NFL teams (JAX, TEN, SD, DAL and MIN) will be at the Virginia Workout. It will run from 10:15AM this morning to 12:15PM.

The Browns have also been confirmed to be one of eight teams at Marshall's Pro Day yesterday. RB Darius Marshall and OLB Albert McClellan are probably the two most intriguing players there.

Posted by: Barry McBride
on Thursday, March 18, 2010 at 9:17:00 AM

Updated Roster, Free Agency DB

-- The OBR typing pool has finished with the 2010 Browns roster. It's up to date, but we don't have the bios, newswire links, etc, rocking yet. But worth checking out if you want to begin getting your mind around what the team is turning out to look like in 2010. Depth chart coming up soon.

-- Scout's Adam Caplan and I have been diligently maintaining the 2010 free agent database, by far the most complete listing of who's available, who signed, etc, available anywhere on the internets. I don't care how many web servers you poke around in – you just need to leave those old machines in Brakaslavia alone, frankly – you're not going find a free agent listing more lovingly maintained and detailed than this one. Just give up scouring dank corners of the ‘net before your computer gets an infection. There's no need since ours is right here. I'm slamming in updates now, should be up-to-the minute by 10AM EST.

Posted on Twitter at: 1:03:00 AM
Derek Anderson coming to Arizona: While the retirement of Kurt Warner will certainly affect the efficiency of Ariz... http://bit.ly/cJIkeu

Posted by: Barry McBride
on Thursday, March 18, 2010 at 12:07:00 AM

More Pro Day Buzz

Believe it or not, there was more for NFL teams to scout today than the Tebowpalooza in Gainesville. Here's some of the other recent Pro Day activity:

-- A player of great interest to the Cleveland Browns, Eric Berry, was one of the Vols on display during Tennessee's Pro Day. The Browns were confirmed as being in attendance. Here's an article from Inside Tennessee. RB Montario Hardesty did quite well. Tennessee has several draft-eligible players who should go in the first two or three rounds. Per reports, Berry hurt his toe during drills, but should be fine.

-- The Browns were among 32 teams who were at Louisiana Tech's Pro Day. Here is a link to the Pro Day Wrap-Up on Scout's LaTech site (subscriber article). Louisiana has three players in our draft database, with DT D'Anthony Smith being the standout. Smith pounded 225 28 times on the bench.

-- Chris Steuber relays that the Browns were also at the Bowling Green pro day, as you might expect them to be. The star attraction there was WR Freddie Barnes. Steuber says "Barnes (6-0, 212) caught 155 passes for 1,770 yards and 19 touchdowns this past season. He will likely be a mid-to-late round selection due to his speed. But he's often compared to Philadelphia Eagles WR Jason Avant; Barnes has tremendous hands." JagNation's Charlie Bernstein also did a report on Barnes last month.

-- Based on the info we have, the Browns weren't at the Arkansas State Pro Day. It's a good thing. DE Alex Carrington was the main reason to be there, and he didn't work out.

-- Browns were at Fresno State's Pro Day today, and why not? Ryan Mathews is a back everyone seems to be falling in love with, and the Browns certainly had their eye on him.

Posted by: John Taylor
on Wednesday, March 17, 2010 at 2:12:00 PM

Holmgren ‘paying close attention' to Tebow

It's not exactly a state secret that the Browns will likely be in the market for a quarterback when the 2010 NFL draft rolls around in April.

With that in mind, team president Mike Holmgren took in Tebowpalooza – otherwise known as Florida's Pro Day – in Gainesville earlier today.

Here's a report from the St. Petersburg Times specifically mentioning Holmgren as one of the NFL types having a particular interest in former Gator Tim Tebow:

Among those paying close attention was Cleveland Browns president Mike Holmgren, whose team is known to be in the market for a quarterback.

Now, does this mean anything?   It could, or it couldn't it.  It is interesting that this writer picked out Holmgren to highlight amongst the hundreds of NFL front office personnel and coaches in attendance.

We've heard for a couple of months that Tebow is someone for whom Holmgren has a certain "fondness".  This is simply another data point on our way toward the end of April.

And a new quarterback for Jake Delhomme/Seneca Wallace to groom.

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