OBR Daily Blog: 4/09/2010

It's Jimmy Clausen Day on the internets. Everyone excited about a Notre Dame QB? Huh? We've never tried that before, so it's all new to us.

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Posted by: Barry McBride
on Friday, April 09, 2010 at 11:50:00 PM

Hey Berea, Pittsburgh is Announcing their Visitors

The Pittsburgh Steelers are an example of an organization that doesn't treat everything like the secret for building an atomic bomb, yet seems to keep winning anyway. They have publicly announced 28 of their 30 draft-eligible 30 visitors, and I'm guessing that won't impact their draft strategy much, or that of those around them.

Yet, there are some teams that threaten players that they won't draft them if word leaks that they visited. It seems to me the sort of rule that hurts a team more than helps it. For the record, I haven't heard that about the Browns, even in the worst days of Fortress Berea.

I guess the atomic bomb analogy is apt, as you're supposed to be able to find enough on the web to learn how to put one together. I'm putting together a big spreadsheet for our subscribers with all sorts of info on it, including who we know the Browns have had visit their facility. In just the last 24 hours, we've been able to piece together a third of the Browns visit list, seven from news on the web, three more from our own sources. I put that together from my notes in about ten minutes.

I haven't even dug back in the archives yet.

We're gunning for thirty, but if you want to keep 'em secret, that's your thing. It's our thing to try to name them all. Bwa ha ha. Etc.

Posted by: Barry McBride
on Friday, April 09, 2010 at 10:40:00 PM

Yinzers Gone Skatin' Week Continues

There is now a sworn statement from a man who now says that he, not wealthy Steelers star Santonio Holmes, threw a drink in the face of the woman suing the wide receiver.

Whatever would possess a man to come forward with a statement like that? I assume it now means that he's going to get sued rather than Holmes. He must just be a really honest guy. Wracked with guilt, perhaps.

Whatever, "Bravo!", Mr. Honest Witness.

It is "unclear", according to the article, what connection the individual providing the statement has to Holmes or Holmes representative Alan Swickle.

All just a big misunderstanding, I guess. Thank goodness that's cleared up.

Posted on Twitter at: 10:02:00 PM
And you, too, @WayneEmbrysKids and @jeffhaseley !

Posted on Twitter at: 10:01:00 PM
Thanks for the #FF #FollowFriday mentions! @thundertreats @jasonM

Posted by: Barry McBride
on Friday, April 09, 2010 at 8:02:00 PM

Roethlisberger to Walk

The outcome that everyone knew was inevitable now is reported as such, as Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger will likely not face charges in the second case of sexual assault he has faced this year.

There are certainly all kinds of possibilities here. Perhaps Big Ben was completely innocent. Perhaps the local DA decided that there were more important things to do than deal with an array of expensive lawyers defending their famous. wealthy and lunkheaded client.

But, whatever the case, the Steelers' public image has taken quite a battering over the last several months.

I wonder if the volume of Steelers clothing, bumper stickers, and associated paraphernalia that has littered northeast Ohio will decline as a result?

Nah. That geographically oblivious bandwagon won't empty until the losses top the wins. But when it empties, it will empty fast.

Posted on Twitter at: 5:13:00 PM
(Subscriber) Reality Bytes, Part 3: Trades A'Poppin' ?: Lane's final article in the series focuses on trade made, ... http://bit.ly/9mXexc

Posted by: John Taylor
on Friday, April 09, 2010 at 3:12:00 PM

Conflicting Reports Emerge on Clausen's Workout

Ahhh, the vagaries of human beings, their eye balls and how the brain processes the same visuals.

We noted just a little bit earlier today that SI.com's Tony Pauline was less than impressed with Jimmy Clausen's Notre Dame Pro Day workout in South Bend Friday afternoon.

At the other end of the spectrum, however, is the NFL.com's Mike Mayock, widely looked upon as the most authoritative and knowledgeable draft voice in the business.

According to Mayock, Clausen was the direct opposite of Pauline's opinion – impressive. 

"I saw everything I needed to see," Mayock was quoted as saying by ProFootballTalk.com.  "He had a strong arm.  Good accuracy.  I saw what I expected to see."

So, there you have it.  Clausen was impressive.  Or he wasn't.

And it's yet another reminder to not put too much stock one way or the other in these scripted workouts.  It's the exact reason why The Big Football Fan in the Sky invented game film.

On another note regarding Clausen's workout, NFL.com reports that 16 teams were present at the Pro Day.  Yes, the Cleveland Browns were one of those teams.

A full contingent of St. Louis Rams were in attendance – general manager Billy Devaney, head coach Steve Spagnulo and offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur among them, although there was no word on whether QB coach Dick Curl showed – and Clausen was also scheduled to conduct a three-hour private workout with Seattle immediately after the Pro Day.

The Seahawks hold the No. 6 spot in the draft, one spot ahead of the Browns.

Posted on Twitter at: 3:00:00 PM
Miles From Boise Adding Up For Wilson: Scout.com's NFL Draft Analyst Chris Steuber reveals Boise State cornerback ... http://bit.ly/cHGi59

Posted by: John Taylor
on Friday, April 09, 2010 at 2:35:00 PM

Clausen Less-Than-Impressive at Pro Day?

If the Browns ultimately opt for Jimmy Clausen in the the upcoming draft, it won't be – based on the reports coming out this afternoon – due to his performance at Notre Dame's Pro Day Friday.

With a headline that screamed "Clausen doesn't wow at Pro Day", SI.com's Tony Pauline writes that the former Irish quarterback "was solid but it's unlikely scouts came away… thinking he had stamped himself as a Top 10 pick."

While Pauline reports that Clausen "displayed solid velocity" and "delivered some nice strikes down the field", there was seemingly some timing issues even as only two of the 50-some passes Clausen threw fell incomplete.  That would seem to suggest that the players on the receiving end of Clausen's passes may have been more impressive than Clausen himself.

Hopefully, as far as the Browns are concerned, this workout didn't sway them too much one way or the other because the most important tool in evaluating a prospect – actual game film – has already been poured over for hours on end.

Let the film speak, not some 50-pass, scripted session.

Posted by: Barry McBride
on Friday, April 09, 2010 at 2:29:00 PM

Browns First Pre-Season Game: 8/14 at 7PM

NFL clubs are starting to send out press releases locking down the exact days and times of pre-season contests. Previously, the NFL had only announced schedules and weekends.

One of these clubs is the Packers, so we now know that the Browns first pre-season game will be played on Saturday 8/14 at 7PM Central. Set your countdown calendars accordingly. Thank you.

Posted by: Barry McBride
on Friday, April 09, 2010 at 2:15:00 PM

Clausen Finishes Up Pro Day

Scientists have recently learned that the brain will react in a certain way if words or phrases are used that it associates with pain.

"In both cases, we could observe a clear activation of the pain matrix in the brain by pain-associated words," said study author Maria Richter."

This explains why I wince at words like "drive" (wince), "fumble" (twitch) and the number "eighty-eight" (twince). And so on.

Another phrase that may trigger the pain reflex in my brain is the following: "Notre Dame quarterback".

This is a natural reaction to following (with great initial hope) the non-career of Brady Quinn here in Cleveland. Greeted with unbelievable excitement, Quinn's Browns career never got any traction. Whether this is due to poor career decisions, injury, or plain old bad luck is beyond my limited capability as an analyst, but fans might be forgiven for associating another Fighting Irish QB, Jimmy Clausen, closely with Quinn.

After all, in Clausen, we have another quarterback from the same school, who played for the same coach, who wasn't able to lead the club to a National Championship, who is not regarded as the top quarterback in the draft, and who might possibly tumble down the first round if he's not picked by the right teams. On the surface, they're very similar.

But the comparison to Quinn is really inappropriate, which became more obvious as Clausen worked out for NFL teams this afternoon. Physically, Clausen has a stronger arm and quicker release than Quinn, and looks to be the type of quarterback NFL teams really like from that perspective. NFL.com's Mike Mayock attended both Clausen's workout and Quinn's and offered that there was no comparison regarding their ability to make all the throws. Clausen, physically, is a top talent, and looked it from the brief glimpses we got of his workout .

Unfortunately, the questions with Clausen, unlike Quinn, center around his approach to the game and teammates. It's the sort of thing that draft observers outside of those getting access to Clausen for extended interviews aren't really going to get a feel for. It's going to be tough enough for NFL teams to get a read on Clausen, and hopeless for outside observers.

So, the trepidation about Clausen exists for Browns fans for these two reasons. While the "Brady Quinn 2" comparison is invalid, it's hard as an outsider to get a read on Clausen as a person and potential face of the franchise. And that makes us nervous. And it should.

Posted by: Barry McBride
on Friday, April 09, 2010 at 1:28:00 PM

Tales from the Dork Side

Miscellaneous stuff that I considered to be worth at least a bullet point. Bullet points are fun!!

Following up on Yinzers Gone Wild week...

  • An announcement on Monday will have a big impact on the AFC North, and it has nothing to do with trades or the draft. It's the DA in the, er, Ocmulgee Judicial District, who will talk about his decision in the Ben Roethlisbonehead case. This comes from the Milledgeville Union-Recorder, so you know it's true.
  • Santonio Holmes' lawyer can talk about how thrown classes and cut faces are just extortion as much as he wants, but the Steelers are for some reason taking a sudden interest in receivers who are available in the draft.
  • I was going to link a story or two about the Steelers sudden interest in Dan LeFevour, but the sites reporting it seemed pretty dubious and I wound up with more pop-up ads than pages viewed, so I won't inflict that on you. But if I had to think if a QB that seemed the most similar to Roethlisbonehead, with regard to his stye of play, Lefeavour would be right up there.

Observations from watching NFL Network in the middle of the day because webdorks are allowed to watch TV while they do webdorky things. Which makes it not "a real job".

  • Mike Lombardi's mock draft has Eric Berry going ahead of the Browns in the draft, and the team taking Earl Thomas instead. This is sort of distressing for me, because I like Earl Thomas, and wouldn't mind seeing the Browns take him, although in my dreams it's accompanied by a trade-down and another draft pick. But, that's what we have to live with now - we have to forget Thomas as a Browns draft pick, because it's the opposite of what Mike Lombardi said the team would do. Darn it. Maybe that means we'll get Eric Berry.
  • On the upside, I am starting to like NFL Network more, because most of their experts look sort of dorky, overweight, and dweebish. It gives me hope that I, too, might have a TV career someday. If I wanted one, which I don't, really.
  • An hour watching the NFL Network while trying to do useful things reinforces why I usually don't have the TV on while I'm working. It's too darn distracting. Especially NFL Network, because they use any excuse they can to show cheerleaders. I'm sorry, but try to work with cheerleaders cavorting about is difficult. Desirable, but difficult.

Various weirdness on the Internet, which is really where most various weirdness can be easily found:

  • Eric Wright's Facebook page has somewhat of an ambitious headline. I joined it anyway.
  • Bernie Kosar's favorite QB coach, Marc Trestman, is on somewhat of a roll: Head coach of the CFL winners, seen on TV this afternoon tutoring Jimmy Clausen, and getting some props for his work with Tim Tebow. Just a matter of time before his name shows up as an NFL head coaching candidate.
  • There's a general expectation that the Broncos will start backing down from their demand for a first-round pick for Brandon Marshall right around the time that the draft hits and it becomes obvious that they won't get it. Let's just file away in the back of our minds some early sniffing-around the Browns did regarding Marshall, per Lane Adkins.

Posted on Twitter at: 12:25:00 PM
Thanks to @xWITN3SSx and @ thedraftpick for the follow suggestions! #FF #FollowFriday

Posted by: Barry McBride
on Friday, April 09, 2010 at 12:09:00 PM

Jimmy Clausen, TV Star

The NFL Network is showing Jimmy Clausen's Pro Day live. The coverage is what we typically expect from NFL Network, showing Clausen delivering bullets on a practice field while commentators talk over the video without really describing what's going on.

Clausen is throwing the Golden Tate and everything is being caught, of course. Some passes downfield have been a little high, but it's though to say, on sideline patterns, whether that's intentional or a slight overthrow. Observers are in the background and out of focus, but one Cleveland Browns scout appears to be on the field behind Clausen, and Bernie Kosar's favorite quarterback guru Marc Trestman is there working with the Notre Dame quarterback.

No sign of Holmgren, Heckert, or Mangini, but they will get the tape if they're not there.

Posted on Twitter at: 11:02:00 AM
The Scout free agent database has been updated with all of yesterday's moves. Click here: http://bit.ly/cFZxaj

Posted by: OBR Newswire
on Friday, April 09, 2010 at 4:22:00 AM

OBR Newswire updates for April 8th through April 9th

These are links from the OBR Newswire for April 8th through April 9th:

Posted on Twitter at: 7:58:00 PM
All Crystal Baller Offensive Team: At this point, we all know who the top prospects are in the 2010 NFL Draft. But... http://bit.ly/b952Bi

Posted on Twitter at: 7:44:00 PM
(Subscriber) Reality Bytes: The RFAs: Are things quiet regarding the Browns restricted free agents? A little too q... http://bit.ly/as4XUP

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