Taylor: Buzz in Full Bloom

Nothing to report? Hardly. John Taylor digs up the 411 on why Mike Holmgren recently backtracked on his "No Colt in 2010" stance, D'Qwell Jackson's state of mind, the logjam at tight end and the unbearable lightness of WR depth.

-- Even given Mike Holmgren's recent backtracking on his post-draft "Colt McCoy will not play in 2010" stance and head coach Eric Mangini's leaving the door open for the rookie quarterback to play in his inaugural NFL season, there's almost "no way in hell" that McCoy will see the field "in any type of meaningful situation this year."  Those are the combined thoughts of two organizational sources, who say that Holmgren's backtrack was simply a way for the new team president to realign himself with his coach's public stance.  Barring an injury to both Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace, the sources agree, McCoy will sit and learn, ball cap on his head and clipboard in his hands.

-- One of the things this organization is very cognizant of is (avoiding) a quarterback controversy, especially one that involves a player who, while they feel can eventually develop into a quality starter at the position, could "become damaged goods" if he's tossed to the wolves waaay before he's ready.  Simply put, the hierarchy will not allow a discussion about – let alone a controversy at – the most important and critical position on a football team until there is a need for it – i.e. McCoy shows that he's the best option in the eyes of the coaching staff and those of "influence" within the current hierarchy.  At least for now, they are resolute in their determination to not allow a media- or fan-driven controversy to chart their course at the position.  And, I'll be damned if that's not a welcome and refreshing change of pace compared to previous regimes.

-- For those concerned with McCoy coming from a collegiate offense that had him mainly taking snaps out of the shotgun, the rookie minicamp may have allayed some of those fears.  A Browns source said that the ex-Texas QB "looked very natural" taking snaps from under center.  Of course, it was simply a shorts-and-shells trio of sessions, but it's a step in the right direction for McCoy developing into a "bona fide" NFL prospect at the position.

-- It would be more than a little surprising if D'Qwell Jackson signed his tender and showed up for the Browns' upcoming minicamp.  Jackson and his camp remain "beyond pissed off" – words of a source close to Jackson – that literally no talks have taken place regarding a long-term deal, let alone any type of progress being made.  The linebacker is one disgruntled player and, as we've noted in the past, this is a situation that bears watching as the time for the start of training camp draws near.

-- Speaking of surprises, it would be one if Robert Royal were on this team for the start of the 2010 regular season.  Some have intimated that it would be a surprise if he made it to training camp, although we aren't ready to go that far just yet.  The signing of Ben Watson early on in free agency and Alex Smith last week does not bode well for Royal's future with the organization.  Throw in the fact that Evan Moore and Greg Estandia are currently on the roster at the position and the coaching staff is borderline "very intrigued" with their potential – particularly the former – Royal could be seeking employment elsewhere in the NFL sooner rather than later.

-- As it stands right now, the Browns have no plans to bring in a veteran wide receiver.  Mike Furrey, third on the team in receptions last season, was not re-signed before the start of free agency, and his agent's had very little contact with the club over the past two months or so.  There was some limited interest in Terrell Owens early on, but what little interest there was seems to have fallen completely off the table.  It might be something that's revisited once the new regime gets a look at just what they have – or don't have – at the position during the upcoming minicamp.

-- From purely a talent-level perspective, you could make an argument that, behind Mohammed Massaquoi, Carlton Mitchell is the second-best receiver on this roster right now.  Mitchell was a sixth-round pick of the Browns after being advised by almost everyone around him that he should return to South Florida for another year of seasoning.  And the Browns are going to go into the regular season with Massaquoi, Mitchell, Chansi Stuckey and Brian Robiskie – with a side of Josh Cribbs –  as the top four at the position?  Don't.  See it.  Happening.  Regardless of what sources are saying in early May.

-- One AFC North college scout told theOBR recently that, if he can stay relatively healthy, T.J. Ward could "be one of the biggest steals of the second round."  Of course, health is a major concern when it comes to Ward, and the impetus for stirring post-pick debates across Browns' message boards and in the media, but the scout said that the former Duck DB was "clean" medically on his team's draft board.  As for the concerns over his coverage skills, the scout said simply that the safety "was looked at by [the Oregon coaching staff] as an intimidator" and that his ability to defend against the pass "will be just fine with the coaching he'll get at this level."  The jury is still very much out on both of the red flags waving above the Ward selection, however.

-- The Browns caught wind of at least four teams either ahead of them in the draft or willing to move ahead of the Browns that had a more-than-passing interest in Montario Hardesty.  The former Tennessee running back – after a very solid final season in Knoxville – shot up draft boards by having, as one scout put it, "a surprisingly impressive" lead-up to the April draft.  The Browns are privately and quietly giddy about what the one-two punch of Hardesty and Jerome Harrison can bring to the offense this season.

-- Even with the draft having come and gone, rumors of teams being interested in trading for Shaun Rogers have not subsided much.  By all appearances, the Browns have little interest in dealing the tremendously gifted defensive lineman, but that hasn't stopped clubs from talking about – at least internally – poking around as to his availability.

-- Sheldon Brown has made it known that he would be more than willing to move from cornerback to safety, but, as of right now, the Browns aren't even remotely close to deciding which direction they will head toward in the secondary. 

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