Q: Every year it appears the Browns have issues at the quarterback position. Now we have three new players at QB. We keep hearing about the importance of continuity, and doing the opposite. How is this supposed to succeed?
LA: The QB position has been bordered embarrassing in recent seasons. Over the years, we've seen impatience, poor fit and poor evaluation.
The head coach of the team lost all faith in the two primary QB's a season ago (Anderson and Quinn) and did not want to go forward with either, if possible. The team president has a pretty good sense of offensive football (and QBs in particular) and did not see any reason to bring back to the quarterbacks on the roster.
Now, back to Delhomme. He comes off a poor 2009 season and many believe this is not a true indicator as to what he can accomplish or bring to Cleveland.
Last year, there was no commitment to the QB, the passing game or trust in the QB to establish an identity. We can already say that, with Delhomme, head coach Eric Mangini has already gained a better comfort level and trust in the player than he had at any time last season.
Encouragingly, Delhomme has gained the confidence of the locker room, has been productive in meetings and on the practice field and displays a calm swagger which reflects his confidence. Furthermore, Delhomme has been the polar opposite of those before him - in practice, he has been accurate and throws a very catch-able ball.
Does this all translate to stability at the position? Hard to tell at this early time, and with Delhomme being 36-years of age, he is on the downside of his career. But, a team like the Browns need a positive, stabilizing piece at the game's most important position for the development of the rest of the roster.
Q: When Tom Heckert was named the general manager of the Browns, did he not come with full authority over the draft and player acquisition? If so, how or why did Mike Holmgren play the president card and dictate the organization selecting Colt McCoy?
LA: Heckert was named the general manager, but he does not have ultimate authority in the front office. He is responsible for his staff in player personnel and has others working under him that head up scouting.
Holmgren did force his hand and request to his general manager to select McCoy in the third round. much to the credit of both, Holmgren and Heckert, the GM was able to hold the president off until the third round, as Holmgren was itching to pull the trigger earlier, while Heckert convinced him to wait longer, anticipating the QB would still be on the board.
Q: When Holmgren was named team president and the brought in Tom Heckert as general manager, it was thought that the Browns would be in position to land a top-tier type quarterback. That being said, why did Holmgren and Heckert pass on the opportunity to deal for Donovan McNabb, rather than a washed-up Jake Delhomme?
LA: We spent a good portion of the spring dealing some of these rumors, specifically those regarding Eagles QBs Kevin Kolb and Donovan McNabb, which popped up all over the media.
The Eagles displayed no desire to deal Kolb, as he was viewed as the heir-apparent. With McNabb, the Eagles came out of the gate seeking multiple selections, which would include a first round draft selection. Despite the serious dilemma in Cleveland at the QB position. Holmgren refrained from dealing a first and other selections/players to get a deal in place for the veteran QB.
When it became obvious to Holmgren that the Eagles were not ready to move from their demands, Holmgren evaluated all the QB options and went with the choice he felt had the greatest upside in gaining stability for the Browns
Q: What do the Browns really believe Seneca Wallace can provide this team? He has been another journeyman quarterback, something that this Browns team has had their share of over the past ten years... how do the moves the organization has made at the position this off-season really make this team any better? I don't see it.
LA: Seneca Wallace is a very good athlete that will have a role with this team, outside of the QB position, especially if he is the backup.
Wallace is not chopped liver. He has had some success at the professional level, but is not regarded as a long-term answer as a starter at the professional level. Wallace does provide Holmgren and now Mangini somewhat of a comfort level, knowing he will work hard, be prepared and not embarrass himself or the team on game-day.
It will not come as a surprise to see Wallace split wide in the passing game and be involved in a modified offensive scheme with he and Josh Cribbs on the field to confuse and expose the opposition. Also, Wallace has improved his passing skills in the past years.
Wallace provides the Browns a serviceable backup QB, as well as an option and threat in special packages.