OBR Blog Archive: June 2010

The OBR's endless nattering during a "slow month" in the NFL. We just never shut up, it appears...

Posted by: Don Delco
on June 29th, 2010 AT 1:14 PM

HBO labels Lombardi “the greatest” in upcoming documentary

As with any debate in sports, it is subjective, but I was taken aback at a recent NFL release regarding a new documentary on Vince Lombardi.

The headline read: “HBO Sports and NFL Films Examine The Life of Football’s Greatest Coach in Lombardi, Debuting Dec. 11, Exclusively on HBO.”

See, the issue I have is the label “greatest coach.” No doubt, Lombardi was an excellent coach, an inspirational coach and can be and should be considered for NFL’s Mount Rushmore.

"A philosopher once defined a great man as someone who never reminds us of anyone else. Few men can match that criteria – Lombardi is one of them," said NFL Films president Steve Sabol. "He is the patron saint of pro football, and we are thrilled to once again partner with HBO in telling such a significant story."

After becoming the head coach and general manager of the Packers in 1959, Lombardi led the Packers to NFL championships in 1961 and 1962, followed by three consecutive NFL championships from 1965 to 1967, most notably winning the first two Super Bowls in 1966 and 1967.

Can you can see where I’m going with this?

What about Paul Brown?

Let’s thumbnail coach Brown’s career accomplishments:

•61 years coaching football.

•From 1932-40, Brown was 80-8-2 at Massillon Washington High School, which included a 35-game winning streak. Massillon was voted to six consecutive Ohio state poll high school football championships (1935-40). During that time, the Tigers outscored their opponents 2,393-168.

•From 1941-43, Brown won 27 games at Ohio State including the program’s first national title in 1942 on a team that included three seniors, 16 juniors and 24 sophomores.

•During World War II, Brown served at the Great Lakes Naval Station and was head coach of the Bluejacket football team. In two years, the Bluejackets were 15-5-2.

•Instead of returning to Ohio State, Brown went to Cleveland as part owner, vice president and general manager for a new professional team in the AAFC.

•After winning four consecutive titles in the AAFC from 1946-49, the Browns won the 1950, 1954 and 1955 NFL championships. Brown was 167-53-8 in Cleveland with only one losing record in 17 seasons.

•Brown’s innovations included intelligence tests for players, establishing a game film library, teaching players in a classroom setting, using a radio transmitter to communication with players on the field and installing face masks. Browns’ offense, which was run by Otto Graham, was a predecessor of the West Coast Offense made famous by Bill Walsh.

•Brown’s coach tree: Blanton Collier, Weeb Ewbank, Sid Gillman, Chuck Noll, Ara Parseghian, Lou Saban, Don Shula, Bill Walsh and Sam Wyche.

Lombardi is an “NFL Icon,” as Sabol said, but when using the term “greatest” it provides a platform to begin a debate. At least around these parts, I have a feeling that debate is heavily one-sided toward the man whose name has been associated with professional football in Cleveland for 64 years and counting.

Posted by: OBR Newswire
on June 29th, 2010 AT 8:00 AM

OBR Newswire updates for June 28th through June 29th

These are links from the OBR Newswire for June 28th through June 29th:

Posted by: Don Delco
on June 29th, 2010 AT 7:06 AM

Geathers (potentially) could be a sixth-round steal

Clifton Geathers became the first player of the Browns 2010 rookie class to sign on Monday. The terms of his multi-year deal were not released.

Geathers is a 6-foot-7, 300-pound defensive end out of South Carolina who was drafted as the 17th pick in the sixth round and is a project. According to the OBR’s Lane Adkins, “at times, Geathers has created pressure and havoc while at other times the rookie DE has been overwhelmed.?”

Geathers’ first impressions to the Cleveland media and fans was one of a confident player. In a conference call with reporters following his selection last April, Geathers said he was “going to be a freak” and with a little coaching “I’ll be the best person probably in the league.”

It was quite the opposite of the type of player and person Geathers was at South Carolina. According to Joe Pearson, the Gamecocks beat writer for The State, “he came in quietly and went out quietly. He never did any formal announcement that he decided to come to South Carolina and he never did any formal announcement nor return phone calls when he decided to leave early.”

Geathers, a junior, opted to enter the NFL after what was his best season. He played 12 games and finished with career highs in tackles (41), tackles for loss (8.5) and sacks (3.5). Professional football is a family buisness. His brother, Robert Geathers Jr., plays for Cincinnati. Their father, Robert Sr., was drafted by the Bills in 1991 and their uncle, James “Jumpy” Geathers, played 13 years in the NFL.

Geathers missed a game his junior season because of a suspension. Last August, Geathers was in a fight outside a night club and cracked his right orbital bone. Once the incident became a thing of the past and the season progressed, Geathers showed signs of a big-time player Pearson said.

“When he did come on he made some noise,” Pearson said. “He was all over (Florida quarterback Tim) Tebow on national television.”

South Carolina lost that Nov. 14 game 24-14, but Geathers finished with seven tackles, 4.5 tackles for a loss and 1.5 sacks.

“He seemed like he was in the backfield all day,” Pearson said. “Down the stretch of last season he showed the skills that suggest he could be successful at the next level.”

Browns nose guard Ahtyba Rubin was also a sixth-round selection. Potential is a dangerous word around the Browns. Sure, players have potential, but impact players are sorely needed. Time will tell if these sixth-rounders, Geathers and Rubin, can become those impact players.

Posted by: TheOBR on Twitter
on June 28th, 2010 AT 6:59 PM

Browns Sign 6th Round Pick: De…

Browns Sign 6th Round Pick: Defensive lineman Clifton Geathers is the first Browns draft pick to come to an agreement. http://bit.ly/8XPcOh

Posted by: TheOBR on Twitter
on June 28th, 2010 AT 6:19 PM

Breaking News: The Browns have…

Breaking News: The Browns have signed their first draft pick: final selection Cliff Geathers has inked a deal.

Posted by: Don Delco
on June 28th, 2010 AT 12:32 PM

Browns continue to find marketing partners

Last week the Browns announced a partnership with Cedar Point. Now, the club has announced another partnership, this time with one of the city’s other professional sports teams.

A new “4-PACK” features four games — two Browns and two Indians games — for $99.

Here are the nuts and bolts:

For $99, you receive a Family Zone or K-Category ticket to the following two Browns games:

Sunday, Sept. 19 at 1 p.m. vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Sunday, Nov. 28 at 1 p.m. vs. Carolina Panthers

In addition, you receive a View Box ticket to the follow two Indians games:

Tuesday, July 27 at 7:05 p.m. vs. New York Yankees

Saturday, Aug. 14 at 7:05 p.m. vs. Seattle Mariners

According to the team, “packages can be purchased online at www.clevelandbrowns.com and www.indians.com, or at any Cleveland Browns ticket offices (440-824-3434) and Indians Team Shops. The offer is subject to availability. The two teams will be announcing another MVP Suite Package in the near future.”

Not a bad deal, actually. It’s nice to see the two pro clubs cooperate. Four games for $100 is a deal, but the only problem is you need to find someone else to buy into the marketing campaign, as the $100 only gets on you one ticket to each event.

Posted by: Don Delco
on June 28th, 2010 AT 12:16 PM

2010-11 NFL calendar

Last Friday, the NFL released its calendar for the upcoming season. Make note of the important dates below.


June 27-30 — NFL Rookie Symposium, Carlsbad, Calif.

July 15 — Supplemental Draft

Late July — Training camps open. NOTE: Browns’ rookies will report July 23 and veterans report July 30.

Aug. 8 — Pro Football Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio. Bengals vs. Cowboys

Aug. 12-16 — First preseason weekend. NOTE: Browns play at Green Bay at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 14

Aug. 31 — Roster cutdown to maximum of 75 players

Sept. 4 — Roster cutdown to maximum of 53 players

Sept. 9-13 — Kickoff 2010 Weekend. NOTE: Browns play at Tampa Bay at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 12.

Oct. 11-14 — NFL Fall League Meeting, Chicago, Ill.

Oct. 19 — Trading Deadline

Oct. 31 — International Series, London, England. Denver vs. San Francisco


Jan. 2 — Regular season ends

Jan. 8-9 — Wild Card Playoffs

Jan. 15-16 — Divisional Playoffs

Jan. 23 — Conference Championships

Jan. 30 — Pro Bowl, Honolulu, Hawaii (ESPN)

Feb. 6 — Super Bowl XLV, North Texas (FOX)

Feb. 23-March 1 — NFL Scouting Combine, Indianapolis, Ind.

Posted by: Don Delco
on June 28th, 2010 AT 7:29 AM

Elway turns 50 today

Less than a week after rehashing the mistakes of Art Modell’s life on his 85th birthday, today former Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway turns 50.

Unfortunately, Elway didn’t make too many mistakes when he played the Browns.

With not much actual Browns news going on, it is fitting the franchises’ top two arch rivals has reached milestone birthdays within a week of one another.

Elway’s 50th birthday brings up the heartbreaking memories of the 1986, 1987 and 1989 AFC Championship games. In all three games, Elway was a combined 56-for-100 passing for 910 yards with seven touchdowns and two interceptions. Most importantly, his teams were 3-0 in those games.

Yet following each of those three games, his team’s lost in the Super Bowl two weeks later. A small, yet somewhat satisfying victory for Browns fans. But toward the end of the 90s, Elway got a new coach and a running game and won back-to-back Super Bowls.

Of course he did.

“I couldn’t be happier about my career,” Elway recently told Woody Paige of the Denver Post. “I don’t know that Joe Montana could have enjoyed his four Super Bowl wins as much as I enjoyed my two because he never lost. The Super Bowl is the ultimate win, but it’s also the ultimate loss. The high was higher because I felt the lowest of the low. After we won (the AFC title game in ‘97) in Pittsburgh, I called my mom and told her we were going back to the Super Bowl. She said: ‘Do you really have to?’ “?

Those victories put him in the discussion as one of the best quarterbacks ever to play the game. It is an interesting debate. Sure, he was good, but certainly not the best. Right?

Regardless, it has been 12 years since Elway retired as a nine-time Pro Bowler and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004.

More from Paige:

What is it like to be John Elway?

“For all the pluses, there are the minuses, and it comes back to the middle. The good and the bad. My father and my sister passing, the divorce (from his first wife, Janet). The three losses in the Super Bowl, then the two victories in the Super Bowl. Health issues. Incredible positive things in my life. Bad decisions.?

The way things are going lately, I’m expecting another infamous figure in Browns history to have a birthday soon. They say things come in three. Well, I just checked and Bill Cowher’s birthday is May 8, 1957. Phew.

Posted by: OBR Newswire
on June 27th, 2010 AT 8:00 AM

OBR Newswire updates for June 25th through June 27th

These are links from the OBR Newswire for June 25th through June 27th:

Posted by: Don Delco
on June 25th, 2010 AT 1:07 PM

Browns team up with Cedar Point

Earlier this month, the Browns announced its Select-A-Seat event on June 12 was a success. According to the club, it was “the most successful new ticket sales day since the team returned in 1999.”

To build off that momentum, the Browns have teamed with Cedar Point. According to an announcement by the Browns today, the club and the amusement park have, “teamed up to offer Browns fans an exciting ticket offer. Now through Sunday, July 10, any Browns fans purchasing a new full season ticket will receive two tickets good on any day of Cedar Point’s 2010 operating season, while supplies last.”

Yeah, it seems bizzare.

Hang on, there are quotes.

"We are thrilled to partner with the Browns and look forward to seeing many fans enjoy their time at Cedar Point this summer,” said Clark Culbertson, Vice President Marketing at Cedar Point.

"Providing Cedar Point tickets with Browns season tickets is a great entertainment combination," said Chris Gallagher, Browns Vice President Ticket Sales & Service. "We are always looking for new ways to add value to the Season Ticket Holder experience.”

Forgive me, I’m not into roller coasters or amusement parks, but isn’t Cedar Point already popular enough as is? Heck, it seems the Travel Channel highlights their rides and the park each and every year.

As for the Browns, we kn?ow their fan base is one of the best in the NFL and their passion is on display here at the OBR each and every day.

So why the partnership? Are the Browns hurting that bad for season tickets sales or are they angling for Browns-themed rides at the Sandusky park?

I’m not sure if this will be the winning combination the Browns are looking for to create a surge in season ticket sales. Instead, how about starting with eliminating personal seat licenses? That seems like that would be a good place to start.

Posted by: OBR Newswire
on June 25th, 2010 AT 9:00 AM

OBR Newswire updates for June 24th through June 25th

These are links from the OBR Newswire for June 24th through June 25th:

Posted by: Don Delco
on June 24th, 2010 AT 7:20 AM

Browns rookies to go camping today

This is a bit of a touchy subject around these parts, but the Cleveland Browns rookie class will partake in a youth camp today.

No worries. No bus rides are needed and this isn’t taking place in Connecticut.

Instead, the Browns’ 2010 rookie class will work with campers from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. today at the one-week youth camp for ages eight to 14. Currently, the Cleveland Browns Youth Football Camp runs from June 21-25 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Berea.

The one-week camp offers a flag (ages 8-11) and advanced skills (12-14) curriculum.

Today’s session, attended by the likes of Joe Haden, Colt McCoy and T.J. Ward, will be open to the media.

Posted by: OBR Newswire
on June 23rd, 2010 AT 6:00 PM

OBR Newswire updates for June 22nd through June 23rd

These are links from the OBR Newswire for June 22nd through June 23rd:

Posted by: OBR Newswire
on June 22nd, 2010 AT 1:00 PM

Latest Links from the OBR Newswire

These are links from the OBR Newswire for June 22nd from 07:30 to 12:29:

Posted by: Don Delco
on June 22nd, 2010 AT 10:39 AM

Prep football returns to Browns Stadium

The Cleveland Browns have announced a doubleheader of high school football powerhouses will be played Saturday, Aug. 28 at Cleveland Browns Stadium.

It features four of the top high school programs in northeast Ohio.

At 3 p.m., St. Edward plays Mentor.

At 7 p.m. St. Ignatius plays Lake Catholic.

Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 on game day.

According to today’s release by the Browns:

Proceeds will benefit each of the four participating schools, as well as the Cleveland Browns Foundation. In addition, at halftime of both games a scholarship will be presented to one student from each school. Tickets will be available for purchase through the respective high schools or the Cleveland Browns Stadium Ticket Office. One ticket will be good for both games. Concessions will be available for sale. For more information on the game or tickets, please call Home Team Marketing at 216-566-8326.

This is the 42nd edition of the Charity Game. It was the premier high school event in Ohio from 1931-1968. During that 38 year span, the game featured the champions of the East and West Senate Leagues who played to be the city champion. The game returned to the city of Cleveland in 2005, and in 2006 and 2007 the game was staged at Cleveland Browns Stadium. The past three Charity Games have generated more than $210,000 towards the participating schools and selected charities.

Posted by: Barry McBride
on June 21st, 2010 AT 4:33 PM

Browns Ticket Sales Hours Extended

The Browns have been making a number of strong steps to help sell tickets, something once believed to be an entitlement of the franchise. After over a decade of struggle and with a troublesome economy, the team has had to go above and beyond to sell tickets.

Today the Browns announced that they’re going to be staffing longer hours at their ticket sales office starting on Wednesday. Here’s the press release:

In an effort to better serve their customers, the Cleveland Browns will launch an extended business hours schedule in their ticket office starting this Wednesday, June 23.  These expanded hours are aimed at assisting fans with all of their ticketing needs.  

The team's regular business hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.  Beginning on Wednesday, the new extended hours schedule is as follows:

·         Wednesdays (June 23 through September 15): 8:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
·         Saturdays *(June 26 through September 18): 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
             *office will be closed on Saturday, July 3
·         Additional extended hours are available by appointment by calling (440) 824-3434.

The extended hours start just weeks after the team held two successful "Select-A-Seat" events – one for Season Ticket Holders on June 5 and another for all Browns fans on June 12.

"Our fans enjoyed the opportunity to view their seats in person at the Select-A-Seat events earlier this month," said Browns Vice President – Ticket Sales and Service Chris Gallagher.  "We know it's difficult for fans to take time out of their workdays to make a trip to Cleveland Browns Stadium.  It is our hope that these extended hours will make it easier for them and provide them more flexibility."

During the extended hours, the Browns will have staff members available at Cleveland Browns Stadium to assist fans with their ticketing needs.  Fans can view new season ticket and partial plan seating locations available for the 2010 season in person with the assistance of a Browns ticket representative. 

For more information please contact the Browns Ticket Sales Department at (440) 824-3434.

Posted by: Don Delco
on June 21st, 2010 AT 12:42 PM

Modell turns 85 on Wednesday

On Wednesday, June 23, Art Modell turns 85. Currently, Modell is the Baltimore Ravens owner emeritus. Recently, the team recently held a surprise birthday party for him and Baltimore Sun writer Kevin Cowher was in attendance and caught up with Modell.

Here are the facts: It’s been 14 years since Modell moved the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore and most, if not all, Cleveland fans remain furious. Regardless of what happens to LeBron James, Modell moving the Browns will always be at the top of list for Cleveland sports heartbreaks.

On Sunday, Cowher wrote:

“I’ll never be able to erase the anger in Cleveland,” (Modell) said quietly. “And I owe that to the ? politicians who betrayed me.”

So even though he was a league visionary, even though his Browns won the NFL championship in 1964, even though his Ravens won the Super Bowl in 2000, even though he hired Newsome to be the first African-American general manager in the NFL, Modell is still being penalized by a few Hall of Fame voters for relocating the Browns to Baltimore.

It doesn’t seem fair, even though Modell tries remain above the fray.

“It’s not my call,” Modell said of the possibility of making the Hall soon. “If it [happens], I’ll be happy. If it doesn’t, I’ll be up early for breakfast.”?

Blame the politicians? In 1973, Modell offered to lease Municipal Stadium for $1 a year from the city and in exchange, Modell’s company, Stadium Corportation, assumed the expense of operations from the city, which freed up tax dollars for other expenses. A new scoreboard and, more importantly, luxury suites, generated high revenue for Stadium Corporation. He refused to share that revenue with the Indians.

When the Indians convinced the local government to build them their own stadium, Modell felt his revenues were not endangered and refused to join the Gateway Project. After the Indians moved into Jacobs Field in 1994, Modell’s revenues took a sharp decline.

It was Modell who requested an issue to be placed on the ballot to give him $175 million in tax dollars to refurbish Cleveland Stadium.

Was it the politicians who were at fault when after the City of Cleveland agreed to improve Municipal Stadium, you issued a public moratorium on discussions related to the stadium issue or the future of the franchise while you entered into secret discussions with the State of Maryland to move the team to Baltimore?

The public referendum on the extension of the sin tax that would pay for those Municipal Stadium improvements passed by a wide margin on Nov. 7, 1995. Yet your announcement of the move occurred a day earlier.

Finally, this broke your promise you made many times to fans you would not move the team. It happened to your beloved Brooklyn Dodgers. You didn’t want to happen to your Cleveland Browns.

Is that fair, Mr. Cowher?

To this day, Modell’s decision has affected generations of Browns fans. Not only did it hurt to lose the team, but it has been one losing season after another since the team’s return in 1999.

There won’t be any birthday cards sent to Modell with a Cleveland, Ohio return address. Also, here’s hoping there isn’t a celebration of this man’s NFL accomplishments in Canton anytime soon. Simply put, for all the good he did for the NFL (Monday Night Football, owners’ labor committee and negotiating the first collective bargaining agreement), it was all dwarfed by his selfish decision to move the Browns to Baltimore.

Posted by: OBR Newswire
on June 21st, 2010 AT 10:00 AM

OBR Newswire updates for June 19th through June 21st

These are links from the OBR Newswire for June 19th through June 21st:

Posted by: Don Delco
on June 21st, 2010 AT 9:49 AM

Kosar’s name surfaces in Blagojevich trial

In order to analyze the Cleveland Browns it is important to try and remain objective. Objectivity is an important skill they teach you in Journalism 101. Objectivity is becoming harder and harder to spot among today’s media, whether that media is covering sports, politics or your local 4-H meeting.

As much as I try to stay objective, it flies out the window when Bernie Kosar’s name surfaces. It can be argued, effectively and sober, that Kosar is the most beloved figure in Cleveland sports history.

I, as I’m sure many Cleveland fans can agree, will always openly root for Mr. Kosar.

He’s a local boy who found success on the national stage playing quarterback in college at Miami and in the pros in Cleveland. After college, he wanted to play for the Browns. Like Cleveland, he wasn’t perfect. His throwing motion was off. He was slow. But he got the job done in a blue-collar manner.

He took the Browns to the brink of a Super Bowl. He failed and continued to have problems in retirement. But so many of us have failed numerous times in our lives. It has only endeared Kosar to Cleveland that much more.

Last week, his name surfaced once again. It wasn’t related to his off-the-field issues that Dan Lebatad of the Miami Herald so starkly wrote about last year.

No, this one is bizzare.

You’ve surely heard of the name Rod Blagojevich.

If not, here’s the Cliff Notes: The Govener of Illinois from 2003-09 who was arrested on federal corruption charges in 2008 for conspiracy to committ mail and wire fraud and solicitation of bribery. Basically, it was up to him to fill Barack Obama’s vacated U.S. Senate seat and Blagojevich? decided he would sell it, “to the highest bidder.”

That’s a big no-no.

Fast forward to June of 2010. He’s now trail now for those charges and that’s when Kosar’s name resurfaced. According to the Chicago Sun-Times’ Blago Blog:

One of Rod Blagojevich’s best pals, Christopher Kelly, had plotted to get a presidential pardon from President Bush, government witness Lon Monk just testified.

Kelly wanted Bernie Kosar to approach: “(Then-Florida Governor) Jeb Bush and then go to President Bush and then pardon Chris,” Blagojevich’s former chief of Staff Alonzo Monk said. “Somehow they were linked to the signing of this horse-racing bill,” he said.

According to Monk’s testimony, he said Kelly, who was indicted in 2007 on a tax case, thought he could use Kosar to get Jeb Bush to seek a presidential pardon from his brother George Bush.

Hey, it’s all about who you know, right?

Jeb Bush said he never got a call from Kosar. Kelly never received a pardon. Monk said that even Blagojevich thought the plan was far fetched. Kelly committed suicide last year.

Meanwhile, last week was not the first time Kosar has been connected with Blagojevich. In the final months of 2008, Blagojevich complied a list of people he wanted to approach for contributions, including four men who could fill President Obama’s Senate seat (re: finding “the highest bidder”). The Sun-Times obtained a list dated Dec. 3, 2008, which was six days before his arrest.

According to the Sun-Times, “many on the list said they had no idea they were on it” and most were targeted for $100,000.

The list includes a broad range of fund-raising targets, from White Sox and Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf to onetime Cleveland Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar to promoters of mixed martial arts, which Blagojevich legalized in Illinois in 2008.?

And I thought sports were like a soap opera. This shady political stuff is juicy.

Posted by: Barry McBride
on June 18th, 2010 AT 1:54 PM

Browns to Host HS Football Invitational

This seems pretty cool… the Browns will be hosting a 7-on-7 tournament at their facility in Berea next Saturday. Here’s the info from the team:

In an effort to further develop youth football, the Cleveland Browns will welcome 15 high school football teams to the club's Berea Training Facility on Saturday, June 19, for the inaugural Cleveland Browns High School Invitational starting at 9:00 a.m. This 7-on-7 style tournament will give nearly 300 athletes the opportunity to play on NFL practice fields. Teams will be divided in to three flights (five teams in each flight) and each team will play everyone in their respective flight. Following flight play, teams will be seeded and play in a single elimination bracket. Teams participating in this year's invitational include:

Bedford Bearcats
Berea Braves
Cleveland Glenville Tarblooders
Cleveland John Adams Rebels
Cleveland John F. Kennedy Eagles
Cleveland John Hay Hornets
Napoleon Wildcats
Normandy Invaders
North Olmsted Eagles
Olmsted Falls Bulldogs
Perry Pirates
Cleveland Rhodes Rams
Spencerville Bearcats
West Geauga Wolverines
Western Reserve Academy Pioneers

Posted by: OBR Newswire
on June 18th, 2010 AT 8:00 AM

OBR Newswire updates for June 17th through June 18th

These are links from the OBR Newswire for June 17th through June 18th:

Posted by: Don Delco
on June 18th, 2010 AT 7:57 AM

Potential 18-game season dilutes demand

I’d like to follow the lead set by our fearless leader here at the OBR, Barry McBride.

On the OBR’s main page, you can read his take on how Browns coach Eric Mangini is handling the quarterback situation and how those of us here at the OBR will handle Browns coverage in 2010.

The theme is to simplify, simplify.

I’d like to take it a step further. On Wednesday, the NFL and NFLPA officials discussed expanding the NFL season from 16 to 18 games. Including the preseason, a team’s schedule would comprise of 20 games.

“This is an idea that is really gaining momentum, particularly with the owners,” Green Bay Packers president Mark Murphy said to the Associated Press.

No kidding? A chance for another home game? That’s another chance at millions of dollars. Hey, these guys are business owners and any opportunity to make more money will be taken seriously. You can’t deny that.

Meanwhile, the NFLPA is concerned of the damage to players bodies with two more games.

More of something is not always the best. The NFL is the only sport that leaves fans wanting more. Your favorite team plays one game a week. Lately, the NFL has expanded its game days with Sunday and Monday to add Thursday nights. OK. Fine. At most, three out of seven days a week there is NFL football on TV. Still, your favorite team only plays once a week. The anticipation between games is palpable.

In addition, the NFL offseason, while filled with non-events events like the NFL Combine, NFL Draft, OTAs and minicamps, keep the sport on the front page. It’s needed since the distance between the end of the playoffs and the beginning of preseason is longer than the NBA, MLB and NHL.

Simply it is supply vs. demand. The supply of games are minuscule compared to its demand. It is why this sport is so popular. Why dilute that?

I’m all for change. Change the overtime rules. Change the Super Bowl to Saturday. Change how the draft is televised. Change scheduling to have intra-divison games the last three weeks of the season. But it would be a mistake to extend the regular season by two games.

Already, the final week or two of the NFL is plagued by games that don’t matter or games that matter for one team playing against a team who clinched a first-round bye and Jim FREAKIN’ Sorgi is playing quarterback. If you add two more games, it only prolongs those meaningless games.

Before changes are made to the schedule, make sure it does not dilute the product. Don’t let the NFL’s regular season become as monotnous and meanignless as the regular seasons for MLB, NBA and NHL.

Keep it simple, stupid.

Posted by: OBR Newswire
on June 17th, 2010 AT 8:00 AM

OBR Newswire updates for June 16th through June 17th

These are links from the OBR Newswire for June 16th through June 17th:

  • Sporting News – Camp countdown: Holmgren hopes to reverse Dawg Days in Cleveland – It's a wonder the word optimism hasn't been deleted from dictionaries of Browns fans. Of the NFL's 32 teams, Cleveland is one of four never to reach a Super Bowl. And the Browns haven't tasted an NFL playoff win since 1994. The team has been 6-10 or worse six times since last reaching the postseason in 2002.
  • ESPN – Five questions with Joe Thomas – Last week, the AFC North blog interviewed Cleveland Browns left tackle Joe Thomas during mandatory minicamp. We discussed whether Thomas is now the NFL's best left tackle, but we also touched on a variety of other topics along the way.
  • ESPN – Jordan Shipley on Colt McCoy – CINCINNATI — Few people know new Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Colt McCoy better than his former No. 1 receiver at the University of Texas: Jordan Shipley.
  • Canton Repository – Doerschuk: A closer look at No. 2 QBs – The other day, we played around with a list of the projected 2010 No. 2 quarterbacks who have started the most NFL games.

Posted by: OBR Newswire
on June 16th, 2010 AT 1:00 PM

OBR Newswire updates for June 15th through June 16th

These are links from the OBR Newswire for June 15th through June 16th:

Posted by: TheOBR on Twitter
on June 15th, 2010 AT 9:09 PM

The Browns sent out a press re…

The Browns sent out a press release confirming our report of Fanaika’s signing earlier. The Browns also cut Eric Ghiaciuc to make room.

Posted by: TheOBR on Twitter
on June 15th, 2010 AT 7:01 PM

Per Scout’s Adam Caplan, the C…

Per Scout’s Adam Caplan, the Cleveland Browns have signed G Paul Fanaika, who was waived by the Washington Redskins on Monday.

Posted by: OBR Newswire
on June 15th, 2010 AT 12:00 PM

Latest Links from the OBR Newswire

These are links from the OBR Newswire for June 15th from 07:51 to 11:39:

Posted by: TheOBR on Twitter
on June 15th, 2010 AT 9:20 AM

Browns cut five, per Adam Capl…

Browns cut five, per Adam Caplan of Scout.com: FB Jed Collins, TE Ryan Moya, DTs Jonathan Lewis and Martin Tevaseau, and S Matt Harris.

Posted by: Don Delco
on June 15th, 2010 AT 8:29 AM

Browns sign RFAs; Others not as lucky

Yesterday, all five of the Browns restricted free agents signed one-year tenders. Abe Elam, Jerome Harrison, D’Qwell Jackson, Matt Roth and Lawrence Vickers are set for the coming season.

Considering the amount of money that quintet would have left on the table (see Monday’s blog post), it made sense they signed the offers. With that potential problematic issue now in the past, the team can focus on winning football games in 2010.

Other teams are not as lucky. Most notably: The San Diego Chargers.

Wide receiver Vincent Jackson and left tackle Marcus McNeill each passed on $2.5 million.

According to Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune:

“The players did not let their full one-year tenders get replaced with a fractional amount just to turn around and show up for training camp — or even for the first 2½ months of the season.?”

Jackson’s salary went from the tender offer of $3.268 to $583,000, and McNeil went from $3.168 to $600,000.

“Barring a long-term agreement before then, sources familiar with the players' thinking have said Jackson and McNeill are not likely to report until after the 10th week of the season (before the Chargers host Denver on Nov. 22).?”


“If they do not report until after Week 10, Jackson will make approximately $206,000 and McNeill $212,000.?”

It’s stomach churning the amount of money the two Chargers players left on the table. They are digging their heels in for a battle and are not expected to be seen around the team for quite some time.

As for the Browns, the five players would have preferred a long-term deal, but they are now officially under contract for 2010. It’s time to worry about 2011 in 2011. For now, the focus lands squarely on extending that four-game winning streak.

Posted by: OBR Newswire
on June 14th, 2010 AT 6:00 PM

Latest Links from the OBR Newswire

These are links from the OBR Newswire for June 14th from 15:36 to 17:08:

Posted by: Don Delco
on June 14th, 2010 AT 4:46 PM

Team Says Select-A-Seat A Success

On June 12, the Cleveland Browns held a “Select-A-Seat” event at Cleveland Browns Stadium. The team allowed fans and season ticket holders to enter the stadium, purchase season tickets or select upgrade to available seats. In addition, fans were able to meet Browns alumni, listen to live bands and enjoy food tasting on the club level.

The result? According to ClevelandBrowns.com, the team “enjoyed the club’s most successful new ticket sales day since the team returned in 1999.” Make sense, celebrate the Browns, it gets people excited about the team and coming season and the wallets are liable to open much easier and faster.

While the Browns did not provide actual black-and-white numbers, an official release by the team said, “the new sales numbered in the hundreds.”

Terry Pluto has famously wrote numerous times, “place an empty Browns helmet at the 50-yard line and 50,000 fans will show up to stare at it.” His theory was pretty much proven last Saturday at Select-A-Seat.

The Browns might as well take this a step further. The summer months are reserved for festivals. It is time the Browns have a summer festival. Now, typically the first three weeks in July are reserved for vacations for NFL personnel from the front office to the field. That’s too bad. It would be a perfect time for a Browns Festival.

Since the early July timing may not be right, what about late June? Imagine of a Browns Festival was held at the stadium the third weekend in June. The Browns can assimilate the Select-A-Seat event into the festival.

Open the stadium. Allow fans to explore Cleveland Browns Stadium. Have current players, coaches and alumni return for autographs and to mingle. Get a big named band to play at night. Honor Browns Backers clubs from throughout the country.

In short, celebrate the Cleveland Browns and their fans.

Why not? This base is as rabid as it gets and if you’re offering music, food, beer and Browns alumni — in other words a chance to party at Cleveland Browns Stadium in the summer — how can you go wrong? Get some local charities involved and you have a home run.

Posted by: Don Delco
on June 14th, 2010 AT 10:23 AM

Clock ticking for RFAs

The Cleveland Browns have one-year contract offers on the table for restricted free agents Abe Elam (S), Jerome Harrison (RB), D’Qwell Jackson (LB), Matt Roth (LB) and Lawrence Vickers (FB).

Elam, Harrison Jackson and Vickers were offered a 10 percent raise on their 2009 base salary. In other words, if they sign, the quartet will receive a one-year deal for $1.759 million. Roth is in his fifth year so it would be $1.809.

Those offers expire today at 11:59 p.m.

If they don’t sign, a big pay cut is coming.

•Elam: $1.65

•Roth: $770,000

•Jackson: $704,000

•Harrison: $593,000

•Vickers: $589,000

A labor unrest on the horizon coupled with the Browns late-season success has those players wanting long-term deals. Of course, Josh Cribbs’ restricted contract seemed to pique the players’ interest, “If Cribbs can get a new deal, I’m sure I can.”

Right now, the game is being played by the players’ agent. Famed agent Drew Rosenhaus represents Elam, Roth and Vickers. Threatening not to play is the only chip an agent can play at this point.

If they don’t sign, there is a possibility of losing a year on the field as well as affecting the player’s pension and retirement funds. It is hard to believe these players will leave money on the table. Sure, the Browns need these players to play in 2010, but if they don’t, does that mean the Browns take a hit on their chances to win the Super Bowl? I highly doubt that. The Browns hold the negotiating power.

Posted by: OBR Newswire
on June 13th, 2010 AT 2:00 PM

Latest Links from the OBR Newswire

These are links from the OBR Newswire for June 13th from 12:56 to 12:59:

Posted by: OBR Newswire
on June 12th, 2010 AT 3:00 PM

Latest Links from the OBR Newswire

These are links from the OBR Newswire for June 12th from 14:24 to 14:28:

Posted by: Barry McBride
on June 11th, 2010 AT 6:32 PM

Transcript: Eric Mangini, 6/11

(Opening statement)- "Good afternoon everybody. What we're doing this afternoon is our review practice, so we went through the cycle install here this weekend. What is today, Friday? It's the weekend for me. Then we will review here in the PM. I didn't think we had as sharp of a practice yesterday afternoon as we had in the morning. In talking to the players after practice, one of the things I stressed to them was our ability to put a couple of practices together. Ideally, you just keep stringing them together and not have the ups and downs that you typically have with multiple practices in a short amount of time. That's something that will be a challenge during training camp as well, is to be able to maintain consistency through various levels of install, fatigue, things like that. It's good work for us and it's a good preview for the rookies as to how it's going to be when we get back here in July. In terms of updates on players, I think for the most part the guys that were out this morning will be out this afternoon. Evan (Moore) might be back, I'm not really sure on that. No real updates on the restricted guys and I think that's it."

(On if Montario Hardesty has continued to improve)- "Yeah, he has. In the meeting, I just had him name all of the defensive guys and he blew through it like he had known them all their lives. Pretty impressive for a young guy."

(On the receiving corps)- "I think that Robo (Brian Robiskie) is having a great camp. Since we have started OTAs, he has done a really nice job and I think he feels a lot more comfortable with the information. He's not learning the plays, now he's getting the feel for how to run the routes. One of the things that we really liked about him at Ohio State was how precise he was, how detailed he was and I'm really happy to see the progress that he has made. I'm excited to see him move into the preseason. Mo (Mohamed Massaquoi) continues to develop, which is a good thing. I think Chansi (Stuckey) has had a really nice camp as well. They're all getting use to Seneca (Wallace) and Jake Delhomme) and Colt (McCoy) to some degree, but overall it's been positive. With Carlton (Mitchell), from the first day we got him to where he is now, there's been a lot of good steps. He's going to get in that area where he's confused with things because it's a whole new world, but there are some real positive things that he has done. With (Johnathan) Haggerty, he's a guy that shows up usually once or twice a day, which is nice to see. Now you are looking for consistency, being able to retain the information, being able to retain the coaching, being able to run the routes that you ran well yesterday as well today in addition to getting the new install. That's hard. There's going to be peaks and valleys with those guys, but they're taking steps forward. Overall, that's a very positive thing."

(On what attributes to the wide receivers' improvement)- "I think that it has a lot to do with them. That's why it's so important from my perspective to draft players like that because all offseason, they worked. When they are done with their workouts, they go into the field house and they catch balls off the JUGS. The offensive guys are all working together in the field house at different points. They just keep plugging away, they keep trying to get better and they're going to. Typically, people with good work ethics and high character and that are intelligent, they get better."

(On if the quarterback changes have helped the receivers)- "It's tough to say that's the main ingredient because you're at two totally different time periods in terms of where they are. They have got a year under their belt. I think that the feel that they have with Jake and Seneca has been really encouraging early on."

(On Kwaku Danso and if he came with a lot of experience)- "No, he didn't come with a lot of experience, he came with a lot of size, which is good. He's bright. That time period that we had between the rookies first reporting and when they came back, he did a ton of work studying. You can ask him pretty much any question and he knows it. Now going out an executing it with the calls, that's a work in progress. I like his size, I like his intelligence and I like the way he works, so it's encouraging."

(On the chances of Danso making the team)- "Defensive linemen are really hard to evaluate at this time of year. You do the best you can and we have some extra defensive lineman, so we're really trying to spend time looking at those guys to make sure we get the right guys for camp. Then once they put on the pads, that will be where they can make their strongest case."

(On Mohamed Massaquoi)- "He's got outstanding hands. There were a bunch of times last year during practice, and I'd show these clips in the meeting, where he would just make unbelievable catches. The adjustments that he can make with his body I thought were really impressive. Now it's route in, route out, catch in, catch out, which is something that he continues to work on. For a young guy who played as much as he did, I thought he did some really good things. The other thing I like about all those receivers and our receivers last year at the end of the year is they block. They block and they create some things on the perimeter that other teams can't create because of the way they aggressively go at the people they're assigned to. They finish plays. Yesterday it was play after play on the tape. We are always talking about finishing, they catch the ball and they turn and run whether or not they're tagged off. You don't have to remind those guys, they're just doing it. Those are really good habits to get in to and as a group, I think they are doing a nice job."

(On if Danso is a lock to make the training camp roster)- "I'd say that he's made a really good case for himself. I want to sit down with the coaches at the end of this camp. We've gotten him more reps this camp than he had gotten through the OTAs as well as the other guys that we are trying to make decisions on. I'd like to sit down after that and make that decision and talk to Tom (Heckert) as well. I like what he's done and he will get some more chances here between this afternoon and tomorrow as well."

(On if he quells down players fighting in practice)- "It's not even quelling, we shut that down. We are not fighting at practice. We don't do it. We are never going to do it. I've seen too many bad things happen in that situation where either the guy that throws the punch breaks his hand or gets hurt, or he hurt somebody else and they're rolling around. There's so many chances that the guys have to show how tough they are, that's not one of them. You need to be able to control your emotions in the game. There's going to be times where you're hit in the game, there's going to be times where maybe you're cheap-shotted in the game. Whatever it is, they always catch the guy that pushes second and you get the penalty and you have got to learn how to control your emotions. I talked about that with the players yesterday night. We are not doing it. We are never going to do it. I don't believe in it and I think it's wrong."

(On Cliff Geathers making Danso look small)- "It's hard to make Danso look small. He is a giant man, he is a big, big man and he has got long arms. What he has to focus on is when you are that tall and have arms like that, how to use them effectively. Your height naturally brings you up above the offensive lineman. You have to get used to and really train your body to stay low because whoever has the leverage is going to win. It's the same thing with the arms, you have got to be able to strike with those arms because if he winds up and tried to come in, the offensive lineman is going to have his hands inside too quickly. You love the size, you love the length, those things are really positive things. Understanding how he has to play, which is different than some other guys. You add a couple of inches either way, it changes things. That's what we are trying to do with him."

(On the play where Geathers appeared to run over Shawn Lauvao)- "I saw the play. I haven't seen it on tape. Typically, when that happens and where someone gets pancaked like that usually somebody tripped. Rarely, we don't get enough momentum up in this camp to do that stuff."

(On what he likes about Hardesty)- "I like a lot of things about him. I like the fact that I don't notice him on tape and he's been running with the first group and what I mean by that is missing an assignment, lining up in the wrong spot those type of things where often times you look out and some rookie is suppose to be in one spot and he's just not even in the right galaxy. That hasn't been the case and he's gotten a lot of reps with the ones and he just seems comfortable there. It doesn't faze him. He's got a great approach. All of those things I like and I think are going to serve him well."

(On Johnathan Haggerty)- "He's another guy that has an outstanding work ethic, is bright, very bright and he gets it. He gets what a great opportunity this is and everyday he is going to come out and make a case for himself. There may be some days where he takes some steps back like the rest of the group, but we brought in a lot of rookies. We brought in a lot of guys. We have a lot of new people and you got to pop off the screen. He popped and he popped and he popped and eventually you learn his name and you learn different things about him and watch him a little bit more closely. He's gotten some more looks because of the good things that he's done and now it's, I'm excited about what he's done. It's a function of what he can keep doing."

(On how Nick Sorensen keeps making teams without having a start)- "He's outstanding on special teams and there's a lot of guys like that. Larry Izzo never started a game. He played for a long, long time. There's a bunch of guys who have played in those roles. Now, Nick's played in games and he's had a lot of different roles in games. I think he's had a nice camp as well. Bubba (Ray Ventrone), I don't know if Bubba has ever started a game. Maybe we'll start those guys this year one game for one play to get that off the record."

(On roles players becoming more expensive as they stay in the league longer)- "You look at that but usually their incremental increases are different than some of the other budgetary items. They're jump is different."

(On how Robert Royal has looked and his situation)- "He fought through the finger injury through the whole season last year and I know he didn't have the season he wanted to have but the thing you really like about Robert is he is consistent, especially in the running game. He'll pry open a lot of those holes we had in the running game and that has real value and Robert's done good things in the passing game. Maybe not as much as this past season but I've seen that, I've played against him so I like the added competition. I think it brings out the best in everybody and Rob will be as competitive as anybody."

(On how Joe Thomas can get better)- "What did he give up one sack last year? It's a pretty small margin for error to give up no sacks. He's pretty good, he's pretty good. I'm trying to think of something to get. He's pretty good you know in looking at a lot of left tackles we had, but there's not one thing that jumps. There's a lot of little things that he can do better, we talk about with him and work on with him but he's, I think, a unique guy."

(On where he would put Joe Thomas in comparison with the best left tackles in the league)- "I think he's got to be in any of those conversations I think. Yes, I think you've got to discuss him, put him with whoever you want to put him with. I think he's pretty good."

(On if Robert Royal is the best blocking tight end)- "I haven't seen some of the other guys in this system. Based on last season, it's defiantly a strength of his but Alex (Smith), haven't seen him with us. Ben (Watson), haven't seen him with us. I've seen things that they've done, but I've got to see how they work with us."

(On Royal and Watson playing on field at same time this year)- "We mix up a lot of personnel groups so could be. Depends how we want to incorporate a guy like Evan Moore. How much 21 you're running where you have a fullback. How you're going to work with Peyton Hillis. There's another guy that has some versatility, play fullback or tailback. It could be. I don't know how it will all go."

(On how Robaire Smith is looking)- "I really like Robaire. He's tough as nails. He's like Kenyon (Coleman). Tough as nails, absolute pro, good person, good in the locker room. There's nothing to not like about Robaire."

Posted by: OBR Newswire
on June 11th, 2010 AT 1:00 PM

OBR Newswire updates for June 10th through June 11th

These are links from the OBR Newswire for June 10th through June 11th:

Posted by: Fred Greetham
on June 11th, 2010 AT 11:54 AM

Friday AM Notes

Friday morning saw the Browns working on various special teams drills, as well as individual drills. In red zone passing drills, Jake Delhomme tried to hit rookie Carlton Mitchell in the end zone, but the pass was broken up by Mike Adams. The officials threw a flag for pass interference on Adams…Delhomme overthrew Mohamed Massaquoi in the end zone and he kept running and skidded on the asphalt and crashed to the ground. However, he popped up, seemingly fine…After throwing an incomplete pass intended for Joshua Cribbs, Seneca Wallace hit Johnathan Haggerty in the corner of the end zone as Haggerty got behind Chris Roberson. Wallace hit Cribbs for a score a few plays later…Colt McCoy hit Thomas Brown on a swing pass for a touchdown on his only play.

On the Side: DB T.J. Ward, DB Eric Wright, WR Jake Allen, DB Benjamin Burney and TE Evan Moore were on the stationary bikes during the morning practice…DL Shaun Rogers, LB Eric Barton, DL C.J. Mosley and P Dave Zastudil were also rehabbing…LB Matt Roth, LB D'Qwell Jackson, DB Abe Elam and RB Peyton Hillis (illness) were not present.

Old Friend: Former Browns OL Rickey Bolden was a visitor at Friday morning's practice session. Bolden is pastor of New Community Church in LaGrange, Georgia.

Posted by: Fred Greetham
on June 11th, 2010 AT 11:52 AM

Friday AM Notes

Friday morning saw the Browns working on various special teams drills, as well as individual drills. In red zone passing drills, Jake Delhomme tried to hit rookie Carlton Mitchell in the end zone, but the pass was broken up by Mike Adams. The officials threw a flag for pass interference on Adams…Delhomme overthrew Mohamed Massaquoi in the end zone and he kept running and skidded on the asphalt and crashed to the ground. However, he popped up, seemingly fine…After throwing an incomplete pass intended for Joshua Cribbs, Seneca Wallace hit Johnathan Haggerty in the corner of the end zone as Haggerty got behind Chris Roberson. Wallace hit Cribbs for a score a few plays later…Colt McCoy hit Thomas Brown on a swing pass for a touchdown on his only play.

On the Side: DB T.J. Ward, DB Eric Wright, WR Jake Allen, DB Benjamin Burney and TE Evan Moore were on the stationary bikes during the morning practice…DL Shaun Rogers, LB Eric Barton, DL C.J. Mosley and P Dave Zastudil were also rehabbing…LB Matt Roth, LB D'Qwell Jackson, DB Abe Elam and RB Peyton Hillis (illness) were not present.

Old Friend: Former Browns OL Rickey Bolden was a visitor at Friday morning's practice session. Bolden is pastor of New Community Church in LaGrange, Georgia.

Posted by: Barry McBride
on June 10th, 2010 AT 10:18 PM

Transcript: Eric Mangini, 6/10

(Opening statement)- "Good afternoon everybody. Today what we've done, and throughout this weekend what we will be doing, is really following the same pattern. It's just accelerated. One of the things I was really pleased with this morning, we didn't have a lot of time, last night we just had our squad meeting this morning and we had an NFL program so we didn't have a lot of time to get the install. The guys looked over it last night but I thought their recall from the OTA days was really good and it was positive especially the defense, their level of communication. I was happy with that because really taking two days or two plus days of install and compacting it into one practice and it will be the same thing this afternoon. The same thing tomorrow morning and tomorrow afternoon so it's nice to see a limited amount of miscommunications. Offensively, we had a lot of shifts, a lot of motions. We used a variation of cadence and there was only one penalty here this morning and that's really what I'm looking for and that's something that I was really happy with especially considering the number of things that we did. We reviewed, so I'm pretty pleased with that. Now, we'll go back here shortly, meet again, re-install the third down stuff and now you'll have all the stuff from this morning, all the stuff that's new and see how it goes here this afternoon. Looking for more of the same and the big thing is the level of communication really helped everybody get where they needed to be."

(On an injury update for T.J. Ward and Eric Wright) – "T.J., he has tightened up. He's been tight and the same thing with Eric. I haven't talked to Joe (Sheehan) about Eric in terms of whether he will be out there this afternoon. Not sure, that was all it was him. With T.J., I thought he was going to go here this morning, but doing it more precautionary than anything else to not try and get a pull or something like that. It's more tightness right now."

(On Peyton Hillis not being at practice today)- "He should be back tomorrow night. He was sick when he went home last time and had a pretty bad cold so didn't want him to travel. He will be back tomorrow night. I don't anticipate him practicing this weekend so we will just make sure he is back on track. He's been building up and he will be back."

(On how long Hillis has been out)- "Whenever we had that one break and guys went home. He got sick when he was home and it just wasn't good for him to travel at that point."

(On the depth at the running back)- "I think there is good depth there and I'm happy with it. You figure with Jerome (Harrison) and Montario (Hardesty). I think Montario has done a really nice job for a rookie. He's taken a lot of reps and then Peyton (Hillis) can play there and will play there for us. You got Chris Jennings and James Davis. Both guys did some nice things last year so it is a competitive group. You add Thomas Brown to that mix and yeah I'm excited to see what they do in training camp and then with their opportunities during the preseason games. Good group and it's a really conscientious group. They pick up information really well which is good. I've been pleased with them."

(On where James Davis was last year before the injury and if he surprised him)- "No, I don't think it was necessarily a surprise. I actually showed that run. We were talking about screens yesterday, the screen he had against Detroit that went for a touchdown, pulled some from the archives. I think he had some nice games in the preseason. The tough thing to evaluate is where he would have been as we extended along and also if you're not the first guy or second guy you've got to have a role on special teams. That's another area where he'll keep working, Chris Jennings will keep working and they need to carve out a role there as well."

(On his impressions of Carlton Mitchell)- "He is a lot like the rest of the rookies. The one thing that I've liked with Carlton is he's gotten a little better each day and there's going to be, with those guys, they may take a couple steps forward and then a step back. He's a hard worker. I think he's got really good speed. He's got good size and he's made some progress in terms of understanding his assignments, the adjustments, things like that. He's gotten some good work here in terms of the number of reps that he's had a chance to participate in."

(On if he was surprised or disappointed in the three RFA's not attending today)- "I didn't go into the weekend with any sort of expectation one way or the other. I think that, and I know I've said this before, when you're not here you are missing out on information which is important information and you're giving other guys your reps. It's really created some nice opportunities for other guys. Obviously, I want all the guys here and learning and participating and being able to mix and match personnel groups and things like that. Really for those guys it's still voluntary because they haven't signed a contract. Would I like them here? Yes, but they're not here so we move forward with the group that we have and we will just have to get them caught up when they come back."

(On if he expects any of the RFA's to sign tenders by next week)- "I haven't really gotten into that at all so it's probably a better question or Tom (Heckert) or Mike (Holmgren)."

(On how he thought Phil Dawson looked and if he expected him here)- "I expected him here and I'm glad he is here. He looked pretty good, I thought, for his first day of kicking. In terms of how he felt I didn't talk to him about that but I thought in the opportunities he had he looked pretty good. He is a perfectionist and he is always going to be hard on himself so I would expect him to feel rusty."

(On finishing number one in kickoff coverage last season being a testament to Dawson and unit)- "Yes, it's everybody together. You need good kicks in order to allow the coverage team time to get down there. Good hang time on the kicks. Good distance. That is really important and then you need the group to go down there and play the proper leverage and technique and things like that."

(On if Jake Delhomme had a bad day)- "I wouldn't say, necessarily, a bad day at all. I haven't really watched all of the tape yet, but I thought he made some good decisions on different things. There were a couple of things that he checked into that were really good. We were talking about something he checked into and then he realized, cat and mouse, he checked into something, the defense checked into something and then he could've checked back to the original thing. That's something that he realized and saw and talked about, which is really good. That's an element to him with his experience that he gives us. It's intuitive, he understands it, he's anticipating it and right away he knew he could have gone back to the original call. Things like that are good to see, but I didn't think he had a bad morning."

(On Delhomme didn't throw the ball well this morning)- "I wasn't watching each one of his throws. Sometimes I'm watching the defense or the o-line. I'll get a better gauge of how accurate the throws were when I go back and watch the tape, but I didn't walk away from the morning thinking that."

(On the ball frequently being on the ground today)- "The ball could be on the ground because it was a dropped ball, that happens sometimes. Sometimes it's good defense. There were some days where Rob (Ryan) wasn't exactly throwing a party in his office because of how many balls were getting completed and sometimes the defense comes out and is playing very tight coverage and makes it especially hard. I thought the defense did a good job this morning, so I'd like to think that some of the incompletions were due to good defense as opposed to poor offense."

(On Dawson's success in cold weather environments)- "I really like Phil. It's a tough environment to kick in. It's different than kicking in a dome or something like that where the elements are controlled. He's done a nice job kicking for a long time."

(On if Dawson is underappreciated)- "I think kickers understand across the league, special teams coaches understand. Other coaches are always excited when you have bad weather. I remember the snow bowl where Adam Vinatieri nailed a couple that you're thinking, ‘How did he do that?' Just really impressive, clutch kicks in a difficult, difficult environment. I should've named one of my kids Adam. He's amazing. Phil, to be able to do the same type of thing in cold weather, it's hard. It's hard and you appreciate that. Like I said, he is a perfectionist and I'm excited to have him here at camp."

(On carrying over last year's late-season success to this season)- "The biggest thing to me, and each year is different, ideally what you have is you have a group of guys that all experienced that together. We got to a point where we really understood how we wanted to play football, what it meant to play Browns football, what we were looking for as a team and there's a bunch of those guys in the locker room right now. They help teach the new guys those things. It's a group effort, it's a community effort to really learn from those lessons, to build on those experiences, but you have to do it all over again. You have to get to that point and we need to get to it a lot quicker than we did last season. The nice thing is the coaching staff, the players that were here, we went through that and shared it together and now we can all help teach the rookies and the new guys what we are looking for and how we want to play."

(On if there is a reason for switching the layout of the fields at the training facility)- "No, not necessarily. I'd say the biggest reason is you try to limit the wear and tear in the same area. The nice thing about the design of this facility is you do have the ability to turn the fields. You go through training camp one way, switch it and where the grass really gets chewed up, it's a totally different spot when you spin the field. It takes a little while to get used to in terms of the lines aren't quite green enough. It's a good design that way in terms of how it was built."

(On the right side of the offensive line)- "We've got a lot of different combinations of guys, and we will do that throughout the whole entire offensive line. Really, what we are looking for is to teach the guys all the different spots and then it gives them an appreciation for the various responsibilities that each guy has. It's kind of like the secondary, if there's any mistakes, if there's any miscommunications, usually really bad things happen. It exposes them to that, it builds some versatility and it also allows us to see what our best combinations of guys are leading into training camp and use that as our starting point."

(On Tony Pashos playing right guard)- "He hasn't played as much. He's worked there, but he hasn't played as much there. We've worked him there, so he's played guard and tackle with us. We will see how that works."

(On starting to think about roster cuts)- "We still have to get to 80, so unfortunately 13 guys are going to have to be released once all of the restricted guys sign, once the rookies sign their contracts. Part of that evaluation is going on right now. There's a couple of different guys that you like and you want to see how well they retain, how much they improve just to get to that first 80 cut. Within your 80, you're always looking at what the distribution of players is. You make keep one less guy at this position in order to carry one at another position either due to age or depth or injuries or whatever it is. I've got the last five years of core 34 teams and what they've typically carried, you look at that and try to get the right mix. When you get to the first week of training camp and you get a couple of guys dinged, you may have to swap out spots."

(On Sheldon Brown's progress in learning the defense)- "Good. It's hard when you've played in one place for your whole career then you go to some place totally different. You're in a real comfort zone. You know the building, you know the city, you know the coaches, you know the scheme. There may be two or three things coming in, but that's it, you know the players. Now he comes here, and in a lot of ways he's like a rookie again. He's learning everybody's name, he's learning all of the stuff that for years he was really comfortable with. He's really diligent. He wants to know all of the information, he wants to know it in great detail and he has been studying like crazy. He's been working with Jerome (Henderson) extra, and you appreciate that because it could be very easy for a vet to come in and say, ‘Okay, I'll get it between now and training camp. I'll eventually absorb it.' He wants it now, he wants to do it right every play. I think each time we go out and practice, he gets a little bit more comfortable with what we are doing."

(On a change in attitude between his first and second minicamps with the team)- "A year ago, we were just finishing up our first round and it's like we were on our first date. So, we're married and moving into our first anniversary and there are probably a few more flowers being passed out than last year at this time. It's nice."

(On if there are some players that he likes being "married" to more than others)- "Julie and I just had our ninth wedding anniversary yesterday, so I guess I'm in that mindset. There's great things about marriage."

(On if there are some veteran players helping his staff out more than others)- "I think a lot of those guys probably feel more empowered to do that because they understand things better. They have been through a season, they understand meetings and practice and process and all that stuff. Sometimes guys may want to help, but they don't feel comfortable enough in their level of understanding to really reach out and try to help somebody else. There's definitely a solid group of guys in that locker room and it's nice to see the way that they embrace the new guys and try to help the new guys. There's no sense of, ‘Hey, he's here to take my spot.' There's always going to be that competition, but when you have good people, they are trying to help each other get better."

Posted by: Don Delco
on June 9th, 2010 AT 2:53 PM

Madden ‘11: 2010 Browns are +1 Better

Whether or not you play video games everyone has heard of the Madden franchise. The former Oakland Raiders head coach and CBS and FOX broadcaster is as synonymous with video games as he is with his actual football career. And now, Madden is the only NFL-licensed video game on the market. Its latest version, Madden 2010, will be released in August.

Each year, EA Sports, which produces the game, releases its ratings for all 32 teams. Gamespot.com recently posted those ratings. The game uses a 100-point scale so the closer to 100 the better. Needless to say the Browns aren’t sniffing the century mark.

The defending Super Bowl champions, New Orleans, dropped two points from 94 last season to 92 this season. The Saints remain the top-rated team ahead of Indianapolis (91) and Baltimore (90). Meanwhile, the rest of the AFC North has Cincinnati at No. 9 with an 86 rating and Pittsburgh at No. 11 with an 84 rating.

The Cleveland Browns are No. 28 with a 70 rating, up one from last year’s 69.

Hey, that’s improvement.

According to the video game makers, the Washington Redskins had the biggest offseason improvement gaining six points. The Arizona Cardinals had the biggest drop losing eight points. It is no coincidence this offseason the Cardinals saw quarterback Kurt Warner retire and the team’s response was to sign former Browns signal caller Derek Anderson.

Makes you wonder since Anderson is no longer wearing orange and brown, why the Browns only gained one point? Makes you also wonder why the heck is this even being discussed. Answer: It’s June. It’s all we’ve got.

Posted by: Don Delco
on June 9th, 2010 AT 11:28 AM

Select-A-Seat will have Special Guests

On Saturday, Cleveland Browns Stadium and the Cleveland Browns are hosting a “Select-A-Seat” event from 10-2 p.m. This is not news. For about 10 days, we’ve known of the event where season ticket holders can select their seat for season tickets or partial season tickets for the 2010 season.

Earlier today, ClevelandBrowns.com posted a story announcing a couple special guests at the event. Al “Bubba” Baker and former Browns quarterback David “Doc” Mays will be on hand to meet and greet Browns fans.

That’s a nice touch. Even if you don’t plan on changing seats it may be a good opportunity to meet those guys and get a picture taken.

The best part is the select-a-seat event will conclude by 2 p.m. thus allowing everyone to be in front of a TV to watch the U.S. play England at 2:30 p.m. in the American’s World Cup opener.

*crickets chirping*

I know, I know. Soccer? I have to admit it, I enjoy the sport and especially the World Cup. It’ll be an excellent distraction that will hold my attention until the opening of NFL training camps in July.

Posted by: Barry McBride
on June 8th, 2010 AT 7:52 PM

Browns Set Schedule for June Mini-camp

Below is the schedule for this weekend’s mini-camp, which will be the final activity open to the press until training camp opens in late July. This weekend’s activities are not open to the general public.

Here’s the schedule, so you can be prepared for when news reports and so forth will start to be flung onto the internet:

Thursday, June 10

10:15 a.m. – Practice open to the media
12:15 p.m. – Players available coming off the field
1:15 – 1:35 p.m. – Eric Mangini available in the press room
3:45 p.m. – Practice open to the media

Friday, June 11

10:15 a.m. – Practice open to the media
12:15 p.m. – Players available coming off the field
1:15 – 1:35 p.m. – Eric Mangini available in the press room
3:45 p.m. – Practice open to the media

Saturday, June 12
10:15 a.m. – Practice open to the media
12:15 p.m. – Players available coming off the field
1:15 – 1:35 p.m. - Eric Mangini available in the press room

Posted by: Barry McBride
on June 8th, 2010 AT 3:29 PM

Steve Sabo Lands on His Feet

Steve Sabo was a scout for the Cleveland Browns for a good eleven years. That’s a mind-boggling tenure in an organization which has suffered through an incredibly high rate of turnover ever since it returned to the league in 1999.

While Sabo survived three different Browns regimes, the fourth time wasn’t the charm, as Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert overturned the team’s scouting staff in order to build around individuals that the team’s leaders had worked with in the past.

It didn’t take long for Sabo to find a new gig, however, as the Atlanta Falcons announced today that he will be joining their organization as an area scout. Here’s the team’s press release:

FLOWERY BRANCH, GA – The Atlanta Falcons today hired Steve Sabo as an area scout.

Sabo joins the Falcons after spending the previous 11 seasons with the Cleveland Browns. He served as the club's Senior Director of Pro Personnel in 2009 and was responsible for scouting NFL teams and assisted with advance scouting of upcoming opponents. In addition to his scouting responsibilities, he played a role in the acquisition of unrestricted free agents and preparation for the NFL Draft.

"We are excited about the addition of Steve to our scouting department," said General Manager Thomas Dimitroff. "Steve has 15 years of scouting experience and possess an adept scouting perspective that we feel will mesh well with our scouting philosophy and scouting department."

Prior to his time with the Browns, Sabo spent five years with the New Orleans Saints as an administrative assistant (1994-96) and as a pro scout from (1996-98).

Posted by: OBR Newswire
on June 8th, 2010 AT 10:00 AM

Latest Links from the OBR Newswire

These are links from the OBR Newswire for June 8th from 08:59 to 09:05:

Posted by: TheOBR on Twitter
on June 7th, 2010 AT 10:24 AM

Lawrence Vickers has joined th…

Lawrence Vickers has joined the OTAs after signing a waiver–Fred Greetham

Posted by: OBR Newswire
on June 4th, 2010 AT 2:00 PM

Latest Links from the OBR Newswire

These are links from the OBR Newswire for June 4th from 13:24 to 13:26:

Posted by: Barry McBride
on June 3rd, 2010 AT 8:40 PM

Transcript – Eric Mangini’s Press Conference

(Opening statement)- "Good morning everybody. A couple of things here, in terms of the restricted guys, no movement there. Jerome (Harrison) will be here working. He's been here working, but no change with any of the other guys. With the injured guys, that group has stayed the same.

There are some guys that are going to miss today because of various reasons and I've talked to all of them. I've had conversations with the group so if someone is not out there that normally would be, that's the case. Today where we're at is we've gone through two cycles of install, which is the first and second down day, the third down day, the red area day and a review. That's considered a cycle. We've gone through two of those. Today is a catch up or catch all day, so anything that we feel like we want to go back and hit, maybe something that we installed but didn't get to run as much as we'd liked to. We are doing that type of work here this morning. A couple of situational things, we will have a four minute situation, a start of a game situation where after we stretch, kickoff, a kickoff return. Wherever the guy is tagged down, that's where the drive will start. Whatever happens on the drive happens and then we just go back into the normal flow of practice. We will vary those up, sometimes the coaches call them, sometimes the players call them. It's just a good way to get into that routine of you go into the locker room, you stretch, you go into the locker room, you come out, you kickoff and you're rolling. Sometimes we will do that midway through practice and call it the start of the second half. It's a little bit different, it's not always scripted and we let the players have some fun with that and it gives us a sense of things that they like. It does help you get in that flow of you end the first half, you go in the locker room, you come back out and you're rolling. It's just a different way to try to teach that.

"In terms of progress, I think we made a lot of progress with retention, with understanding situations. It shows up in different levels each day. I think Chris Gocong has really made some excellent strides. He's a really smart guy. He's heard things now two or three times and some of the littler things are starting to come. I'd say the same thing for Scott Fujita. Sort of the same type of player in terms of very, very bright and now he's getting more and more comfortable seeing some of the smaller things show up in a real positive way."

(On the importance of having versatile linebackers)- "I think it's great to have guys that can do both because it gives you depth on the 45. When you play the game, you may not have to carry an extra inside linebacker or outside linebacker, you can just shift one of those guys to those spots and they can give you a level of play that maybe that extra guy that you would have carried would give you. Now it gives you some versatility if you want to carry an extra receiver or a core special teams player. The other nice thing is the 3-4 is pretty flexible, but when you have guys that can play both spots, now you can become more flexible with where you can put them, how you move those pieces around and that's something I'm always looking for."

(On if he has been rotating Gocong and Fujita at different positions)- "These early parts, our approach has been to keep them in one spot in base right now. They work a couple different spots in sub, but in base it has been one spot. Then what we'll do is, we might do it a little more in mandatory min-camp where they have heard things a few times and have worked it, switch them or at some point early in training camp switch them. They've both played inside and outside those two guys, just like (David) Bowens has, (Jason) Trusnik has, (David) Veikune has. Now it's just figuring out the best way to get them some reps there."

(On Brandon McDonald)- "The one thing I'll say about Brandon is first of all, he was one of our offseason award winners last week. The way that we choose those during the OTA days is offense, defense, special teams, we choose a wild card player which could be any position and we choose a rehab player. He was one of the winners last week. I think he's had a really good camp, similar to the type of camp that Brian Robiskie has had and that's a positive thing. He's played a lot of football. He's been in a lot of games and that's good. The more depth we can have at the cornerback spot is great. One of his best traits is he's intensely competitive and he's going to go out and put his best foot forward. Now, has it always worked out exactly the way he wanted or we wanted? Not necessarily, but he comes back and works the next time and I like that a lot about him."

(On what award McDonald won)- "He was either the defensive or the wild card. I can't remember which one, but he was one of those two spots."

(On Jerome Harrison)- "He's looked good. It's really hard to evaluate where guys are. You're looking at it more in terms of assignments, technique, things like that. He's made very few mistakes, which is excellent. He looks similar to the way he looked. It's just hard to project too far down the road without pads on."

(On the running back situation)- "I think it's a good situation. I think Montario (Hardesty) has had a really outstanding camp. For a young guy, he makes very few mistakes. His level of maturity is one of the highest that I've been around and that's great. That's going to give him the best chance to not only play, but to play a lot if he continues along this path. That's exciting to see. Again, it's with a big asterisk because we don't have pads on and they're not games and we haven't done a full evaluation, but I really like what he has done to this point."

(On Joe Haden's progress)- "Good. I think he benefits a lot from having someone like Sheldon (Brown) around who is going through the same thing. It's different in the sense that Sheldon can relate it to things he did in Philadelphia, but it is all new for Sheldon. That's actually a plus for a guy like Joe because as Sheldon is learning, he can help Joe along. They're both new, they both play the same position and it can be a mentor/mentee type relationship."

(On Haden's quickness)- "I think it's gotten better. I think all of those young guys in the secondary, the first rookie camp they had been on the lecture circuit and their legs looked heavy. But now, they have been playing football, they have been doing football-specific movements and they look like they are playing a lot faster than they were. They are starting to pick up the information. It's not where they're going to be and hopefully they get there as quickly as possible, but it's a lot better than it was because they are back in a routine and their bodies are responding the way that I'm sure they are used to it responding. T.J. Ward too has had a couple of nice days."

(On where Chris Jennings and James Davis fit in the running back rotation)- "Chris got a lot of experience because of the opportunities that were available and he's making progress. James, even though he missed the playing time, he was in the meetings, he was part of the whole process. Similar what happened to Chansi Stuckey his first year. He came in, he played for a little bit, he got hurt early, but he learned that whole first season and it showed up a lot that second season. I'm excited about seeing both of those guys. Now you have Jerome and Montario and Peyton (Hillis) is working in there, some good depth and some good competition. Competition is healthy, it pushes everybody to be better."

(On how Davis handled his injury last season)- "I think he's handled it really well. He's been on top of his rehab throughout the whole process and I get the sense that he's excited to be back in the football-specific things. We are excited to see how he does this year because he did a lot of good things early last year."

(On if he would be opposed to starting two rookie safeties)- "I'm definitely open to that. In New York, we started two rookie offensive linemen that first year with the center and the left tackle. Eugene Wilson and Asante Samuel played a lot their rookie season in New England. It just depends on where they are and there are a lot of veteran guys that are going to work to not let that happen and that's what you'd expect. But if they're the best guys, you may take some lumps early because they are rookies, but typically those guys continue to move up and excel as they play and gain experience."

(On what veterans will compete for a safety position)- "(Mike) Adams he has worked quite a bit at corner, he can work at safety. You have Bubba (Ray) Ventrone; he's been working in there. Nick Sorensen's been working in there. DeAngelo Smith has been working some at safety. It's like anything else, you want everybody to be here, but if they are not here what that does do is create extra reps for Larry (Asante), for T.J. (Ward), whoever it is and it's great for them to get that experience now, and again, you want everybody to be here, but it does create some real learning opportunities for the young guys."

(On what you can learn about the offensive linemen this time of year)- "We learn whether or not they understand the whole concept because you can understand your spot. Shawn (Lauvao) actually has been working a little bit at center, and I think that's a good thing for him because you have to know everything that's going on if you're playing that spot and ideally he can play any of those three interior spots, center, left guard, or right guard and you have to know it. If you don't know it you can't function and you want him to get comfortable, but you also want him to understand the full concept of the protection."

(On his level of confidence that David Veikune will pan out as a high draft pick)- "With all the draft picks when we take them we believe they're going to work out and I believe that David's really benefitted well from some opportunities that have been created at the inside linebacker spot without having D'Qwell (Jackson) here. He's gotten quite a few reps and I think he's done a nice job. I think some of the value with linebackers really has to be determined once the pads come on. You can see where they fit, you can see their drops, you can see their communication, but part of playing that inside linebacker spot is your ability to go up and thump and I think that is something that David showed in college. He showed different levels last season, but this is good work for him in terms of processing everything. Now ideally when it comes time to hit, it's where the added value comes in."

(On if Veikune is an unusual fit at inside linebacker)- "No, I don't think it's unusual for them to, for one, for the team to go through the process of figuring out where the right spot is, and then you know sometimes its better inside, sometimes its better outside. Tedy Bruschi was a defensive end who worked primarily in sub his first year and then we moved him in, when we got to New England, moved him into an inside backer spot. He was good, wasn't Tedy at that point. You learn and you grow in the system and experience different things, but when you take a guy who has had his hand in the dirt and stand him up, it's not easy. Willie McGinest you know he had to stand up, Mike Vrabel he had to stand up, Rosevelt Colvin when we got him as a free agent from Chicago he had had his hand in the dirt and he had to stand up. You go right on down the line of those guys. There's a ton of them and you need them big. Big, strong and usually those guys play down in college."

(On what he sees in Tony Pashos)- "He's very serious about what he does. He's all football all the time which is good. Where he's going to fit, guard, tackle, starter, backup, I couldn't tell you right now. I think that there's a good group over on that right side fighting it out and we've just got to see who comes out on top."

(On if instant replay has made the game better)- "Yes, I think that anytime you can get the call right it's a good thing and the call last night was against the Tribe, right? I thought it was an out. It was the Tribe. I don't know, an out is an out. You want to get it right, at the end of the day you want to get it right and sometimes you benefit from it, sometimes you don't, but you can live with the fact that it was right."

(On if it is important to have the element of human error in sports)- "Yes, if it helps you it's the best. If it hurts you, no, you want to get it right. Where you stand depends on where you sit."

(On if he is a baseball fan)- "I've become a lot more of a baseball fan. I've gone to a lot of games with Mark (Shapiro) and he's coached me up on it."

(On if there should be more instant replay in baseball)- "What does Mark (Shapiro) think? Whatever he thinks, I'm with Mark."

(On what the best part of the offseason has been up to now)- "Anytime you come into a place there's so many different things you have to deal with on the business side, the team side, the organization side. There's also moving your family, you're getting adjusted to a new community, you're getting the kids in school, all those things where this year it's been nice to have, for me personally, it's nice to have everybody settled, to be able to go and spend some time at the boys' school, to just free up some time to do some things that are just regular family fun things that you miss out on. My family was in New York for a long time last year until training camp and you have to get a house. There's so many things that you're not dealing with now and that's been a real pleasure and just being able to enjoy the boys this offseason has been great for me."

(On any changes to how he is running OTA's this year compared to last year)- "We change stuff each year. What we do is these things, I know I've talked about this so I hope I'm not boring you, AAR's which is the after action reports, so once we get done with this camp and this minicamp, each department will fill out their AAR. Things we did well, things we did poorly, suggestions for next year, any other ideas that you have, and what I'll do with the coordinators and usually it's with that group and myself, is go through and look at it and say, ‘Okay, what can we do differently before the next event.' There have been a lot of little things, I wouldn't say there has been any dramatic changes. Difference this year too is these have all been OTA days as opposed to voluntary minicamps, so the time is more restricted so you just have to be that much tighter on your install. We had a little more time last year with those camps we were able to run."

(On Jake Delhomme)- "He's had a really good week. I'm getting to know him and Brian's (Daboll) getting to know him. He's really bright. Chad Pennington was really bright. Jake just picks things up and some of it is him picking up and some of it is just him knowing, him understanding and you don't have to go too in depth with why you're doing it because he gets it. He had, we call it tools offensively, where if you're in a bad play you might not have another called, but you have the ability to signal to the receiver to run a slant or you can run a bubble screen. Those are just built in every play and he's used a lot of those tools over the last week or so and that's good stuff. He's gotten the offense out of some plays that worked very good just by him understanding. His use of cadence has gotten better and better and it's nice too from a defensive perspective because he's challenging those guys. If your disguise isn't right, he's going to get you. You can teach both ways with it from where I am."

Posted by: Barry McBride
on June 3rd, 2010 AT 8:35 PM

Player Quotes from Today’s OTA Sessions

Chris Gocong

(On getting a fresh start with a new team)- "I've always wanted to play in a 3-4 and playing with Rob (Ryan), it's a cool thing. I've only been in OTAs about three weeks and still, it's like a breath of fresh air. He's so fresh and he keeps it so open to the players that it's fun."

(On what he hopes to achieve here)- "I have my own numbers in mind, but right now I am just learning the defense and being able to do whatever I can, wherever I can. It doesn't matter if it's inside or outside."

Montario Hardesty

(On if he thinks the starting running back job is up for grabs)- "That right there is not my decision. For me, I have to just come out here and just work hard and just continue to show what I can do on the field and I think if I continue to do that then a role for myself on the team will come from doing that."

(On if he has expectations of having a significant role as a rookie)- "No, like I said this is just OTAs, we've got minicamp, we've got training camp. I've never done that before so I'm not really sure what to expect. I know I'm going to come out and push myself hard every day and we will see what comes from that come season time."

Colt McCoy

(On how OTAs are going)- "It's going real well. There's a lot of stuff, a lot of install. Just staying in my study book, studying with Jake (Delhomme) and Seneca (Wallace) and Ratty (Brett Ratliff) and those guys. Just really trying to understand what's going on and the reps that I get, make them productive and keep moving on from practice to practice so it's been going really well and I'm excited."

(On if the lights seem to be coming on more and more)- "They do, they do. We're still installing some stuff, but I'm starting to get more comfortable with everything and just getting adjusted to the speed of the game, the way the game's played, the new rules in the NFL compared to the college rules and just really soaking it all in."

(On if the NFL is anything different that what he thought it would be)- "Not at all, it's football. Once you get the playbook down and you get comfortable with what you're doing, the calls, the adjustments, then it's playing football like you were when you were a little kid. I'm just working to get to that point.”

Brandon McDonald

(On playing hard no matter his place in the lineup)- "I'm just a guy that wants to take advantage of my opportunities. This game is not promised, you can be in one year and out the next. I'm just trying to make the best of my opportunities right now."

(On adding players in the secondary during the offseason)- "I don't see it as negative. Like I said, I see that as a positive for this team and this secondary. It was obvious that we needed help. I think they made some great additions by bringing in Sheldon (Brown) and Joe (Haden) and the rest of the guys that they brought in. I think we had a good offseason program, a good draft and guys are really out here working right now trying to get better."

(On finishing the season on a four-game winning streak last year)- "I just think that it made everybody feel like we are not giving up. Regardless of what the record is or how bad the year has been, we are going to fight until the end, and that's what we did. It gave us a lot of momentum leaving out of that year and coming into this next year."

Tony Pashos

(On winning a starting job)- "Initially it's a step process, one step at a time. I'm trying to learn the plays, the way to do things around here, the guys around me, schemes and whatnot. Down the road that takes care of itself, but initially I have got to learn to play in this system."

Seneca Wallace

(On what he has shown Coach Mangini so far)- "It's all new to me. This is a different type of offense than what I'm used to. I'm still growing every day, trying to get better and understand this offense. I get hard on myself because I always want things to be perfect and I know that coming into a new system, it's going to take awhile. I think I showed him that I can lead the team, I can make all of the throws and obviously I'll continue playing when things break down and make some good plays."

(On the biggest difference coming to a new team)- "It's probably the terminology. I've been used to a west coast offense type system for seven years. You come to a (new) system and it's like you have got to all of a sudden learn Spanish overnight. It's tough trying to work with that and obviously, it's an east coast type, New England type of offense and that's different. You just have got to put some of those things and group them together. Some things that I had on the west coast, I will try and carry it over here too."

(On adjusting his style of play in a new offense)- "I think I have got to adjust to them. I'm new here obviously and I've got to adjust to what they are doing. Right now, I've got to understand what they want. As we progress, then I can start turning my game into what I do and bring it to what they do. It's kind of tough, but you have got to understand the system first before you start trying to create things."

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