Heckert: "We Kept the Best 53"

Browns GM Tom Heckert answered questions on the team's cuts on Sunday afternoon. Fred Greetham attended the conference call and offers this report...

BEREA, Ohio—Browns General Manager answered questions for 25 minutes via conference call about the process to determine the final 53-man roster on Sunday afternoon.

"We kept the best 53 we needed to get ready for Tampa," Heckert said. "We'll have to wait and see, but we think were improved. We really do."

Heckert said the roster will most likely have some adjustments to it as players claimed or brought in are evaluated.

"There will be some claims and another wave of cuts Sunday," Heckert said.

Abe Elam posted on his twitter account that defensive back Quincy Butler was joining the Browns.

"He's a guy we've contacted," he said. But we haven't done anything."

Heckert answered various questions about the upcoming season and players on the roster:

Q: What are your expectations for this season?

Heckert: "I think we're going to compete. We said when we got here that we were not going to be rebuilding. Our goal is to compete this year. That's our goal."

Q: What are your thoughts on Jake Delhomme?

Heckert: "Jake has had a great preseason. We said when we signed him, but not everybody believed it, that he was a good quarterback. He's been a great team leader and has performed well."

Q: What about keeping 12 linebackers?

Heckert: "D'Qwell (Jackson) is a part of it and he probably won't be ready for the first couple of games. We're excited he'll be back sooner than later."

Q: When do expect Shaun Rogers to play?

Heckert: "We think he's going to be ready to play (this week). We'll see how he practices. Right now, I don't think it's a concern."

Q: With Ahytba Rubin playing well, do you see Rogers playing end?

Heckert: "That's a question for Eric (Mangini). Rubin has done a great job and that gives us flexibility adding in a guy like Shaun."

Q: Are you satisfied with the pressure on the quarterback in the preseason?

Heckert: "We do have to get pressure on the quarterback and with Shaun coming back,that will help us."

Q: In retrospect, was it a mistake to draft Montario Hardesty with his injury history?

Heckert: "Obviously, he tore his ACL. Was it riskier drafting him rather than a guy who didn't have a history? We felt comfortable when we took him he was going to be OK."

Q: Do you know of any running backs to come back from two ACL surgeries and be successful?

Heckert: "I'm sure everybody says this, but the doctors have said there is no reason the player can't come back from this. We had Correll Buckhalter who came back and had two ACLs. We're confident he'll be back."

Q: Did he have surgery yet and in retrospect, do you wish he wouldn't have played in the final preseason game?

Heckert: "No, he didn't have surgery yet.  We had no question about playing him. Montario wanted to play."

Q: Why did David Bowens think he was not going to make the team?

Heckert:  "I can see where David is coming from. He didn't play much, but to waste a lot of reps on David wasn't needed.He does bring leadership, and everything you want a player to bring to a team. In the end, it's all performance based."

Q: How did the process go with you Eric and Mike Holmgren?

Heckert: "It went well. Eric and I talk every day. I meet with him every day. Eric, me and Mike met and just talked it out. It wasn't a matter of someone being my guy or his guy. We just talk it out. It's a difficult time for all of us. We all struggled with guys we let go. We talk all the time. We went through the whole process."

Q: What about the uncertainty on the right side of the offensive line?

Heckert: "I don't think there is uncertainty. A couple guys had to miss time for personal reasons. Shawn (Lauvao) played well and Tony (Pashos) played well when he was in there. I think we'll be ok."

Q: Are you looking at bringing in a veteran wide receiver?

Heckert: "We like the guys we have and we throw Carlton (Mitchell) in there, who we think has a good up side. We're good with the guys we have."

Q: What are your thoughts on Sheldon Brown after seeing him in the preseason?

Heckert: "I think he has a lot left. He's a good football player."

Q: Do you still feel you have depth at running back?

Heckert: "There's no question with the play of Peyton (Hillis) and James (Davis), too. Peyton is a proven back. We have three capable backs."

Q: Are you concerned only having three cornerbacks on the roster right now?

Heckert: "We think we have four because we have Mike Adams, who can play both cornerback and safety."

Q: Why didn't fifth-round pick Larry Asante make the team?

Heckert: "We'll see what happens with Larry.  I think he's going to be a good player. Hopefully, we can  get him on the practice squad."

Q: Do you expect Nick Sorenson to be able to play soon?

Heckert: "We'll see what the doctors say, but I don't think it will be long time."


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