Shrine Game: Final notes and rumors

The East-West Shrine Game and its' week of practice has finally come to an end. And as players and scouts pack up to head out, here are a few lingering news, notes and quotes from the Bay area.

The Cleveland Browns remain undecided about Gerard Warren future with the franchise as his strong play over the last few games in 2004 may buy him another season with the club.  It was mentioned to us last week that Warren was drafted by the Browns solely based on the decision of Butch Davis as the majority of scouts in the organization were against this selection.  Both positions seem understandable.  

In January of 2001 the Miami Hurricanes beat interstate rival Florida in the Sugar Bowl.  And while the Butch Davis led Hurricanes dominated the game, Gerard Warren of the Gators stood out on the line of scrimmage.  That impressed Davis.  Later during an individual workout in Gainesville, reports stated Warren was so out of shape he needed to be resuscitated after running the forty for scouts; that turned off the scouts.

Cleveland feels slightly different about their other underachieving defensive lineman, Courtney Brown.  The team feels that Brown, when healthy, is a force and pointed to his performance in several regular season games as proof.

On a happier note the Browns truly believe that Kellen Winslow Jr. will be the best tight end in the league next year.

We learned if Navy fullback Kyle Eckel gets drafted and applies for a deferment from military service, he would likely be granted one and allowed to play in the NFL next year.   Joe Tiller also spent time with us and spoke highly of all of the East quarterbacks, especially Kyle Orton (no surprise there).

While NFL-scouts were not put off by Aaron Rodgers decision not to accept the offer to play in the Shrine Game, one AFC general manager remarked that Rodgers only competition to be the first quarterback chosen and first pick of the draft was Matt Leinart, who has since announced he is staying at USC for his senior season.

The Shrine Games media relations staff angered some by imposing restrictions in non-credentialed areas.  While this is nothing new they also angered credentialed scouts from the New Orleans Saints, who were standing outside the weigh-in area, after having the same restrictions imposed on them.

Some of the college post season games could be changing the way they select players.  One scout we spoke with said NFL teams are pushing for the all star games to employ retired scouts with strong league ties to assist with their player choices.


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