Found March 18, 2013 on
Fox Sports Ohio:
PHOENIX -- Whither the Browns quarterback situation?
The team will hold a private workout for West Virginia's Geno Smith before the draft.
Which is interesting.
But so, too, was this statement from CEO Joe Banner on Monday about the draft's sixth overall pick.
"(Quarterback's) still not the focus, and I don't think that's going to change," Banner said at the annual NFL spring meetings.
He covered the bases by saying the Browns could take a passer, but he was emphatic that it's not the focus.
So by working out Smith, the Browns aren't changing their tune on not preferring a quarterback in the first round. They're just making sure they know what they need to know about the best one available. It could haunt them for years if they passed on a guy if they believe can be "the" guy.
"Even when you have good quarterbacks, if you have the opportunity to pick up another one they tend to turn into very valuable assets," Banner said without commenting specifically on Smith. "But it isn't a focus of what our plan will be."
The plan still focuses on the same plan the team had when free agency started.
"Teams that are winning are very, very good at getting pressure on the quarterback," Banner said. "So from hiring Chud (coach Rob Chudzinski) to hiring (defensive coordinator) Ray Horton to the players you've seen us sign, it''s all moving toward getting to the point where defensively we are able to effectively shut people down and make quarterbacks uncomfortable and get a lot of pressure on them."
Thus the immediate free agent signings of linebacker Paul Kruger and defensive lineman Desmond Bryant and linebacker Quentin Groves. All fall under the aggressivebig guy who can run umbrella.
But a team that has won 23 games the past five years isn't going to make dramatic strides with two defensive line additions and a linebacker who was a backup most of last season. Banner knows that -- and even though he said the team is pursuing other help (cornerback anyone?) he keeps talking as if the Browns are willing to take their lumps in the hopes of not plugging in a short-term fix.
"I don''t think we''re going to solve all of our problems in one year," he said. "I don''t think we''re going to solve a lot of our problems in free agency. Ever.
"But I do think we''ve advanced the ball in some very important areas with some young, quality guys."
Quarterback remains a touchstone, though -- it always seems to be for the Browns. The team set out in the offseason inclined to bring in competition for Brandon Weeden. A trade for an Alex Smith or Ryan Mallett became next to impossible because the Browns lack that second-round pick, and the talent on the free agent market was never strong.
"I think that Colt brings what you want in terms of somebody that brings you tremendous effort and leadership and has played and developed, I think, skills that improved as he played," Banner said. "That's not to say that''s the answer either. I personally have a lot of respect for Colt."
Would McCoy have a chance to start?
"That's something (offensive coordinator) Norv (Turner) and Chud will figure out," Banner said.
As for Smith, he's considered the best of a less-than-stellar batch of quarterbacks available in the draft. He has unbelievable stats borne out of the spread offense -- 8,590 yards passing with 73 touchdowns and 13 interceptions his final two seasons. His ability and the growth of the read-option in the pros have teams investigating him. The Eagles have the fourth overall pick, and they recently gave Smith a private workout even though they have Mike Vick and Nick Foles. Owner Jeffrey Lurie attended -- his first since he watched Donovan McNabb.
"When you select a quarterback it's a very big decision so you want to have every piece of information you can and just have as many eyes on it," Lurie said on Sunday.
Banner concurred, again speaking generally on draftable players.
" I don't want to look back and feel like we didn't do our full due diligence on a player that there's a variety of opinions on frankly," he said.
He also said his history when he trades is to trade down as opposed to up, so it can't hurt the Browns if other teams believe they are interested in a quarterback. The three teams drafting after the Browns -- the Cardinals, Bills and Jets -- all could use a quarterback.
Which reconfirms something about the Browns: They might not have many wins the past few years, but they sure can keep people interested during the offseason.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
This morning Browns fans are still wondering why Phil Dawson wasn’t resigned to the Cleveland Browns, a team he served for 14 years. The fans are starting to show concerns over the new ownership and they are already blaming Mike Lombardi for ruining the team. I’ve seen comments that said, he ruined the Browns in the 80′s and he is already starting to ruin the team again. The...
The Cleveland Browns are purposely keeping their general manager Michael Lombardi away from the media. Browns CEO Joe Banner describe Lombardi as a bit of a lightning rod, when asked about Lombardi by the Cleveland Plain Dealer Banner made this statement; “I’m just being very honest,” Banner told The Plain Dealer at the NFL Annual Meeting on Monday. “Mike is a little bit...
The only man who played on every Browns team since they returned to the NFL has landed the kicking role on the San Francisco 49ers. Phil Dawson says goodbye Cleveland, it was a lot of fun. Now the Browns let a guy go who average around 95% accuracy. Dawson was money for the team when inside or near the 50 yard line. Phil Dawson was the guy the Browns used a franchise tag on one year...
The Cleveland Browns are a stone's throw away from a 50 year championship drought (depending on whether or not you count the years that the team didn't exist).Their recent draft history definitely doesn't help. They've had some good years, like in 1978- they drafted TE Ozzie Newsome, now a world-champion GM with the Baltimore Ravens, and LB Clay Mathews JR., father...
According to Alex Marvez of FOXSports.com, free agent cornerback Brent Grimes visited the Cleveland Browns Saturday. Grimes was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Atlanta Falcons in 2006.
However, before playing in Atlanta, Grimes played overseas in NFL Europe for the Hamburg Sea Devils. His best year was in the 2010 season in which he recorded 87 tackles and 5 interceptions...
The Cleveland Browns hosted former all pro corner-back Brent Grimes walk out of Cleveland? Grimes is coming back from a serious injury to his leg. Chances are he is a little rusty and the Browns can’t afford to take a chance on a corner that may not be back to 100%. Grimes had other teams showing interest in him and the Falcons could also be waiting to see if they can resign him...
It isn’t often that teams draft a quarterback in the first round of the NFL Draft two years in a row. But most teams aren’t the Cleveland Browns, who have only been to the playoffs once since returning to the league in 1999, and recorded only two winning seasons. Nobody was incredibly excited about the selection of Brandon Weeden a year ago, and it doesn’t appear as if the...
MIAMI — A Florida family claims in a lawsuit that they feared for their lives when Cleveland Browns defensive lineman Desmond Bryant allegedly showed up drunk and shirtless at their home, repeatedly banged on the front door and ripped off a door handle.
The lawsuit, filed Monday in Miami-Dade County Circuit Court, seeks unspecified damages on behalf of Isaac and Iris Bakar and...
According to the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, the Browns plan on holding a private workout for former West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith.
The Browns, who are seeking competition for Brandon Weeden, will conduct a private workout with Smith, a source said Monday. They sent a representative to Smith’s pro day last week, and Banner said that they’ll study Smith and the other top quarterbacks...
The last remaining player from the Cleveland Browns reincarnation back in 1999 is no longer with the team. Phil Dawson after not receiving a contract offer from Browns, announced on his twitter page he reached an agreement to play for the San Francisco 49ERS. Dawson spent 14 years in Cleveland [...]
MIAMI (AP) -- A Florida family is suing Cleveland Browns defensive lineman Desmond Bryant, accusing him of showing up drunk at their home, banging on the front door and ripping off a door handle.
The lawsuit seeking unspecified damages was filed Monday in circuit court by attorney Robert Fiore. He represents Isaac and Iris Baker, who Fiore says were terrorized along with their three...
Thus far, the Browns have signed five players that were considered free agents, including the re-signing of restricted free agent Chris Ogbonnaya.
The NFL is hell-bent on passing a new rules proposal that would penalize a runner for lowering his head and leading with the helmet at the point of contact with a defender.
Pro Football Talk is reporting that Browns running back Trent Richardson and specifically the blow he lowered onto Eagles safety Kurt Coleman will be the standard that the rule will be based off.
As the NFL...
Browns return man and wide receiver Josh Cribbs failed the Physical with the Arizona Cardinals and gets no deal at this time. Cribbs had his knee scoped after the Pro-Bowl and for some reason wasn’t able to pass the teams Physical. This leaves the long-time Cleveland favorite in no-mans land for the time being. Cribbs is a man who may not have a team. He can try to get past the...
Cleveland Browns wide receiver/return specialist Josh Cribbs flew to Arizona to meet with the Cardinals Sunday night to put the final touches on his new contract. Cribbs is set to take a physical on Monday and if things go well he could be signing his first free agency contract as early as today. This would officially end his Career with the Cleveland Browns, a team he has served...