With the 2003 season in the books as a monumental flop, Bernie's Insiders
once again revisited one of our friends inside the Browns organization, who
talked with us at length, informing us that "There is not one person associated with this organization
(the Browns) that is satisfied with the overall state of the team.",
although he believes some of the reason for that poor record will not be
repeated: "We entered the season with a
change at quarterback, this change really had a negative effect on the team and
it did create some controversy and division. If we had to do over again, I am
not too sure we would start the season in that manner again."
With an eye to providing some more insight into items being tracked in Rumor
Central, we talked to our friend, who we'll once again call "Simply Speaking"
for the purposes of this article.
BerniesInsiders.com Total Access Pass PLUS members will find additional
material from this interview in the edition of Bernie's Insiders Magazine coming
to them next week.
UPGRADING THE OFFENSIVE LINE
BI: Will the team look to
upgrade the offensive line through free agency with a player such as Orlando Pace or Walter Jones or in the draft, as Davis eluded to late in the season?
Simply Speaking: "The offensive line is an area that we must make some determinations with and
do what we need to do to solidify one of the better lines in the league. The
left tackle is a position where we are looking to get a dominant player, as well
as possibly an offensive guard to provide additional versatility and depth. Any
potential free agent would have to be looked at that fits the criteria we are
establishing, but let me add the players you have noted may not become available
or will be priced out of our market. As for the draft, we believe there are some
intriguing players out there, but maybe not the dominant player we may want."
THE TOP OFFENSIVE TACKLES IN THE DRAFT
BI: A couple of college offensive lineman are gaining all the notoriety
heading into the bowl games, those two players being Shawn Andrews from Arkansas
and Robert Gallery from Iowa. After weeding through tape on both these fine
offensive tackles, I have come away very impressed with the on-field presence
and athleticism of both players and would believe a team such as the Browns
seeking improved line-play would have to seriously consider these two talented
Simply Speaking: "I am very aware of both of these young guys, they have a
great upside and have a future in the league. Coming from Iowa with the very
good coaching of Kirk Ferentz, Gallery has learned how to play the position. He
has good technique, good feet, lateral movement, turns well into the block, and
extends well. Another thing is he has the type of body where he can add size and
strength. Gallery is not a dominant tackle, but has the ability to grow into a
very good player at left tackle. For a team looking for an offensive left
tackle, this kid should be a solid contributor in the league, he may help a team
at some point during his rookie season.
"The Andrews kid is a big-body that has surprisingly athleticism, pretty good
feet and good movement. From what we have scouted, Andrews has the ability to
maul, he plays well with his hands and has shown the ability to move bodies and
contain at the point of attack. He may be the type of kid that could play at
either right tackle or right guard."
A source within the Browns organization lets us in on their thinking... here's What We've Been Told
A source within the Browns organization lets us in on their thinking...