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
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 linemen.
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."