In today's edition of Around the Pound, the main topic of discussion regarding the Cleveland Browns in the news has been the team's restricted free agents.
This has become a common phrase amongst the Cleveland Browns fans: the team might not need LB D'Qwell Jackson this season. More so than our other restricted free agents, Jackson has made it clear that he desires a new contract. Considering that he has the most experience of our remaining RFA and was once considered the core of our linebacker unit, if someone could make a legitimate plea for a new contract, it would probably be him.
As many fans have speculated though, Pluto points out that with how many inside linebackers the team has on the roster, and the fact that Jackson has yet to look like anything more than an average linebacker, we might not see Jackson with the team this season:
3. The point is, they have Bowens, Fujita, Gocong and Barton as experienced inside linebackers. They have decided to keep David Veikune exclusively at inside linebacker. They believe it was a mistake to play him at outside and inside linebacker, which they did early last season. Veikune was a rookie out of Hawaii, where he played defensive end. So there is no need to appease Jackson. It would not be a shock if he plays elsewhere next season.
Pluto notes that LB Matt Roth would also like a long-term deal, but give his short tenure with the team last season, he'd be better off following in the footsteps of Jason Trusnik and just signing for a year.
Rookie running back Montario Hardesty was noticed by the media last week, and head coach Eric Mangini has some more praise for him this week:
Mangini is painting Hardesty as one of the team’s most mentally alert rookies. In rookie minicamp meetings, Mangini would put players on the spot with pop questions.
“Some guys couldn’t get the answers,” Mangini said. “Whenever they couldn’t get an answer, (Hardesty) had his hand in the air. He knew the answer. And it was on a range of different things ... You could tell he was constantly paying attention, constantly taking notes.”
The question is, just how much does that awareness translates to talent? We always said Ken Dorsey was a smart quarterback; or at least Bernie Kosar thought he was.
According to Tony Grossi via general manager Tom Heckert, while the Browns may still pursue a free agent receiver, veteran Terrell Owens isn't one of the players on their radar:
"That's not the direction we're headed," he said. "There's a lot of factors that go into that. I think at this stage of his career, this isn't a place he'd be looking at. We don't plan on talking to him."
Grossi also had an interesting note on the number of RFA's in the league who have not signed yet. In total, 44 RFA's have remained without a team; the Browns account for a little more than 11% of those players.
- There was a lot of controversy over last week's episode of LOST, which didn't feature any of the full-time cast members in new footage. The whole episode revolved around the backstory of Jacob and the Man in Black. Half the fans liked the episode, and half the fans hated it. I'm on the side that liked the episode. Granted, I think there were some opportunities to discreetly answer some other island-related questions throughout the episode, but it was important to know the Man in Black's motivation.
The final showdown looks to be coming down to the characters we love vs. the Man in Black. We know the motives of characters like Jack, Hurley, etc, but we didn't know exactly why the Man in Black wanted to get off the island until last week's episode. In the long run, I think that fundamental knowledge will help the final battle.
- I promised I wouldn't bring up Ghostbusters 3 again until there was an actual confirmation on it. Well, this seems sort of close: Harold Ramis claims that the movie is a reality, and that it is coming by Christmas 2012.
“Well, there’s been a lot of talk about a third Ghostbusters film, which has now become real. It’s… I can say with some certainty that there will be a third movie. It won’t be out until Christmas 2012, but the work is going on now.”
- Speaking of sequels, which I always love to stay up-to-date on, it looks like Die Hard 5 will be made at some point in the future too.
- In television news, Flashforward and Heroes were canceled this week. Heroes definitely went down the tubes after its first season, and although I still watched it, it got to the point where I didn't really feel like I'd be missing anything if it stopped airing. Robert Knepper was the best thing about last season.
Regarding Flashforward, it's a real shame that show got canceled. The show got off to such a slow start that viewers tuned out before the show could get off the ground. At the midseason point, the show changed showrunners, and the action picked up tremendously to transform it into a very entertaining show. Ratings-wise, it was too little, too late, unfortunately.
- At least one of the new shows got picked up -- Human Target will be back next year for at least a 13-episode order. I hope the show gets the post-House slot on Monday's as the replacement for "24." If you haven't given the show a chance, I highly recommend it for a nice little weekly action thriller.