Cleveland Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski met with reporters during a breakfast at the NFL's Annual League Meeting on Tuesday, and later in the day, team owner Jimmy Haslam also met with reporters. A lot of the comments (in response to questions) were random, so the best way to structure this post is as a bullet point summary of everything I gathered from Twitter today.
Notes from Rob Chudzinski's Talk
QB Situation: When asked about Derek Anderson, Chudzinski said that signing him wasn't the right thing to do at this time. He will personally attend the team's private workout that will be conducted with draft prospect Geno Smith. Regarding a quarterback competition, he said that there can still be a "competition" even if they don't bring in another quarterback. That should make Colt McCoy happy. Tony Grossi did a great job transcribing a lot of what Chudzinski said about the quarterback competition, so check it out.
High Praise for Josh Gordon: Remember the gossip about wide receiver Josh Gordon not surviving the new regime? Based on Chudzinski's comments, he's confident in what Gordon can deliver. "Josh is a talented guy," said Chudzinski. "He has all the tools to be a solid No. 1 receiver in this league." Despite that, it sounded like Chudzinski wasn't opposed to the team adding a veteran receiver still.
- Defensive-Minded: Chudzinski said that the team signing Paul Kruger and Quentin Groves in free agency, two pass-rushing specialists, does not rule out the option of them drafting a pass rusher as well. He also re-iterated that he has personally always preferred 3-4, attacking style of defenses. If the Browns ever lose Ray Horton (i.e. he gets a head coaching gig), you can count on us keeping the same look defensively.
- Playbooks Sent: According to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal, Chudzinski said that the players have their playbooks now and that they were sent out a few weeks ago. It's study time!
Notes from Jimmy Haslam's Talk
- Jim Brown Will Have a Role: Haslam was excited in revealing that over the next two-three weeks, they will formalize a role for Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown. He didn't want to reveal what his role would be yet because "it's a big deal and that's why I want to do it right." It sounds like Haslam wants to undo everything Mike Holmgren "damaged" with Brown, times ten.
- No Hard Knocks: While he said there might be an interest in doing something again like NFL Road Tested involving the Browns, he is not interested in the team appearing on Hard Knocks, stating that it, "interferes with your basic football operations," according to Ulrich.
- Explanations on Not Re-Signing Veterans? As perhaps a way of explaining why the team is not re-signing the likes of tight end Benjamin Watson, kicker Phil Dawson, and return man Joshua Cribbs, Haslam said, "We're building" and "I think you've got to look at where people are at in their career." That probably rules out the possibility of Sheldon Brown coming back, or the team having an interest in a guy like Kerry Rhodes.
- Stadium Improvements: There will only be small changes in 2013, such as WiFi improvements, but bigger stuff is on tap for 2014. According to Pat McManamon of Fox Sports Ohio, Haslam "chuckled" when asked about a roof.
Jimmy Haslam on Cleveland Browns Daily
Haslam also appeared as a guest on Cleveland Browns Daily with Vic Carucci, an interview you can listen to here (it's about 12 minutes in length). I transcribed several interesting nuggets from Haslam:
- Expectations in 2013, and Done With Big Spending: "Unfortunately, We've won 23 games the past five years. We're not going to go to 13-3 next year. ... We're going to be disciplined. We had a lot of cap space, we used about half of it. That was on purpose. Next year, we're going to use most of the rest of it. We want to be very disciplined and not end up in a bind in two years."
- Not Attending Geno Smith's Workout: "Somebody asked me the other day, we are doing a workout for West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith, and said, 'are you going?' I said, 'No. I don't have the technical knowledge to know if Geno Smith throws a ball better than XYZ person. I've got to trust that Michael Lombardi in this case, or Joe Banner, and whoever our scouts are that are going to be down there, to make those decisions."
- Haslam's Job is to Ensure Accountability: "My job is to hire the right people, set them up for success, provide a great working environment for them, clearly lay out the expectations, and then hold them accountable. If they are successful, you compensate them accordingly. If not, you find somebody to take their place. That's how we've operated at Pilot Flying J, and that's how we'll operate the Cleveland Browns."