The Cleveland Browns named Tom Heckert as their new general manager, an announcement that was all but confirmed several days ago. Team president Mike Holmgren spoke with the media today on several topics; I'll highlight some of them here.
Link to Full Transcript | Link to Audio of Press Conference
Regarding Tom Heckert's Duties
(On if Heckert will have control of the 53-man roster)- "Yes, he's going to set up the 53-man roster, but I would temper that just a little bit. He and I are going to be in close communication on that. That will be his responsibility."
(On what he believes are Heckert's strengths)- "If you look at his resume first of all, he has got tremendous experience in the league. I think he has a tremendous work ethic. He is very, very bright. He's been successful. He's done a great job in both Miami and Philadelphia. Lastly, his personality is one [where] he's a great team player and very impressive guy. I think when you get a chance to talk to him and meet with him you'll see that as well."
(On how much Heckert had to deal with draft in Philadelphia and if that is a big part of what he'll be doing here)- "Terry (Pluto), Andy Reid and I are really good friends. Andy thought the world of Tom. I think they worked hand in hand, but clearly Tom set up the board, ran the personnel side of that. As you approach the draft you, of course, you funnel down those meetings from assistant coaches, scouts and everybody down to the decision makers and I think that's what happened in Philadelphiaand that's what will happen here. Tom had a lot to do with the success they had in Philadelphia in personnel. If you asked Andy Reid he would tell you the same thing."
(On the relationship between Heckert and Mangini and why Heckert withdrew himself from consideration last year)- "They've been together all day today, I'll tell you that. They seem to be doing fine. I didn't hear any yelling down there. I went in there a couple times. I think that's a good question to ask Tom tomorrow to be honest. I could give you my answer, what I think his reasons were. Ask him tomorrow, he'll tell you. It had nothing to do with Eric. I had something to do with, I believe he'd tell you, about his situation in Philadelphia, what he wanted to accomplish there and so on. Absolutely ask him tomorrow."
Thoughts: No surprise here, as this was pretty much what was mentioned last week. Assuming Eric Mangini was responsible for acquiring players like Matt Roth and Evan Moore, hopefully he receives a fair amount of input still as well. I'm looking forward to Heckert's press conference tomorrow.
Job Security of Assistant Coaches
(On if the assistant coaches will be back in their current roles next season)- "That'll be Eric's call. Of course we've talked about it. He's going through that right now. My feeling is, in our initially conversations, is that he was pleased with how the guys did this year. That's not to say that if someone became available that a change might take place. All in all, I think that we're still a little bit away from that. As of right now things are pretty much as they were last there. There could be a couple changes though down the road, but not yet."
Thoughts: I have a feeling Brian Daboll will be back next season. It's probably the right thing to do at this point, because if he doesn't do well next season from the get-go, pressure can easily be placed on Mangini from the front office to replace him.
'Take it or Leave it' to Cribbs?
(On where things stand with Joshua Cribbs' contract)- "I said it the other day, I believe I said this, that we would like Josh here, certainly. He's a part of the Browns and a wonderful player for us. He has got three years left on his current contract. It's almost unprecedented to change that dramatically in this business. Having said that, what we've tried to do is absolutely reward him for what he's done and what potentially he could do in the future and we have a difference of opinion. You guys that have covered sports for a long time realize that that happens. Everybody, I think, wants this to work out and I'm no different. We will continue to have dialogue, if possible. We're looking at ways now maybe to change what's going on with Josh and the offer and we'll see. We're getting new people in here and trying to get people in place. I'm new. I'm still hopeful that [to] everyone's satisfaction we can work this out."
(On if was not a ‘take it or leave it' offer made to Cribbs)- "That take it or leave it stuff, I think that went out a long time ago. I'm not sure you ever say that. The one thing that I think you have to try and avoid is negotiating against yourself. Any sort of negation is, in my opinion, a two way street. My hope is that we can get this to a win-win situation. Yes, I think there's a chance. There's light at the end of the tunnel hopefully."
Thoughts: It was certainly a calming demeanor presented by Holmgren. I still have faith that things will be worked out, especially now that a general manager is officially on board.
Update on Brady Quinn's Injury
(On Brady Quinn's injury)- "I met with our training staff today. I don't believe he is going to need surgery. He needs some time, clearly. As far as the specifics of the injury, again, we can talk about that little bit tomorrow, but I don't believe he is going to have to have surgery."
(On if Quinn has a lisfranc injury)- "That's the first thought, yes."
Thoughts: Hopefully he doesn't need surgery! Either way, it might be moot if Holmgren is able to lure Matt Hasselbeck to the Browns.