In today's edition of Around the Pound, we take a look at the release of San Diego Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson, who Mike Mayock thinks the Browns should consider in the draft, and some notes from Peter King's Monday Morning Quarterback regarding the offense.
Chargers Release LaDainian Tomlinson
It wasn't really a shock, but RB LaDainian Tomlinson is another casualty of a running back reaching an elite peak only to plummet down soon after, whether it be due to injury or "just not having it anymore."
Tomlinson wasn't the only running back let go. The Philadelphia Eagles have just released RB Brian Westbrook, another back who has had injury issues the past few years. Does anyone here think that either Tomlinson or Westbrook would be an attractive option for the Browns? I personally would stay away from them -- if we're going to get a veteran backup running back, I want someone who has already fulfilled that role. Plus, Tomlinson and Westbrook might still be teetering on that "I want to start" line, and I want Jerome Harrison to receive the starting role.
I still wouldn't mind signing Vikings RB and former Ravens RB Chester Taylor whenever he hits the market.
Mike Mayock: Browns Should Take WR Dez Bryant
During a national conference call on Tuesday, NFL Network correspondent Mike Mayock had this to say about the Cleveland Browns and their first-round draft pick this year:
"The way I look at it, I think they've got to deal with wide receiver and cornerback," Mayock said on a national conference call on Tuesday. "Sitting there at No. 7, a Dez Bryant and a Joe Haden, I think, are the two logical guys.
"If Dez Bryant slides down to No. 7, I think you've got to take him. Braylon Edwards is gone. (Bryant's) a big, physical wideout that instantly makes those quarterbacks better. I would look at that position first because cornerback is so deep I think you can come back later and get a quality corner."
While cornerback is fairly deep, I'd still prefer to go the route of the veteran at wide receiver in free agency. While Brian Robiskie and Mohamed Massaquoi were relatively quiet last year, I'm not ready to spend such a high pick on another receiver yet. Mayock compares Bryant to the Houston Texans' Andre Johnson.
Peter King's MMQB: Mentoring Brian Daboll
In his Monday Morning Quarterback column, Sports Illustrated's Peter King had two bullet points on the Cleveland Browns, particularly on how the new staff is working to change the offense:
7. I think these were the two interesting nuggets from my chat with Browns president Mike Holmgren on Sirius Radio Friday: He said his longtime aide, Gil Haskell, who came with him from Seattle, is meeting almost daily with offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, and it sounds as if the Browns will morph into some form of Holmgren's beloved West Coast Offense. "He [Daboll] is not running my offense ... yet,'' Holmgren said. And he said a decision hasn't been made yet on whether Brady Quinn will be the team's starting quarterback. In fact, no quarterback decision has been made, including anything involving backup Derek Anderson.
8. I think the toughest thing for Holmgren is to mesh three key people to the long-term success of the Browns who have not worked together before -- Holmgren, GM Tom Heckert (hired from the Eagles) and coach Eric Mangini -- and get their various core beliefs to mesh in such a short time. I don't remember three strangers being thrown together before like that to run a team.
- Good to see some progression (or an end) to the side-story plot on "24." I'm sure that the storyline will still play a factor in the storyline later down the road, but it might be remotely more interesting with Cole involved. And, with Jack Bauer being back as basically the head of field ops, I hope we see him on the screen a little more often. One more side note -- has a president ever been less involved in a particular season than President Taylor has been?
- Silly NBC for not showing the USA vs. Canada game on national television. As if they had to intention to piss people off even more, they had the nerve to finally start showing the game when there was 45 seconds left in the game. I still hope Leno's ratings plummet in comparison to what they used to be, but the late-night drama won't really kick up again until near September.
- American Idol: The Top 24 begins tonight. In the past, I usually have two or three contestants that really jumped out at me throughout the audition process as being favorites. That wasn't the case this year though, so I'll have to make my decisions from here on out. Ellen has been very annoying as a judge so far; she either says the same stupid drag-me-out joke to all of the contestants or doesn't say anything. The panel will really be painful to listen to without Simon next season.
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