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Around the Pound (5/2): Special Minicamp Round-Up Edition

When was the last time we had an edition of Around the Pound? It's been too long, but it's back today for a special super-sized edition that is focused on all the news and nuggets on the Cleveland Browns rookie minicamp this weekend and the team's draft selections.


We're Not the Only Ones Who Look at YouTube

On the Secondary: In Terry Pluto's Sunday column, in order to learn about safety T.J. Ward, he did some research and watched some YouTube videos. Pluto probably saw some of the same videos we did on Ward, where he would launch his body full-force into his opponents to make crushing tackles. Pluto states that the reason teams didn't have Ward higher on their draft boards is because they are concerned with his injury history.

With the Browns taking a second safety (Larry Asante) in the draft who is known more so for tackling than coverage, Pluto believes the Browns we'll see a lot of rotation in the secondary...

[The situation] makes me think Michael Adams or even newcomer Sheldon Brown will see some time at safety -- or at least covering slot receivers.

On the Running Backs: Pluto received some quotes from a pro scout on RB Montario Hardesty:

"He has an excellent spin move to break open. I like his vision, he picks holes well. He falls forward when tackled. He is very underrated as a receiver, does a good job in that area. I also think he's a decent blocker. I like how he fights for every yard, and he's a good kid. Like with Ward, if he stays healthy, he'll be a good player."

Still, was it worth trading up to acquire Hardesty? Pluto cites that the Patriots were reported as being interested in the Tennessee running back. If you can say one thing about the Browns' draft, it is that they got the guys they wanted, without sacrificing anything in next year's draft.

For more on the rookies, including the wonderful character of Joe Haden and the accuracy of QB Colt McCoy, check out the rest of Pluto's column.

Setting the Stage

In total, there were 53 players at rookie minicamp, broken down like this:

  • 8 draft picks
  • 10 undrafted free agents
  • 35 tryout players

Steve Doerschuk of the Canon Repository has a full list of the players that attended here. What I found interesting is that WR Dion Morton of Colorado State is 5-8 and weighs just 160 pounds. I don't consider that to be skinny, but he would definitely be an outlier as an NFL player. Grossi highlighted some of the local players trying out for the Browns:

Among the players trying out are local products Andre Evans, defensive back from Glenville and Eastern Kentucky, defensive back Bradley Jones of Canton McKinley and Cincinnati, receiver Robby Parris of St. Ignatius and Notre Dame, and defensive back Royce Adams of Glenville and Purdue.

Ouch! Punter Takes a Shot

Imagine you are tryout punter Jonathan Thoma. You know that you might be doing some drills at rookie minicamp, but nothing too extravagant beyond punting the football. The last thing you'd hope for is to be bowled over by a 6-7, 300 pound "monster." 

Thoma, of Ohio State, held a blocking pad in the drill and Clifford Geathers was supposed to hit it and maneuver past, but he just pancaked him.

"You appreciate his size and explosion," coach Eric Mangini said, "but not against guys 130 pounds [Thoma is listed at 200]. It's like turning a battleship. Once his momentum gets going, it's hard to move. So he's got to be conscious of the smaller kids on the playground."

Yes, seriously, take it a little easy on the punter not expecting to be flattened.

Brett Ratliff, and Shifting Positions for Rogers & Luavao

Head coach Eric Mangini stated that depending on the legal proceedings with DL Shaun Rogers, the team will explore playing him at both of the end positions. Regarding rookie guard Shawn Luavao, the team will give him some work at both guard positions, center, and long snapper. In other words, they want him to be as versatile as possible.

Mangini also stated that just because the Browns have three new quarterbacks doesn't mean that Brett Ratliff's time with the team is over.

"I'm not opposed to carrying four quarterbacks and Mike's not opposed to that, Tom [Heckert] is not opposed to that so I think he's got a great opportunity," Mangini said. "He really did a good job in my time in New York with him.

"I think there are definitely some things he could've done better last year that he and I have talked about. It's important for him to come out and show that he's still improving, but that's my anticipation is that he will. We will just see how it falls after that."

Rex Ryan on Rob Ryan: He Wanted CB Kyle Wilson

New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan didn't name names, but as the Plain Dealer points out, it seems pretty clear that he was referring to Browns defensive coordinator Rob Ryan when praising CB Kyle Wilson:

Ryan didn't use Rob's name, but said, "There is somebody that I really know well for a long time that basically said that he was their guy and they picked a lot earlier than us. You can probably figure it out. That's who he wanted and then after practice, I'm like 'Yep. I guarantee you were right because this guy is the real deal."

Wilson ended up falling to the Jets at No. 29 overall, and Rex is already gushing over how Wilson will be a great player and be the team's starting nickelback.

Joe Thomas Part of a JaMarcus Russell Gag

From an ESPN article:

I’m on the record saying the Raiders should move on from the Russell era. However, I am impressed with how Russell handled himself on the field and with the media Friday. He tried hard to perform well and then he kept a positive attitude when talking about his situation.

The same can’t be said for Oakland employee Eddie Anderson, a former player. One of his chief duties is to hang with Russell. He stood by Russell’s side during his interview session. You'd think Oakland had just traded for Joe Thomas. I’ve never seen Russell get this much protection.

Only one problem: Joe Thomas doesn't need protection, everyone else does.

Off-Beat Notes

  • So much to talk about in off-beat stuff since last time's Around the Pound, so I'll jump right in with some more Ghostbusters 3 discussion. Once again, the holdup seems to be actor Bill Murray, who is calling it "just kind of a dreamy thing" regarding the thought of another movie. Ugh. Has a movie ever been in development hell like Ghostbusters 3 has been? You know what, maybe I should just stop talking about the movie unless there are reports that all of the actors have physically signed on the dotted line for being involved in the movie.
  • 425 I've continued loving the final season of LOST, and the excitement toward the end of the season has certainly been the crossovers that have started occurring with the Flashsideways storylines. You had to know that Desmond would be the catalyst in getting things going. There is no room for filler with just five hours of original programming left. I'm excited but bummed at the same time, since I also know that 24 (the TV series) will be coming to an end as well.
  • The studio has announced a July 20, 2012 release date for Batman 3. We should have an NBA Championship and a Super Bowl or two under our belts by then, right? That should be a big period for the movie industry, with The Avengers (May 4), Battleship (May 25), Star Trek 2 (June 29), and what will likely be the Bat's biggest competition: the Spider-Man reboot's reboot (July 3) also hitting the screen in 2012.
  • The ratings of FOX's American Idol continue to take a tumble, and an overall group that is less talented than the past few years, the other judges constantly interrupting Simon Cowell, and the bizarre behavior that has consumed host Ryan Seacrest, who can blame viewers? At least Glee, which now airs after Idol, has been posting series-best numbers since its return and has continued receiving critical acclaim.
  • The Office's Michael Scott, played by Steve Carrell, says he doesn't imagine being back after his contract runs out next year. That would be a huge loss for the series, but right now I'd pen it as an early contract negotiation ploy.
  • Speaking of Carrell, him and all of the other actors involved in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy  had agreed to take pay cuts to return for a sequel. Awesome, right? Not so, as the producers and Paramount could not agree on a budget for the film. Therefore, as of now, it is dead. Boooo.