Cleveland Browns general manager Tom Heckert and head coach Pat Shurmur met with the Cleveland media in Indianapolis during the second day of the NFL Combine. There isn't a direct quote-for-quote transcript of the conference, but several of the local media outlets provided various news and nuggets related to personnel. Here is my own summary after going through their readings (the sources are listed at the end of the article).
- QB Colt McCoy: Shurmur has no doubts about the quarterbacks arm at the NFL level and he is extremely excited to work with him. All indications are that McCoy is 100% the guy.
- QB Jake Delhomme: Heckert said the team hasn't talked to him about a pay cut yet, but it is something they'll address down the road. They would like him to be a mentor to McCoy still.
- QB Seneca Wallace: He received a vote of confidence from Heckert, who wants him back. Heckert noted that he wasn't talking about "Wildcat" Seneca Wallace, but rather the Seneca Wallace who can line up under center and play quarterback in the West Coast Offense.
- RB Peyton Hillis: When asked about the running game in the WCO, Shurmur said that it has to be a two-back system. As for the halfback..."The halfback has to be able to catch the football out of the backfield as well as run with it." That certainly seems to fit what Hillis can do, eh?
- RB Montario Hardesty: He has been going through his rehab aggressively and seems to be on the right track. Shurmur noted that two running backs can be in at the same time if one of the guys is bigger.
- FB Lawrence Vickers: When addressing what the fullback needs to do, Shurmur said..."The fullback is the guy that needs to block, win the one-on-one battles with linebackers and be able to catch the ball out of the backfield." When asked specifically about Vickers, Shurmur had praise for the fullback and believes he can catch, but didn't say if the team would re-sign him.
- TE Evan Moore: When asked if he would be under contract next season, Heckert bluntly said, "He will be." I imagine Moore is viewed as a great fit for the WCO.
- RT Tony Pashos: As of this moment, Heckert is content with Pashos being the team's starting right tackle next season.
- DT Ahtyba Rubin: Heckert believes Rubin will be fine playing either of the defensive tackle positions.
- LB D'Qwell Jackson: Heckert said Jackson can play in either defense but probably works better in a 4-3, where he sees him as the "weakside outside linebacker." They'd like to have him back next season.
- LB Scott Fujita: Heckert called him the prototypical strongside outside linebacker.
- LB Chris Gocong: Heckert sees him as the force in the middle, leading me to believe the team wants him back.
- LB Marcus Benard: Heckert isn't quite sure how he can contribute on early downs, but he sees him as a situational pass rusher. Overall, all of this talk confirms the switch to a 4-3 defense.
- CB Eric Wright: Of all the players Heckert was asked about bringing back, his comments on Wright seem the most lukewarm. Maybe he just doesn't want to sound silly by covering up a player who everyone knows played so horribly last year.
For more information on what Heckert and Shurmur had to say, visit the articles below: