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Holmgren Press Conference Recap: Work Stoppage, Draft Plans, and Free Agency

Cleveland Browns team president Mike Holmgren spoke with the local media Monday afternoon, addressing a variety of topics that should help give us a better gauge as to what we can anticipate the team doing this offseason. If you want to read the full transcript of Holmgren's presser, click here. Otherwise, my list of notes summarizing the conference are after the jump.

Notes from Holmgren's Press Conference on 3/14/11

  • If he is concerned about the work stoppage being a set back: He discussed the situation with Pat Shurmur and believes they will be fine since they are in the same boat as everyone else (a lockout). He is very, very impressed with the coaching staff and believes they will be able to get everyone up to speed once everything goes back to normal.
    He addressed that the team will abide by league rules but that a playbook was given to Colt McCoy at one point. I think we should be confident that McCoy will be making a trip to Kinko's, xeroxing the playbook about ten times, and distributing it to quite a few other players on offense. It's hard to say whether McCoy is viewed by his teammates as a "leader" yet, but hopefully they understand that the best thing to do to get in rhythm for when the season does start is to start getting some of the reps and terminology down now. If this happens, I think our offense will be fine, but I still worry a little about our defensive switch.
  • On what happens to injured players now that their is a lockout: The injured players, such as Montario Hardesty, are still receiving care and will be rehabilitating with third parties. They can't use the Berea facility during the lockout period, but the team can remain in contact with the third parties to stay up-to-date on the status of players. It doesn't sound like this will be much of an issue seeing as the third party makes it almost as if the team can remain in contact with the players.
  • Whether there are any updates on fullback Lawrence Vickers: He isn't aware as to whether the team was in negotiations with Vickers and he can't comment on any tenders that were given.
  • If Phil Dawson will sign his franchise tender: The team certainly wants Dawson to come back next season, but Dawson gave them no indication as to what he would do.
  • How easy is the West Coast Offense for quarterbacks?: This one is a direct quote from the Walrus himself:
    "I've always said the offense is very quarterback friendly. You can take quarterbacks of all different sizes and skill levels, plug them in and still function pretty well if the quarterback works hard at it, is intelligent, makes good decisions and has good timing. If you also have a quarterback with great physical tools, then that's even better. They are all created just a little bit differently. I'm very encouraged in seeing what Colt has done so far, just like Seneca. Seneca knows this offense very well and will be able to function very well in this offense. I'm hopeful that they do a great job. I think it will be fun for them."
  • What the team will do in terms of working players out: We already know about Cameron Newton, and Holmgren attributes that to the Browns just making sure they do their due diligence. The team plans on holding workouts for 30 players, which is the league maximum allowed. I'm compiling a list that includes all of the players the Browns have "reportedly" been in contact with in some shape or form, whether it be from the Senior Bowl, NFL Combine, Pro Days, private workouts, etc.
  • The team's biggest needs to this point: The switch to the 4-3 means there is a lot of help needed on the defensive line still. Holmgren also hinted that the team is still interested in building the secondary, which makes sense considering they have interviewed several cornerback prospects and might have a vacancy at the safety position.
  • Whether the team will be active in free agency: Whether it be via trades or the draft, the Browns added Jake Delhomme, Seneca Wallace, Tony Pashos, Peyton Hillis, Sheldon Brown, Chris Gocong, and Scott Fujita last season. Holmgren said he doesn't expect the team to be as active in this year's free agency, whenever that may be. He also said he doesn't expect a possible free agency to just "begin" out of nowhere; he imagines a system will be set up to let teams prepare enough for what they might be interested in doing.
  • Regarding the retention of Jake Delhomme: Holmgren said it is absolutely a possibility that the team could keep Delhomme and Wallace (Wallace already signed a new deal). Delhomme would assuredly have to take a pay cut if he were to stay.