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Tom Heckert: Browns Have One of the Best Starting LB Groups in NFL

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Cleveland Browns general manager Tom Heckert addressed a group of Browns Backers and other guests after Friday's training camp session, according to Steve Doerschuk of the Canton Repository. Doerschuk must have been one of the people listening to Heckert, and it was a refreshing-sounding dialogue. Heckert spoke more freely to the fans versus how people usually talk to the media.

Rubbish_mediumOne comment had me pretty surprised though, even for a general manager who is trying to paint his team in a positive light:

"I think we have one of the best starting groups in the NFL," stated Heckert when asked about the team's linebackers corps.

I haven't brought out the infamous "Huh?" monkey in awhile. In fact, it's been over two years if I remember correctly, as he was able to avoid the Eric Mangini era after being used quite often during the Romeo Crennel era. [Editor's note: here are a few examples of when it was used, for those who are unfamiliar with him -- Link 1 | Link 2 | Link 3]

It's fine for Heckert to be confident, but I'd like to know if anyone really believes this team is even close to having of the best starting groups in the NFL? I'm just hoping the group can be average and take advantage of the two big defensive tackles up front.

Anyway, I'm not trying to pick on Heckert for too long. He provided some other good information to Browns Backers. He said that the team will be looking to extend the contracts of Joe Thomas and Ahtyba Rubin, and that they want to make Phil Dawson a Brown for the rest of his career.

Other notes from Heckert included the following: he wouldn't rule out Dave Zastudil as an option if needed down the stretch, the team does not need to acquire a new receiver, the team WILL get the ball to their receivers this year, and Shawn Lauvao is having a great camp and will be, "an excellent player."