Yesterday, Mary Kay Cabot of the Plain Dealer reported that the Cleveland Browns soon-to-be QB coach Kevin O'Connell, was working out with Heisman trophy winner Marcus Mariota, and has been focusing on Mariota recently.
According to MKC, "Hawaii's staradvertiser.com first reported Jan. 24th that Mariota has been working out with O'Connell at San Diego's Prolific Athletes."
O'Connell, who also worked with Johnny Manziel last year, had a prior commitment before the Browns approached him for the open QB coach spot, which included working with Prolific Athletes. Bryce Petty and Jameis Winston are also training there, but as MKC notes, "O'Connell is focusing primarily on Mariota."
While this sounds a little sketchy, there doesn't appear to be any wrongdoing on the Browns part. That is because they've not technically hired O'Connell as their QB coach. Although a deal is imminent, nothing is official, thus O'Connell working out with Mariota is not wrong.
Pro Football Talk took it a step further this morning when they reported that rival NFL execs are not pleased about the Browns' exploitation of a loophole.
"So let me get this straight," a high-level executive with another team told PFT on Wednesday morning. "The Browns can have their quarterbacks coach in waiting work with a player, teach him the entire offense, etc., but we can’t even talk to any potential draft pick until the Combine per league rules? Something is wrong here."
This does come on the heels of the Browns being investigated for GM Ray Farmer allegedly texting coaches from his suite. The Browns FO appears to be doing their own thing, whether that is right or wrong.
This entire saga is a wild one. One that continues to get more wild by the day. And it doesn't appear to be slowing down any time soon. Albert Breer posted yesterday that GM Ray Farmer has shown a liking for Mariota.
Browns GM Ray Farmer has shown a liking for Mariota. Cleveland has the 12th, 19th overall picks. Obv, Farmer will get good intel from KOC.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) February 10, 2015
Who knows what the Browns will do in the Draft, or how they'll address the QB position further this offseason. The one thing I do know, is that it appears that it'll be done in the most Cleveland fashion, for better or for worse.
What do you all make of this?