Is Robiskie ready to shine for Browns in 2010?

Tony Grossi of the Cleveland Plain Dealer compiled a list of five players that he believes may shine for the Browns in 2010 and of those five, I happen to agree with his selection of second year receiver Brian Robiskie.

Brian Robiskie: The second-year receiver dressed for 11 games as a rookie and caught passes in only three of them. If one OTA practice open to the media is any indication, he should at least quintuple his season total of seven catches.

Of all the receivers at last year’s scouting combine, I felt as though Robiskie was the most polished. That’s not to say he was the best, but his route running was superb (which is usually a great indication that a young receiver will make an impact right away in the NFL) and he displayed soft hands during all of the drills.

Neither Grossi nor I are suggesting that Robiskie will be a superstar, but I think the former Ohio State Buckeye could mount a career that resembles former Bill Don Beebe’s. Some of you might be thinking, “Oh, wow – Don Beebe, huh? Wow – great.” But Robiskie could do much worse than to have a Don Beebe-like career. Much worse.

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Report: Browns interested in Colt McCoy

ESPN’s Chris Mortesen is reporting that the Browns have genuine interest in quarterback Colt McCoy and could use their second round pick on the Texas product, or even package picks to move into the bottom of the first round.

So far this offseason, GM Mike Holmgren has done some major reconstructive surgery on Cleveland’s quarterback position. He released Derek Anderson, traded for Seneca Wallace, signed Jake Delhomme and dealt Brady Quinn to the Broncos. But anyone with 20/20 vision or a strong pair of prescription eyeglasses can see that Wallace and Delhomme aren’t the answer. Wallace is fine in small doses, but struggles to carry a team on a full-time basis and Delhomme has been a disaster since the 2008 Divisional Round playoffs. I know that some Browns fans are optimistic that Delhomme will return to his 2007 form, but watch him orchestrate an offense without Steve Smith, DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart at his disposal – and then evaluate how optimistic you are.

That said, I don’t think McCoy is the answer for the Browns. He’s a class act all the way and he did some tremendous things at UT, but there’s no telling what kind of shape his shoulder is in. He recently told’s Gil Brandt that he’s 100% and will be able to throw at the Longhorns’ Pro Day on March 29, but that will be the first time he throws since the BCS title game. Even if he does throw well and his shoulder has healed, there are still question marks surrounding his arm strength and his unfamiliarity with a pro style offense.

Of course, the one thing McCoy has never been criticized about is his accuracy, which is vital for quarterbacks running the West Coast Offense. Maybe Holmgren believes McCoy is the right fit for his system and also likes the QB’s athleticism. Still, McCoy succumbed to Nebraska’s immense defensive line pressure in the Big 12 title game last season, raising questions about whether or not he could survive in the NFL.

I guess what I’m ultimately saying is that I’m not completely sold on McCoy as a prospect. I loved watching him play at Texas and I think he can be successful because he’s an incredibly hard worker with a great head on his shoulders. But will he be successful? As a starter, I’m not entirely sure.

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Are the Browns clearing a path for John Fox?

There are several intriguing rumors floating around the NFL blogosphere about John Fox’s future. And one of those rumors has the current Carolina front man heading to Cleveland next year in order to reunite with quarterback Jake Delhomme, whom the Browns recently signed to a two-year deal.

There are several interesting connections between Fox and the Browns, which were all highlighted by ESPN’s Adam Schefter:

“Think about this: Panthers coach John Fox is a huge Delhomme supporter. Browns general manager Tom Heckert is an equally big supporter of Fox. Fox’s contract is up after this season. Agent Bob Lamonte represents Heckert, Fox and Browns president Mike Holmgren. Cleveland gave Delhomme a two-year deal, long enough to carry him over until the time when Fox will become free. I’m not saying, I’m just saying …”

It’s not a crazy notion. Holmgren is already in the process of tearing down the Browns’ roster and rebuilding it from scratch. Just based on some of the moves that Holmgren has made, if I were Mangini I wouldn’t get the walls in my office re-painted quite yet, because there’s a good chance he’ll be gone in 2011. Whether or not Fox replaces him is another question, but as Schefter points out – it’s certainly a possibility.

Considering the success Fox has had in Carolina, this news should have a lot of Browns fans excited. Tempered, but it excited. Personally, I think he’s a little overrated myself (the Panthers have been the model of inconsistency under him during his tenure and they never shy away from failing to live up to expectations), but he’s a better football coach than Mangini is. Fox gets the most out of his players on Sundays and he relates well to them, which is why they always play hard for him. I know this would be a ways down the road, but if Holmgren were to hire Fox, he’d be giving Cleveland the competent coach the team has needed for years.

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Is Holmgren done upgrading the Browns’ quarterback situation?

Far be it for me to question Mike Holmgren’s decision making because the man certainly knows what it takes to build a competitive football team. But what is he thinking in regards to the Browns’ quarterback position?

Holmgren wanted to upgrade Cleveland’s quarterback situation during the offseason because he wasn’t satisfied with Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson. Given Anderson’s play last season, I’m surprised he wasn’t cut the moment Holmgren put his John Hancock on his contract in Cleveland. As for Quinn, it’s debatable whether or not he should still have the opportunity to compete for the Browns’ starting job. I wouldn’t criticize Holmgren if he kept Quinn and I wouldn’t criticize him if he traded him for a box of shot glasses and a bottle of Jameson.

But is Holmgren really set to enter the 2010 season with Jake Delhomme (whom was recently signed to a two-year deal) and Seneca Wallace (whom was recently acquired in trade with Seattle) at quarterback? Delhomme wanted to be a starter and wouldn’t have signed with Cleveland if he weren’t promised that he’d get at least get the opportunity to compete in training camp. So the question is: What did Holmgren see in Delhomme last year to make him think that the former Panther could still be a starter in this league?

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Mike Holmgren named Browns club president

Mike Holmgren has accepted the Browns’ offer to become the team’s new club president, according to Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Holmgren said on his weekly radio show last Friday that if he took the job, he’d give Browns coach Eric Mangini a chance to prove himself. He said “it’s not fair” to come in and fire a coach after one season, but that he understands sometimes tough decisions aren’t fair.

A league source said Lerner was hoping that whoever he brought in would see that Mangini’s plan was working — and there’s been evidence of that in recent weeks, including back-to-back victories over Pittsburgh and Kansas City.

Mangini also has the support of executive advisor Jim Brown, who said he deserves to keep his job.

Terms of Holmgren’s deal were not disclosed, but previous reports estimated it could be around $5 million a year. On Saturday, Holmgren turned down an offer for a high-level post with the Seahawks, which, according to the Seattle Times, was the president’s role.

Holmgren now has decide whether or not to give Mangini a chance to prove himself past one season, or start fresh and hire someone new to coach his team. It’s human nature to want to start with a clean slate, so I would imagine that Holmgren will let Mangini go and hire someone who is familiar with the West Coast Offense (the offense Holmgren ran in his coaching career). But then again, who knows – maybe Holmgren sees that Mangini has the Browns moving in the right direction and values him as an asset.

Regardless of what he decides to do with Mangini, this was absolutely the right hire by the Browns. Holmgren has already proven that he can win in this league and Cleveland needs someone that can build from the ground up. Great hire.

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