Cleveland Browns team president Mike Holmgren spoke with the local media Monday afternoon about a variety of topics, including what the team will be doing during the work stoppage, where quarterback Colt McCoy stands as far as his knowledge of the West Coast Offense is concerned, the team's draft plans, and more.
Holmgren started off by discussing whether the new coaching staff will be at a disadvantage as a result of the lockout. He believes the Browns are in the same boat as everyone else in the league and is confident that once a deal is worked out, the coaching staff will be well prepared to get the team ready for the 2011-2012 season. When it comes to injured players such as Montario Hardesty, they will not be able to rehabilitate in Berea or with the team doctors. Holmgren assured that all of the injured players will receive care from third part sources and that the front office is permitted to remain in contact with those parties.
One of the team's biggest free agents, as uncommon as this may sound, is fullback Lawrence Vickers. Holmgren was asked whether the team offered a tender to Vickers, but he said he was unaware if an offer was made or not. Another player the media asked about was kicker Phil Dawson. Holmgren said the team had good reason to use the franchise tag on him, but that Dawson gave them no indication as to whether or not he was willing to sign the franchise tag deal.
When it comes to implementing the West Coast Offense, one thing that will make it easy for McCoy is that the system is quarterback-friendly in terms of getting used to it.
"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."
Holmgren also offered several nuggets related to the team's draft plans. They are bringing Cameron Newton in for a workout because he feels it is their responsibility to do their proper due diligence when it comes to scouting, no matter what the position is. Holmgren stated that the team plans on inviting 30 players for private workouts, which is the league maximum. He addressed some of the team's biggest needs as being on the defensive line with the switch to the 4-3 defense, and also added that he wouldn't mind adding additional help in the secondary.
One more important thing Holmgren brought up concerned free agency, where he believes the Browns will probably be less active than they were last year. If you recall, some of the free agents or acquisitions landed last year included Scott Fujita, Sheldon Brown, Chris Gocong, Tony Pashos, and Peyton Hillis. All five of those players are expected to be key contributors this coming season, so it makes sense that the team has less holes to fill.
For more on what Holmgren had to say, visit Dawgs By Nature, our Cleveland Browns affiliate.