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Tom Heckert Relying On Browns' Rookie Class In 2012

The Cleveland Browns will enter the season with 15 of the team's 53 roster spots occupied by rookies. Although general manager Tom Heckert acknowledges risks in that strategy, he told Brian Dulk of the Lorain County Chronicle-Telegram it was the right decision:

"It could come back and bite me in the butt," Heckert said. "But we told (outgoing owner Randy Lerner) when we came in, ‘Hey, we’re going to do things the right way.’ Whatever happens happens.

"Keeping 15 rookies was obviously nothing we planned, but we want to give the best 53 guys those spots, no matter at what position. It worked out that way, and we’ll see how it goes."

Heckert also noted in the interview that it was coach Pat Shurmur who made the final call on keeping quarterbacks Colt McCoy and rookie Thaddeus Lewis as backups to rookie Brandon Weeden and cutting veteran Seneca Wallace. Heckert told Dulk the team also has no interest in signing veteran backup A.J. Feeley.

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Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.