Browns GM Talks QBs, Wideouts, Rookies

Browns general manager Ray Farmer has seen his team steal headlines this offseason, and not necessarily for all the right reasons. Rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel has captivated the media, while star wide receiver Josh Gordon also made news when he received a season-long suspension. On Friday, the general manager spoke to reporters on a variety of subjects, and we have some of the key quotes below (via Nate Ulrich of…

On the team’s decision to release quarterback Rex Grossman, carry two rookie running backs as backups to Ben Tate and solidify their offensive line depth:

“I’ll start with Rex. A lot of discussion went into that decision. I will tell you that we kept two quarterbacks because we felt like there were other players on the roster right now that could contribute to winning games on Sundays. Second question was the backup running backs in pass protection. I would tell you that from my perspective my job is to make sure the guys on the team are talented enough to play and perform. We think we’ve got guys to play and perform. I think the coaches have done a great job preparing those guys, and pass protection’s a part of that. If they’re called upon I’m pretty sure they’ll go out there and they’ll contribute to the roster the best way they can. The final one was the backup offensive line. I said this from the beginning – we’re going to be able to control the line of scrimmage at some point in time. We’re going to want to run the football. We’re going to want to be good up front, and you’ve got to have quality depth up front to do that. We added guys to the roster that we thought would improve our depth and give us a chance to be as good up front as we can be.”

On his wide receivers and the team’s release of Nate Burleson:

“I’m good with our receiving corps. I think the guys that we kept give us an opportunity to be dynamic in a lot of different ways. We have guys that I think can stretch the field. We have guys that I think can be good with the football in their hands. That’s what you want. I will say that the decision not to keep Nate was a tough one, good conversation between he and I about what went into that decision. I’ll leave that conversation private, but I do think that in all my time in football he’s right up there with the pro’s pros of how it was handled, what was said and how that whole thing was orchestrated.”

On whether the number of undrafted rookies who ultimately made the roster was an indication of good scouting or lack of depth:

“I would tend to say it’s good scouting. I would tend to say it’s our guys finding the guys that can help us. I don’t know if that number really every comes into my mind like, ‘Oh my goodness. We passed 15. We can’t be over 15. Cut somebody.’ That just never comes into play. You just want guys who can perform their task at a high level. There are several teams, even now, that are one, two guys different than we are in the league, and somehow there is a notion that we have too many college free-agents. It doesn’t matter to me one iota if the guy was drafted or not. I think one-third of the league is made up of college free agents. We have our share.”

His expectations for first-year coach Mike Pettine:

I’m excited. I really think that he’s built for this. I spent a lot of time with Pett during this offseason preparing the roster and talking about what we’re going to do and what’s the right thing for this football team, and I can assure you when you talk about football and you look in this man’s eyes, he believes that he is going to prepare his team to do battle every single week. I bought in. I don’t know if everybody else is bought in, but I’m bought in. I know who Mike Pettine is and I believe it.”

On carrying 12 defensive backs on his 53-man roster:

“It’s been done, but I will say that anytime you get to your 53, you can be the best 53 guys, regardless of position. The worst thing that could happen is you cut a guy that can play and you know can play, and then somebody scoops him up and he goes and plays well for them. In our mind, when you have an excess, particularly at corner – we have guys that we think can play in this league – you hold onto them. The worst case is when you let them go and somebody gets them. That’s what happens. Our scouting staff has done a really good job in my mind of looking at other rosters because when you look at other players that either got signed to practice squads or were retained on teams, you go through an exercise of who’s going to make rosters, just like everybody else, to try to predetermine who is going to get released, good players don’t get cut. A lot of times, teams find a way to stash them, and when they don’t, it’s our job to then scoop in and scoop those guys up.”

On quarterback Brian Hoyer:

I feel good about Brian. He’s going to do exactly what Brian does. We’re at a point now where we get to the regular season, you become a lot more focused and you things get a lot more honed in. Brian’s going to be prepared. He’s a pro’s pro. He studies it. He works at it. He’s committed to being that guy. His performance will speak for itself on Sunday, but I feel confident he’s going to go out there and play well.”

On whether he’ll continue to seek help for the bottom of his roster:

“It’s never settled. It’s the never ending movie. Like I said, there are teams that take different strategies in how they release and organize their team and as we go through this process there will be opportunities to get other players. And if those players are an advantage of being here, we are going to take advantage of we are at right now. Having the fourth claiming order you get to jump a lot of teams for a guy that you see out there that you want. You’ve got to take advantage of that while you can and that’s what we plan on doing.”

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One comment on “Browns GM Talks QBs, Wideouts, Rookies

  1. Sufferfortribe

    Backup QB Brian Hoyer?
    C’mon, Ben. Not yet………but maybe soon.


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