Latest Updates from Berea
The news cycle continues to go on during this period of OTAs for the Cleveland Browns. The transactions persist for the team, much to the chagrin of some veterans. However, when a team laden with older players fails miserably – it should come to no surprise that younger athletes will likely be brought in as replacements the following season. Speaking of which, it would appear that getting to know their predecessors is a good thing for these young men. This is especially the case, as those elder athletes got to the playoffs and performed at a high level game in and game out.
Release of Hartline
Veteran wide receiver Brian Hartline was let go by the Cleveland Browns last week in a move that was not completely surprising. Looking at what the team has been doing over the past few months – youth has been a big factor (especially at skilled positions). Brian simply did not fit that mold with this team, and the fact that the Browns drafted four wide outs did not help things either. Could his veteran leadership have helped out the wide receiving unit? Sure, but more production on the field was needed from the athlete as well. Like many other guys who are moving on from the orange and brown – I wish him good luck and have no ill will towards the athlete.
Alumni on Hand
It was a solid move to have former players on hand during the OTAs for the Cleveland Browns. Hanford Dixon, Felix Wright, and (gasp) Bernie Kosar were in attendance talking to today’s team. For about thirty-one franchises, doing this is not a big deal and a typical thing done by squads in the NFL. However, it seems to be a problem for the Browns, especially with their frosty relationship with their former quarterback in the 1980s and 90s. Perhaps this is the olive branch that was needed to link the old teams (the ones who actually had success) to the current crop. Will it lead to future success for the orange and brown? Who knows, but I will take whatever positive karma is out there for this club.
Time off for Thomas
The veteran days off for Joe Thomas appear to be a hot button for the Cleveland media. I frankly do not have a problem with it, but I understand where it could cause problems within the locker room. Face it, everyone would like some time off once in a while. Maybe if the team is in a playoff push (I understand that’s unlikely, but I can dream) – perhaps Thomas can put on a good face and give his all each and every practice. At the end of the day, having Thomas available and reliable (each game) is what matters for this franchise, however.
Conclusion: It’s almost the down time for the Browns; that period between mini camps and training camps. Hopefully the team is getting up to speed and learning what Hue Jackson is all about. Rookies like Jordan Payton (still in classes) have been hurt by not practicing, but they can still make up for that in the coming months. Not hearing about idiots failing drug tests or going on benders in Las Vegas the next few months will be refreshing this season.