BEREA—Mike Holmgren addressed the media before the Browns go into the slow time before training camp starts up in late July. Holmgren answered a variety of questions on a variety of topics. Here are some of the highlights.
Q: Do you plan on moving one of the quarterbacks before training camp?:
Holmgren: “Right now, the plan is not to. The first two years, we’ve had to go to the third quarterback because of injury. Something might happen as we approach training camp or go through camp.
“Between now and the start of the season, we’re going to be talking about a lot of things. I think we’ll be open to listening to a lot of things
Q: Have you seen enough to think Brandon Weeden can be the Browns franchise quarterback?:
Holmgren: “That term is a tough term. A franchise quarterback? Are we talking Tom Brady or Peyton Manning? He’s a rookie and if you pick a player in the first round you are saying something. In saying that, nothing is handed to him, but he is going to have to show us where he has to come in and play.”
Q: Do you think the starter should be named now?:
Holmgren: “Right now, it’s a healthy competition and at some point moving forward you have to name one. Pat was asked and he said ‘We’re not ready.’
“I don’t know and don’t think anyone can tell you, but when the time comes at some point you have to make the decision to get the guy ready for the regular season.”
Q: Could it be a potential problem to have all three quarterbacks still on the team at the start of the regular season?:
Holmgren: “I don’t think so. Whoever the third quarterback is, he gets his feathers ruffled a little bit because they’re all competitors and they’ve all played.
“You make decisions and there’s ways to do (avoid controversy). You should be able to avoid them.”
Q: You’ve said you are not a proponent of having a quarterback controversy. Have you changed your mind on that?:
Holmgren: “I have not had a change of heart. In our situation, Colt hasn’t played much, Seneca has played and Brandon is an older rookie. I’m more of the mindset to let it play out. When you draft a quarterback in the first round, you draft him to play, but when he does is the question.”
Q: With the possibility of Trent Richardson and Brandon Weeden starting as rookies, how unusual is that?:
Holmgren: “It is a unique situation but if you have to do it these two young men are two that can do it. Trent, as a runner, running is running and the learning curve isn’t as great. His challenge will be as a pass blocker and he can certainly handle it. The quarterback, to have a rookie quarterback, will be a challenge. He is going to see things he hasn’t seen. A good running game will certainly help the quarterback. You can certainly help young players with your game plan.”
Q: What has impressed you most about Weeden thus far?:
Holmgren: “He has the skill level to play and is able to pass the ball. He has the maturity level because of his age and after playing baseball, played football. He is as prepared to start as a rookie as any quarterback I’ve seen in a long time.”
Q: What do you see as his biggest adjustment?:
Holmgren: “His biggest adjustment is playing under center as he didn’t do that in college. He seems to be a fast learner and seems to have absorbed the play book pretty quickly.”
Q: What type of record do you expect this year?:
Holmgren: “I don’t want to make the same mistake to put a number on it. I expect us to take a good healthy jump this year (in record),” Holmgren said. “I know we’re a better team. We have a good off-season and we are more talented.”
Q: Do you see the receivers to make a bigger jump this year?:
Holmgren: “Besides Greg Little, who I think will take a big jump this year. He had too many dropped balls last year and I think he’s corrected those. I think (Mohamed) Massaquoi will make a big jump. I don’t think he will admit this but I think getting a (concussion) last year set him back. He’s healthy now and he can play. I like (Travis) Benjamin. You factor (Josh) Cribbs in there, as well.”
Q. Are the Browns for sale?:
Holmgren: “The Browns are not for sale. I talk to Randy all the time and I assume he would tell me. There’s no truth to that.”
Q: Do you think Colt McCoy has been fairly evaluated?:
Holmgren: “It was hard. He got knocked around and it wasn’t fair. What was fair is, he got to play and how did he handle it? Moving forward, I like Colt McCoy, I’ve made no secrets about that. If you’re asking him if it’s fair, I think he had a tough go of it, but life’s not fair always.”
Q: Would you like the Browns and Jim Brown to be on good terms once again?:
Holmgren : “Jim is one of my childhood heroes. He was a fabulous player and one of the first people I met when I came here. I would love to see Jim Brown come in and be part of the legends program. I can see why Jim would be upset at me because his role changed a bit. I would love to see Jim Brown be a part of (the Browns) and I would welcome him with open arms.”
Q: Are the brown jerseys coming back?:
Holmgren: “Yes they are. We will wear brown at home and split it with the white.”
Holmgren More Accessible: Holmgren said he has decided to be more accessible this season in his third year with the Browns. He explained that he felt from his own experience that he felt the head coach should be the voice of the team.
“I feel it’s important to have one voice from the organization and tried to do that for a couple years,” Holmgren said. “Not that I’m hard-headed, but I’ve listened to some people around town and people have said they’ve liked to hear more from me and that’s what I’m going to try and do.
“I don’t know how that will manifest itself and I’ve talked to both Pat (Shurmur) and Tom (Heckert),” he said. “They have to know the President is on their side. They have to know that. The hard part at times, there will be a danger that he said this or they said that, but it’s important they know I have their back. The bottom line is I’m going to try and be more available.
“I have a great young coach and a great general manager, but in listening a little bit when I’m out and about that’s what we’re trying to do today.”
Holmgren was asked if some of the criticism he’s received for being on Seattle radio stations was unfair.
“I don’t know, “he said. “That might be part of the reason I decided to be more accessible.
“You have to have thick skin in this business, and when I heard that I wasn’t committed, that bothered me,” he said. “I’m committed here to the community. Kathy and I are like it here. My birthday is (Friday). I will be 64, but I have some more kicking to do. I’ve said this is my last great adventure, but I’m committed to get (the Browns) turned around.
“I feel bad about that and that is one of the reasons why I’ve shifted gears.”
Legends: Former Browns RB Ernie Green and DB Clarence Scott are to be inducted into the Cleveland Browns Legends program during the Alumni Weekend Sept. 22-23. Green played with the Browns from 1962-68, while Scott played from 1971-83.
Preseason Single Game Tickets on Sale: The Browns started selling single-game tickets for the 2012 preseason on Wednesday June 13. Single game tickets for the regular season will be available starting August 1. The two home preseason games are on Aug. 24 with the Eagles and Aug. 30 against the Bears.