Browns fans are understandably concerned following the recent news regarding Joe Jurevicius' follow-up knee surgery. Here are my views on some of the questions which have arrived in the last day or two. If you have questions, write to me via my forum in-box or by clicking here...
Q: While the topic of immediate concern remains Joe Jurevicius' knee woes, I am interested in some players Adam mentioned in a recent podcast, namely Eddie Kennison and Joe Horn. Can they realistically help this team in the event Jurevicius does not return?
LA: While I have not yet heard of any connection between the team and the players mentioned above, both are possibilities for the Browns, or other teams with a potential hole at the #3 WR spot. If Jurevicius is out for an extended period of time or does not return, both players add an element of experience and have a track record of production.
Kennison may not be as explosive today as he was earlier in his career, but he catches the ball better than in his earlier days. He has adequate size and quickness, he has played in similar offensive schemes, but has some injury issues which may have taken their toll. If the price is right, Kennison may still have the tools which could provide additional stability and depth at the receiver position.
Joe Horn is getting up in age, but can still run. More "quick" than "fast" at this time in his career, Horn would be able to provide some help. He catches the ball well, has the ability to run after the catch and still has a desire to play the game. As with Kennison, Horn remains a player that can provide some quality and depth for a team in need of a veteran receiver.
Q: We keep hearing about the Browns interest in wide receiver Eric Parker. Is there really anything to the media reports, as we hear nothing from the team?
LA: I have been told by a member of the Cleveland organization that Parker is a player of interest and has been discussed within the organization as a possible 'fit'.
Q: The third receiver is often overlooked by many, but tends to do the dirty work for a team in the passing game. From lining-up in the slot to converting tough third downs - this is an important position. Do you really think the team would just fill the role with a young, inexperienced player?
LA: What Joe Jurevicius provides is leadership and the ability to make tough receptions on third down to keep the chains moving. The plan for Joe was exactly that heading into the 2008 season. If he is unable to play for any period of time, there will be an adjustment period.
At this time, I am skeptical that there are players on the current roster with that type of ability. Not in a physical sense, but in the mental sense. I am not of the belief the organization will be comfortable with any of the younger receivers filling such a role, but for players such as Kevin Kasper and Travis Wilson the stakes just went up.
A telling sign as to the intentions of the organization will be if and when a move is made at WR. If this team goes into camp with no new players, it only means they have support that Jurevicius is going to return or faith in some players on the roster to step-up.
Q: Does this team really need to add a wide receiver? Wouldn't you think Winslow could play at receiver, as he lines up there quite often?
LA: Winslow does line-up wide often as part of the offensive scheme, but there is absolutely no desire on part of the Browns to move him to the WR spot and basically rip some of the fabric from the scheme.
Q: Do you find it interesting that the Browns went out and drafted two players of great size and potential to develop in the passing game? First due to the physical issues with Kellen Winslow and now Joe Jurevicius' problems? The team appears to have anticipated something could occur with these players.
LA: I fully believe the organization selected TE Martin Rucker to add quality depth and size to the position. Rucker can catch the football, played in a spread offense and can run better than advertised. He has the potential to be a weapon in this offensive scheme in time.
Paul Hubbard is a player which intrigued the staff due to his size, speed and raw ability. He has physical tools you cannot teach and was very receptive to coaching while at Wisconsin. If not for injury, Hubbard could have been the type of WR that would have been further developed and much more attractive on draft day.
While both players display talent and ability, I question whether will play much of a role in the offensive scheme in 2008, unless injury issues within the roster dictate otherwise.