John Taylor's "Rumor Has It..."

John Taylor's "Rumor Has It..."

JT is at it again! In this edition of "Rumor Has It", get smart on Josh Cribbs' struggles, a potential surprise at TE, a defensive player who may not be long for the roster, and the scoop on WR Brandon Marshall...

Simply put, Pro Bowl special teamer Joe Cribbs is struggling as he attempts to carve out an even greater niche at wide receiver this offseason.  He has all of the athletic ability to attempt to play pretty much any position on a football field, but it's the nuances of the position in which he's finding difficulty.  As a result, the preliminary plans to work Cribbs into the defensive backfield have been put on the backburner, at least for the time being.  The club prefers Cribbs' focus to be on WR at this point in time.

--As far as Cribbs' contract situation is concerned, not much has changed in the last month or so.  The two sides have maintained an open line of communication, but a new deal isn't remotely imminent.  And, if you are wondering, the answer is "yes", there's a possibility -- albeit not nearly as great as it was three months ago -- that Cribbs could sit out a portion of training camp as a sign of his happiness -- or lack thereof -- if a new pact isn't reached.

--As noted by Lane Adkins in the last month, Shaun Smith may not be long for a roster spot on Eric Mangini's version of the Cleveland Browns.  The defensive lineman has endeared himself to neither Mangini nor defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, and it will take more than the ample ass-kissing he provided to the former head coach to ensure he not only has a spot on the playing field, but a spot on the roster as well.

--Speaking of the esteemed Mr. Adkins, any reports you hear of Brian Robiskie being "as advertised" can pretty much be taken to a bank of your choosing.  The first-year wide receiver has impressed the coaching staff more than any rookie in the 2009 class.  His professionalism and the way he goes about his job has not been lost on the staff.  Or the veterans, for that matter.  It's getting to the point, in fact, that it might be considered a minor upset if the son of former WR coach Terry Robiskie was not in the starting lineup come September.

--As the new regime dutifully led the majority of the media around to whatever story the organization deems worthy following minicamps, it was high comedy to see the stories regarding the "sudden" emergence of Jerome Harrison as a viable option in the offense.  As one former coach who was on Romeo Crennel's staff put it, "What happened [to Harrison and his lack of playing time] was asinine, but it's just funny to see the people who never questioned how he was used all the sudden jumping on the bandwagon.  That's Cleveland, though."

--And don't shoot the messenger for the above.  I didn't make the bed many currently lay (lie?) in.

--The new offensive coaching staff remains baffled at how underutilized Jerome Harrison was by their predecessors.  Whether that bafflement results in more opportunities for the talented back remains to be seen, however.  People close to Harrison have seemingly migrated to the state of Missouri and are showing a proclivity toward a "Show Me" attitude when it comes to playing time.

--If the season were to start today, Martin Rucker would likely be the starting tight end.  Lest one rushes to crown his ass, that's not exactly a ringing endorsement of the second-year player.  While talented, the moments where the TE flashes the immense amount of potential have been , thus far, few and far between.  Needless to say, training camp will be a very important few weeks for Rucker if he wants to grab the starting job

--There are at least two players who shall remain nameless who are not happy with the new and improved "tough" atmosphere under Mangini & Company, and are not looking forward to a hard-hitting camp this summer.  "We can deal with 'em," said one player when asked how that could affect the locker room.

--Before you even ask, the answer is a resounding "no", the Browns have not had, do not have and will not have an interest in current Denver Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall.  Last month, word leaked that Marshall was seeking to get himself Cutlered out of Denver.  ProFootballTalk reported that the Browns were one team that would have an interest.  Lest people who actually read AND retain these articles -- the latter attribute seems to be in short supply recently -- haven't gotten the hint, let me be perfectly clear: the Browns have not had, do not have and will not have an interest in Marshall.

--The "injuries" to Edwards and Anderson will have no bearing on their participation for the start of training camp.  "Minor tweaks" would be the phrase of the day.  If this were the regular season, neither player would be listed as "doubtful".  (And, yes, that completes the quotation marks trifecta I've so desperately sought.)

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