Browns

For Browns Fans it’s Patience Within the Patience

Yesterday Tom Heckert spoke with Dustin Fox and Adam the Bull on 92.3 FM for nearly 30 minutes.  Certainly that was far more than he spoke when he and Mike Holmgren held a dual presser together at the end of the Browns season.  I thought the Bull and the Fox did a good job asking pretty pointed questions even if they didn’t get many answers.  They asked about Colt McCoy, Peyton Hillis, Evan Moore, the wide receivers, Pat Shurmur’s performance this season and a host of other topics.  In the end, despite some wide ranging questions, Tom Heckert didn’t say a whole lot.  That’s just par for the course this time of year when the options are limitless and GMs prefer not to let anyone know which way they’re headed.  It is also one of the worst times of year for fans because there is nothing to do but wait and speculate.

The Bull and the Fox did get one good bit out of Heckert.  Adam leveled some heavy criticism toward the job that Pat Shurmur did this season with regard to the number of players on the field and some other gaffes unrelated to injuries or talent deficits.  Predictably, Heckert disagreed vociferously, claiming that the effort levels and amount of adversity that Shurmur dealt with in his first year on the job were admirable.  I know where Adam is coming from and I also understand why Heckert chose to defend his coach going into his second year on the job.  Other than that exchange, we didn’t learn much except that we’ll have to wait and see.

Peyton Hillis?  The Browns will talk to him and they’ll look at every other opportunity at running back in both the draft and in free agency.  Quarterback?  Colt McCoy is atop the depth chart right this second, but Heckert will explore every opportunity.  When Heckert was asked specifically about drafting a QB high in the draft, he said he was open to anything even though he hasn’t been in a plush spot to draft that position highly in his career.  Drafting is a lot about opportunity and Heckert didn’t have a lot of high draft picks in Philly, and certainly no needs at QB with Donovan McNabb in his prime for most of his tenure there.

I don’t think Tom Heckert was being disingenuous with his answers.  Well, maybe he was a bit over-the-top making excuses for his head coach, but other than that, it seemed pretty honest.  And that’s the point here.  It is easy to be honest this time of year when a team needs as many parts as the Browns do.  The Browns will be looking for lots of things this off-season other than left tackle, center and maybe five to seven starters on defense.

Even if you don’t like the overall philosophy of patience with the Browns, this time of year there is absolutely no other choice as we wait for all those pesky contenders to crown their champion.  Then, and only then can the Browns get to work being the off-season champions.

  • AMC

    I thought Bull and Fox did a nice job with the interview.  Agree with you Craig that Heckert was a little too complimentary of Shurmur, but then again, that’s what you’d expect him to do.  I thought one of the most telling exchanges (which Bull and Fox picked up on) regarded Hillis.  I don’t remember the exact language he used, but it sounded an awful lot like the Browns would be moving on.  I think he said something like, “well, you never say never” which is not something you’d say about a guy you planned to have around.

  • Hopwin

    I like Heckert. He seems very approachable to the media and his non-answers don’t leave you fuming because his non-answers are not lies and his tone is pretty much the polar opposite of Holmgren’s. He seems congenial, thoughtful and well-spoken. If the regime had any sense at all they would make have him running weekly pressers and hide Shurmur and Holmgren behind a curtain.

  • Hopwin

    I like Heckert. He seems very approachable to the media and his non-answers don’t leave you fuming because his non-answers are not lies and his tone is pretty much the polar opposite of Holmgren’s. He seems congenial, thoughtful and well-spoken. If the regime had any sense at all they would make have him running weekly pressers and hide Shurmur and Holmgren behind a curtain.

  • I agree AMC. The Browns are being diplomatic, but I think the Peyton Hillis ship has sailed almost completely and totally.  I never in a million years thought I would say it, but I don’t know that I blame the Browns either.  They mishandled the Hillis situation to some extent this season, but I think you can split that blame probably 90-10 Hillis – Browns.  

  • Anonymous

     vociferously… nice

  • Anonymous

    How do you put any of the blame one Browns with Hillis?  They:

    1.  Gave him the opportunity to be the starting running back
    2.  Listened to what he wanted in terms of a contract
    3.  Paid him his salary which he negotiated with the help of an agent and more than likely a lawyer (although it was with Denver).

    I think the thing all along on Hillis was, “Prove you have the ability to produce for a full season and we will discuss your future both monetarily and in future tenure.”

  • DonFelder

    Heckert is, by all accounts, a good guy and working hard at improving this team (can’t say I’ve heard the same about Holmgren from insiders, particularly as to the latter). 

    It is a bit disconcerting, however, to hear the guy responsible for bringing in the talent defend the coach for doing “great” considering the (low) “talent level.”

  • Shurmur’s handling of the strep throat thing accounts for their portion of the blame.  That thing never needed to get so out of hand and the team could have helped fix it more quickly.

  • Big Z

    He was also on the Triv show at 4:30. As expected, and as you mentioned in your article, not much was answered. BUT, he did state that RG3’s college days within a spread offense and time spent in the shotgun didn’t worry him in the slightest bit.

  • Humboldt

    Holmgren also said early in the season they unequivocally wanted to resign Hillis, which gave he and his agent leverage that distorted the negotiation. You don’t show your hand that early in the process – another growing pain for Holmgren in his new role

  • Humboldt

    Don, can you put more words to your “insider” claim?

  • Why is Vincent D’Onofrio wearing that Affliction Hawaii shirt.

  • Maybe that was the idea.  Give him rope.