BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – It appears in the last 5 months that Brock Osweiler has convinced the Browns to do a complete 180 in regards to his future with the team this season.
From a last sentence throw in in the press release to now making the team.
Browns executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown touched on Osweiler’s status along with several other topics in an extensive interview with Bull and Fox Tuesday afternoon on 92.3 The Fan.
“It would be surprising if Brock wasn’t on the roster,” Brown said. “He brings some experience but we’re not going to get into cutting the team at this point. Brock’s done a nice job coming in. He obviously didn’t have the season he wanted to last year but he’s coming in with a new group – new offensive line and receivers and new quarterback room – and taken to Hue and David Lee’s coaching. We’re hopeful to see him continue to perform at a high level and I know he wants to perform a lot better than he did Thursday night.”
Even with rookie DeShone Kizer showing promise, the quarterback – and future at the position -remains a great mystery for the Browns, and even Brown.
“I go to bed dreaming about it, wake up thinking about it,” Brown said. “We need someone – whether it’s DeShone, Cody or Brock or Kevin – to step up and seize this position, lead this team, move the ball consistently.”
Here’s what Brown had to say on other timely subjects.
On Josh Gordon’s status:
“Josh isn’t here and we’re focused on the 90 guys [that are here],” Brown said. “We’re hopeful for Josh as a young man that he’s put himself in a position to address some of the things that have kept him form being able to continue his career and we leave it at that.
“But as you all know the NFL administers the programs that Josh is under for substance abuse and he’s suspended under the program, we don’t have great insight or control over what happens with him. He’s suspended so we’re not able to [communicate with him].
Brown declined to “get into that speculation” as to whether or not Gordon would be welcomed back should he ever be reinstated.
On Corey Coleman’s development:
“Corey’s still so young,” Brown said. “And it is a maturation process. With very few – especially receivers – do you just come into the league and hit it. But if you look at Corey’s numbers last year had he stayed healthy he would’ve had a solid first year but there’s a lot more.
“We’ve had him limited as he’s coming back from the hamstring in the spring but he’s really worked on his route running this offseason and put in some conditioning and technical work with his own coach, so he’s put himself in great shape and now he’s gotta do it on the field. And you are starting to see him click with the quarterbacks now.”
On running back Isaiah Crowell being in contract year:
“We are willing to invest and really in any position that’s on the field,” Brown said. “I don’t think there’s a position out there – a lot of people critiqued our investment at the guard position but we actually think Kevin a guy that plays every snap and Joel is really important – it’s just too hard to find great players in this league.
“The running back position is tough. Crow is going to come in and we’re going to give him every opportunity to have a monster year. There’s no bitterness if we end up having to pay a guy money at the top of the market that means he’s one of the better players in the league and I think Crow’s got a great opportunity to come out and do that.
“The running backs, obviously for them, they are the guys that get banged on, a lot. And their ability to contribute year over year at a certain level there’s few guys that have proven they can do that recently in the NFL.”
On defensive coordinator Gregg Williams’ intensity:
“We want out defense to have an edge,” Brown said. “We want to be physical. We want to be the ones that throw the first punch and so we’re bringing in guys with that mindset and Gregg obviously brings that and wants to instill that and demand that from everybody in that room. And he’s not that different.”
On the current state of the roster:
“We do feel like we made a great bit of progress but there’s nothing we’re going to do in the spring until it translates to wins in the fall that matters to us. That’s our mindset. We talk about it all the time, we’re not trying to win free agency, we’re not trying to win the draft. We’re trying to win games in the fall. We do look at it, and its coming.
“The reality is you can’t have the ’17 draft without the ’16 draft so it is a plan, it is a strategy that’s continuing. We’re right on schedule, if not ahead and it’s gotta translate and we put that pressure on ourselves. There’re more talent, we’re younger, our future is bright.”
Is Jimmy Haslam truly on board with the 4-5 year plan:
“He really is bought in,” Brown said. “He understands that he really is at the perfect level where he is actually a great thought partner for us. We bounce ideas off of him. ‘What do you think about this?’ But he really is hands-off and lets us make the decisions and pushes us forward. Both he and Dee are great that way. They understand what it takes.”
On the possibility of players wanting to protest the national anthem because of the current political climate and violence:
“We constantly talk to the players, most of our conversations as you can imagine center around football but several of them span outside that,” Brown said. “Let me say this, you step back and look at just where we are as a country, if you look at Charlottesville, if you go back a couple of years and look at the shooting at the church in Charleston, we just aren’t close to where we need to be. Those types of impacts are going to affect, should affect every American. Unfortunately in cases they don’t in the same way but we have to respect that it’s going to impact players in our locker room as well.
“So, as Hue said [Monday] we respect the fact that some of our players may choose to express themselves. You can call it a protest, you can call it expression, and I think for us it’s incumbent upon us as an organization to make sure as they do that that we have a dialogue with them – those that do when they express themselves – that they do it in a way that’s thoughtful, it’s responsible and we’ve had that here.
“If you go back to Hawk and others who have been on the team and been leaders of our team we’ve had that. I think this generation of players gets it, I really do, and without wading into that, as an organization understand that we’ve got a profound respect and love for this country and what our flag represents, a great tradition of a national anthem that’s played before every game and celebrating our military and servicemen and women of our country and you hope those 2 things don’t have to be so at odds and there’s so divisive dialogue around this in the country it’s a hard issue.
“But we do respect the rights of our players to be able to protest as Hue said.”
On notion that player taking a knee or protesting is disrespectful:
“I think for each individual it’s upon them to do it. I don’t think it’s going to be an organization that can solve this issue. I think we as a country, as a population of people have to find the right leadership to do it. I’m not sure we’re there right now as a country, certainly, I think much work is left to be done and our guys understand that.
“So as we move forward we want to focus on football but we also understand how these types of issues people feel so passionately about and impact a lot of the guys in our locker room and there are going to be issues that are going to be on their minds.”