Cleveland Browns Offseason: Welcome Mike Holmgren and Position Analysis

Daniel WolfSenior Writer IJanuary 6, 2010

Going into the 2010 offseason, there are many things surrounding the Cleveland Browns since their new president, Mike Holmgren, is finally in the Browns' Training Facility in Berea, OH.

Holmgren cracks jokes and needs an office on day one as President

When Holmgren got to the facility, he was looking around for his office, and when he asked where it was, another employee informed him that his office was not completed.

So what did Holmgren do?

He found the first empty office space that he saw and claimed it as his temporary office.

A little bit sad, and a little bit funny.

Funny is what Holmgren was during his first press conference with the Cleveland and national media.

Cracking jokes and giving out all the right answers, Holmgren is the new face of the Cleveland Browns, and he looks the part right down to the tie, which he also cracked a joke about.

A quick note: Look at the picture above and you can see Holmgren was wearing his Super Bowl ring at the press conference, possibly to remind Clevelanders that he has won the big game.

Nice touch!

Position-by-Position Breakdown

Even though the Browns won their last four games of the 2009 season, there are still plenty of holes to fill on both sides of the ball, and with 11 draft picks in the 2010 NFL Draft and lots of room under the salary cap, regardless of whether it's a capped or uncapped year, the Browns are looking to acquire many players in the offseason.


This is the most talked about position in the history of the new Browns, but with Holmgren on board and his expertise at the position, the Browns will look to finally have stability at quarterback.

Brady Quinn may not be the answer, but if he stays on for 2010, look for him to be on a short leash.

Derek Anderson will get cut due to his $9 million salary. Not worth it at all.

Look for an additional quarterback or two to be added via free agency or the draft.

Many speculate that Holmgren will bring in a vet, or even try to get Matt Hasselbeck from the Seahawks.

Running Back:

Before the month of December, many fans were hoping that the Browns would pick a running back in the first round of the draft, but after Jerome Harrison broke out in the final three games, it looks like he will get a new contract and be the starter for 2010.

Rookie James Davis' injury was unfortunate since he showed potential in the preseason, but the Browns still do not know what he has since he was out for the entire season.

Davis could be a good alternate to Harrison in a running rotation in 2010, but a big bruising back is needed to get short yardage and during goal line plays.

Chris Jennings could bulk up a bit more and be that bruiser, but adding a big back could work out, too.

Adding Josh Cribbs as a running back could prove to be helpful on short yardage and goal line plays, as well, since he has averaged 6.5 yards per carry in his career.


Lawrence Vickers is under the NFL's radar and is one of the best fullbacks in the league.

He demolishes defenders on his blocks, and the Browns need to re-sign him for 2010 and beyond since his contract ended in 2009.

Wide Receiver:

There is good potential at receiver for the Browns with Mohamed Massaquoi, Brian Robiskie, and Chansi Stuckey, but another receiver needs to be added.

This journalist, along with a few others, have all said that the Browns need a Joe Jurevicuis-type receiver who has great hands and can be a mentor for the younger receivers on the roster.

Free agency is the way to go in getting a good veteran receiver on board.

This biggest issue will be whether the vet receiver will be good enough to be the No. 1 or No. 2 starter for the team, because at times, Massaquoi struggled as the teams' No. 1 receiver in 2009, and he needs help with another good starter on the opposite side of the field.

Massaquoi's time as the No. 1 receiver in 2009 may have been the best learning experience for him, and maybe in 2010 he will be a true No. 1 receiver for the Browns.

Tight End:

Evan Moore came out of nowhere to become the Browns' biggest tight end threat in the passing game, and he has a chance to be a very good starter if he works hard in the offseason.

Robert Royal should be let go, and Steve Heiden is still reliable when he is not injured.

Michael Gaines has provided some needed push in the running game, but the Browns might still need to add another tight end.

Offensive Line:

The right side of the line struggled for most of the season, at least until Rex Hadnot played right guard and Floyd Womack played right tackle for the last few games of the season.

A stud right tackle should be drafted, and current right tackle John St. Clair needs to be cut.

After adding a right tackle, the Browns will have good depth on the line in 2010.

Defensive Line:

The emergence of Athyba Rubin on the line when Shaun Rogers went down for the season proved to be a good thing since Rubin is very good in controlling space and plugging lanes against the running game.

Roger may even move over to the end since he enjoys rushing the opposing quarterback more than anything else.

Rumors are out that Holmgren may switch from a 3-4 to a 4-3 scheme since he has worked with that style of defense for most of his career, and that would mean current linebacker transition players Kamerion Wimbley and David Veikune could go back to playing on the end of the line like they did in college.

The Browns line looks good going into the offseason, but let's be honest, if Ndamukong Suh is still available once the Browns' No. 7 pick comes up in the 2010 draft, they must draft him.

This is highly unlikely, but you never know in the NFL.


The Browns' linebacker group was hurt with injuries to starters D'Qwell Jackson and Eric Barton, but David Bowens stepped in and preformed at a very high level.

Rookie Kaluka Maiava was able to see some playing time with the injuries, and he did play well, but still needs time to get better.

Former Dolphin outcast Matt Roth was picked up midseason, and he showed the Browns why they need to re-sign him to a nice contract, because he should be starting on the outside in 2010.

This is a good mix of players, but the Browns really lack a playmaking and intimidating linebacker that most teams have, and while another addition might help, Roth could also be that intimidating player in 2010.


Eric Wright is slowly developing into a very good cover corner, but besides him, the Browns do not have another starting caliber corner, and they must address this in the draft (quite possibly in the first round).

Backups Brandon McDonald and Hank Poteat were burned all year long, and this position might be the worst in depth on the team.

2009 rookie Coye Francies hardly saw any playing time in the regular season, but he was impressive in the preseason.

Hopefully, Franices' development can continue and he can contribute more in 2010 in nickel and dime packages.


Brodney Pool has had too many concussions in his short career, and that could threaten his long-term health, but he may still be of value as a backup safety or as a cornerback.

The Browns need a starter opposite Abram Elam for 2010, and even though Elam was not spectacular, his name wasn't mentioned much, which means a player is doing his job.

In 2010, Elam will be a starter for his second year, so look for him to have a bigger impact.

If the Browns cannot get Tennessee safety Eric Berry at No. 7, then perhaps they should look for Earl Thomas in the second round.

Kicking and Punting:

Phil Dawson said he was going to hold out before the 2009 training camp began, but he came back to play.

He is still the only player this journalist wants to see kicking the ball in the crazy winds off of Lake Erie, but if Dawson wants more money, then it is in the hands of Holmgren to decide if he's worth the price.

Bottom line: if you can kick in rain, blizzards, and 30-plus mph winds, then you should get paid. Period.

Punter David Zastidul is at the top of his game, and as long as his can stay healthy, there is no reason to replace him.

Final analysis:

The most important positions of need are easily at right tackle and in the defensive secondary, and the Browns should focus their first three picks in the 2010 NFL Draft on cornerback, safety, and tackle.

Free agency can provide some depth that is needed at positions like quarterback and wide receiver.

There are other positions that need more depth, but quarterback, wide receiver, right tackle, cornerback, and safety should be the first priority in the offseason for the Browns.

(Article also posted on Dawg Scooper)


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