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    Gil Brandt tidbits on Browns, Colt McCoy, RGIII, and Blackmon

    Gil Brandt thinks Browns can win with Colt McCoy
    By Steve Doerschuk
    CantonRep.com staff writer
    Posted Feb 09, 2012 @ 02:47 PM

    Personnel guru Gil Brandt thinks Colt McCoy has the horsepower to pull the Browns out of the abyss.

    “I’m a Colt McCoy guy,” says Brandt, a former Cowboys architect who for years has been the most recognizable analyst at the NFL Combine. “I think he could run that offense, providing they get enough players around him.

    “I just know his background. I know him very well. The guy has leadership qualities. I think you can win with him.”

    Brandt made the rounds at the Super Bowl and will be right back in Indianapolis for the Combine, Feb. 22-28 in Lucas Oil Stadium.

    The Browns have the biggest stash of high picks, at No. 4, No. 22 and No. 37 overall. One of the biggest curiosities of the draft is whether a team aiming for Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III as its next quarterback would have to trade up to get him.

    “I don’t know if you want to go up to No. 2,” said Brandt, whose voice is a fixture on SIRIUS radio. “I don’t even know if you could get to No. 2 with the Browns’ two firsts and throw in a second.”

    Sounds expensive.

    “It really is,” Brandt said.

    Indianapolis is expected to spend the No. 1 pick on Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, even though Colts owner Jim Irsay is making some noise about Griffin.

    Brandt likes Griffin, but he seems to think Ryan Tannehill of Texas A&M might be as good an NFL quarterback.

    “I really like Tannehill,” Brandt said. “I have a feel for Tannehill. I think he’s going to be pretty good.”

    But ...

    “You have to ask, if you’re the Browns, are Tannehill or Griffin going to be better for us than Colt?” Brandt said.

    Part of the question for Brandt is the price of spending multiple picks to get a quarterback when a good prospect is already on the team, and those picks could be better spent on beefing up other positions.

    “That’s the way I would look at it,” Brandt said.

    He assumes President Mike Holmgren will lead the Browns along an intelligent path at the Combine and through the draft.

    “I think Mike could take chicken manure and make chicken salad,” Brandt said. “He is really good. He’s also pretty good at evaluating quarterbacks.”

    Holmgren weighed in lightly this week on McCoy during the team’s in-house radio show. He said McCoy has “no residual effects” from the James Harrison hit that knocked him out of the last three games.


    “I know — I KNOW — no one will work harder this offseason than Colt McCoy,” Holmgren said. “I’m happy we got through all that (concussion ordeal), and he’s fine.”

    Brandt rates Oklahoma State’s Justin Blackmon as the third-best player in the draft but does not advocate spending the No. 4 pick on any wide receiver.

    “They need a running back,” he said.

    The one he likes best is Trent Richardson of national champion Alabama.

    “I think Richardson is really great,” Brandt said. “If I’m them, and if Richardson checked out, I probably would move down if I wanted to draft him. He probably would help ’em as much as anybody.

    “I also think the back from Miami, (Lamar) Miller, is pretty good, if his shoulder is OK.”

    Brandt admits Blackmon is a tempting target and that he is intrigued to see how high he will go.

    “I think it all depends on how fast he runs,” Brandt said. “He’s a lot like Michael Irvin. He’s real strong. He’ll catch that slant.”

    But ...

    “With wide receivers, you’re always going to find one,” Brandt said. “It’s no longer the guy that can run the fastest. It’s the guy that’s gonna catch it coming across the middle.

    “There’s a lot of wide receivers every year. Last year, (Doug) Baldwin from Stanford was undrafted. He led the Seahawks in catches and yardage.”

    Victor Cruz, undrafted in 2010, racked up 1,536 receiving yards for the eventual Super Bowl champion Giants during the 2011 regular season.

    Meanwhile, Brandt thinks the Browns already signed some important help for their offense in Brad Childress.

    “I think the new coordinator will help them a lot,” Brandt said. “That’s a good pickup for them.”


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    Re: Gil Brandt tidbits on Browns, Colt McCoy, RGIII, and Blackmon

    His point about receivers is somewhat correct. It's also about spreading the defense out and then finding the open guy in the middle of the field who can catch. For that you need to be able to pass outside reliably as well and force those safeties to help over the top and not crunch the middle.

    Sam was hitting the outside to start the season, but dropped passes killed him until his ankle got busted, and then the line and his ankle wouldn't let him get the ball there.

    What I'm taking all this time to say is that it's also about getting a guy who you can throw that jump ball to outside and who can demand safety help over the top, and then having guys who can go over the middle once it's open. We have the second part. We need the first. Blackmon could fill the role. But can the other 1st round WR's too?
    I believe!

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