Friday, February 24, 2012

Browns will win with Grifin

INDIANAPOLIS - First impressions of Robert Griffin III: He will make the Browns a better team the first time he steps onto the field if they are bold enough to trade up to get him on April 26. If the Browns do not trade up for him he'll be helping the Redskins or somebody else.

The media interviewed Griffin on Friday afternoon at the NFL Scouting Combine. I have covered the Combine every year since 2000 and no one impressed me more than he did. He was comfortable, was obviously not programmed by his agent and exuded genuine humility, confidence without being cocky and leadership.

Griffin identified the Browns as one of the teams that has shown interest in him. He also mentioned the Redskins. Both teams play a West Coast offense Griffin said he could adapt to.

"A West Coast offense with Washington or Cleveland, are highly concept based with long verbiage in the plays," Griffin said. "Other than that, once you get into a system it's easy to learn it. I'm not saying I'm going to open the playbook and know it immediately, but once you get on the field and start going through the routes and protections you're going to have to run in those types offenses it's comes to you a lot sooner."

Griffin wants to be the first player picked in the draft. That honor is likely to go to Andrew Luck from Stanford.

Griffin displayed a sense of humor without being goofy. Some critics are skeptical because Griffin was in the shotgun at Baylor.

"Our offense wasn't simple," he said. "It isn't the traditional spread when we were in the shot gun all the time, although we were in the shotgun a lot. So was Eli Manning and Tom Brady in the Super Bowl, but that's beside the point."

What's not to like? He throws well, runs well and graduated with a 3.67 grade average and a degree in political science. He is working toward a Masters Degree in Communication.

One more thing: Baylor was a losing program before Griffin arrived, so he knows about turning teams around. No need to complete that thought when it comes to the Browns.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Feb. 20 Browns audiocast -- the NFL Combine

News-Herald beat writer Jeff Schudel and Sports Editor Mark Podolski preview this week's NFL Combine in Indianapolis. Topics include should the Browns trade up for Baylor's Robert Griffin III, the team's top five position needs, Peyton Hillis and what it's like for a beat writer covering the Combine.