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Question of the Day
BEREA, OHIO (AP) - The Browns, and new coach Pat Shurmur, will hold their first practice of 2011 training camp on Sunday.
Like any other team, expect a few roster moves between now and then in Cleveland.
"Shoving everything into this short time period is tough, but it's the same for everybody," Browns general manager Tom Heckert told reporters at the team facility on Wednesday. "It's not like we weren't prepared for free agency."
It's fairly clear that when the team finally takes the field, Shurmur and Heckert will be watching a new-look quarterback situation. Though the team has carefully not addressed the situation, it is believed that veteran Jake Delhomme, who played in five games last season as the Browns went 5-11 under Eric Mangini, will be released.
The move won't come as a surprise, as the team is clearly dedicated to second-year pro, Colt McCoy, as Shurmur installs his version of the West Coast offense.
McCoy, who was drafted in the third round out of Texas, threw for 1,576 yards and six touchdowns last year, and _ along with running back Peyton Hillis _ energized a Browns offense that needed a jumpstart. Together, along with a crop of young receivers, Hillis and McCoy hope to take another step forward under Shurmur.
"I think if you have a new head coach, a new staff and then young people, like a young quarterback, I think there are challenges that other veteran teams might not encounter early, but were not making any excuses," team president Mike Holmgren said this week. "I told the coaching staff, it is what it is. We're coaches. We're teachers. We have some young people that really want to learn and get better and let's just roll up our sleeves and do the best we can."
In the interim, Heckert and Co. are at work surveying the field of free agents. But a major move is not expected.
"If there's a good player, we're going to go after him, but we're not going to just go out and sign a bunch of guys because there's a bunch of guys available," Heckert said. "If they're the right fit, the right money, the right age, the right everything, we'll definitely do it. There's always exceptions to the rule."
Of course, should former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor be officially made available in an NFL supplemental draft, the Browns could always look in that direction, as well. Pryor is a Jeannette, Pa., native, who threw for 2,772 yards and 27 touchdowns last season for the Buckeyes.
Delhomme was under center for just two victories last season _ a 24-23 win over Carolina, his former team, and a 13-10 decision over Miami. He was picked off seven times, sacked six times and finished with just a 63.4 quarterback rating.
His career rating sits at 81.2, and though he's thrown for 20,764 yards and 125 touchdowns, he's also been intercepted 101 times and has been sacked 166 times.
He is best remembered for the Panthers' impressive run to the NFC championship in the 2003-04 season. He completed 16-of-33 passes for 323 yards and three touchdowns, as Carolina lost to New England, 32-29, in the Super Bowl.
But this is McCoy's team now, and as all of the league's teams start up with a sense of optimism this week, count Cleveland as one that is determined to turn things around.
"I'm really confident that our players prepared while they were away. I think they want to learn. They want to get better. They want to do this," Holmgren said. "There's a great feeling on this team."
"Now, we just have to get it done."
By Michael P. Orsi
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