Oct 3, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer (6) runs against the Buffalo Bills during the first quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

Driving Competition: The Ray Farmer Way

Nov 4, 2012; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam III (right) and his wife Dee Haslam (center) during a game against the Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Baltimore won 25-15. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Browns general manager, Ray Farmer spoke with the media today at Browns headquarters at Lou Groza Boulevard in Berea, Ohio on the teams current moves and objectives heading into the 2014 NFL Draft in New York City. Farmer, with a great sense of humor, addressed the media in high spirits and talked of everything that had to deal with moving the young football team in the right direction. He had made it known that the Browns were well on their way to where they want to go…and had the confidence that they would infact, get there.

Bringing talent to Cleveland also seems to be on the agenda of the organization. Rumors were swirling that the Browns were bringing in former Tennessee Volunteers and Tennessee Titans quarterback, Vince Young . When asked about if it were true, Farmer stated, “That is 100% true.” He said that Young was to take part in a physical as well as mini camp this week along with former Buffalo Bills quarterback, Tyler Thigpen. The organization as well as new offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan was very interested in Young because of his success and being productive in the National Football League. In looking for Young and Thigpen, Farmer stated that mobility was a piece of the puzzle in which Shanahan was searching for in a quarterback.

The quarterback situation which seems to be the biggest need for the Browns football team is another issue that was brought up in the press conference. When asked about Manziel, Bridgewater and Bortles, Farmer stated that they were “…good college football players.” He was also asked were there any college football quarterbacks worth being selected at #4, Farmer jokingly said that he would “plead the fifth” on that question and that the organization would keep quiet on that particular question.

Farmer did not give out much information when he was asked about Brian Hoyer who was injured last season. He described his feeling about Hoyer as being “comfortable” and that there was a long time between now and when they start to play football.  He was also questioned about being happy with the current QB roster, Farmer mentioned that he feels good about the QB roster that they currently have and that he plans to drive competition on every single position whether it’s “quarterback or cornerback, a lineman or a defensive lineman, we want to drive competition….”

Make no mistake about it, the Browns front office know who they are going to select at #4, but will not say anything about it. This organization has been notorious for setting smokescreens all this year. “Absolutely!” Farmer said when asked if he knew who the #4 draft pick would be. “The question is, do I get a chance to take him.” He sort of made a bold statement by saying that the Browns are least likely to trade down in the draft this year. Getting the right guy for the Browns is what this general manager is really focused on.

When the rubber meets the road, that is when Farmer wants to be convinced that he has 53 of the best players in the NFL on his roster. Signing Nate Burleson and Andrew Hawkins did not alter the 39 year old’s opinions on the Browns Wide Receivers that were there last season. Once again, he stated that he wants to “drive competition.”

One has to wonder if the Browns are bringing in Vince Young, and Tyler Thigpen along with having Brian Hoyer if the Browns are going to surprise everybody and draft Clemson’s talented wide receiver, Sammy Watkins. Farmer deemed Watkins as “…explosive, has really good hands…” He also said that Watkins demonstrated that he could run all routes and be productive. Putting both Watkins and Josh Gordon on opposite sides would send a threat to the opposing team’s defense. No question about it.

Finally, Farmer praised Browns owner, Jimmy Haslam for being extremely supportive during the search for talent and always wanting to do more to help the Browns reach new heights.

It is evident that the Browns are headed in the right direction. Whether it be Bortles, Bridgewater, Manziel, Mack, Clowney, Carr or whoever, I am solely convinced that whoever is at #4 is the best person available to take the Browns to new levels in this up and coming season.

On May 6th, we will witness the beginning of the Mike Pettine Regime in Cleveland.

Browns fans, hope for the best. You seem to be in very good hands.



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