New Browns coach Mike Pettine raised eyebrows Monday night at the Cleveland Auto Show when he revealed that the Browns didn’t conduct a formal interview with Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel last month at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Well, actually, the Browns didn’t conduct formal interviews with any quarterbacks at the combine, Vic Carucci said. Carucci co-hosts the team’s radio show, Cleveland Browns Daily, with Nathan Zegura on ESPN-850 (WKNR). The Browns' lack of quarterback interviews at the combine was a topic during Tuesday's show.
The Browns plan to interview quarterbacks when they host them at their facility during pre-draft visits. They’ve opted to use that strategy because they feel many answers are rehearsed during the 15-minute formal interviews done at the combine. The Browns want genuine responses, and they believe that’s especially important with quarterbacks.
"I really want to find out from any player, who he is, how would he define himself?" new Browns General Manager Ray Farmer said at the combine. "What would he say is his core character makeup? What does he think of his opportunity to play in the National Football League? Is it a privilege? Is it an honor? Is it a right and how does he see himself impacting, not only his individual performance in the game, but how does he impact his teammates and what does he bring to the table that is going to demonstrate the other guys around him can have success? Football is probably the biggest team sport. And from that perspective, I need guys that understand the team concept and how to affect their teammates in a positive way."
The Browns have two first-round picks (Nos. 4 and 26 overall), and at the combine Pettine conceded that quarterback is an obvious priority. He also pointed out Monday that the Browns will have a chance to interact with any prospect they wish to meet before the draft, which will run May 8-10.
“Not to talk about a specific guy, but as we evaluate those positions, we’ll make sure that whatever access we need to get to that player and whatever interaction with him, we’ll get that done,” Pettine said.