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Browns head to combine

By Marla Ridenour Published: February 23, 2010

New Browns president Mike Holmgren would not give a list of the Browns' off-season priorities as he leads the team's contingent to Indianapolis for the NFL Scouting Combine, which opens Wednesday and runs through Tuesday.

''We have a number of needs on this football team,'' Holmgren said last week, revealing nothing. But he said the needs are not skewed more heavily on one side of the ball, citing the fact that the offense finished last in the league in 2009 and the defense was 31st.

The Browns have 11 draft choices in April, with the No. 7 pick in the first round.

''We're probably not going to draft a left tackle or a center,'' Holmgren said. ''There are some fellas on the team we're going to build around. But after that, we have to approach it from, 'Let's not pigeonhole ourselves into any certain thing.' We have to get a good feel for a bunch of things.''

Part of Holmgren's time in Indianapolis will be laying the groundwork for free agency, which opens March 5, and searching for possible trade partners. Talks could also continue on a new contract for Browns' Pro Bowl returner Joshua Cribbs.

Holmgren said in his 23 years in the NFL, he's always valued his time at the combine, but there may be more to do this year.

''Because we're new, Tom and myself and Bryan and so on ... it's not going to take on any more importance than it has in the past,'' Holmgren said, referring to general manager Tom Heckert Jr. and executive vice president Bryan Wiedmeier. ''But it certainly is an important time.''

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