BEREA: After trading two former first-round picks in a 24-hour period Sunday, the new Browns brain trust found it had quite a bit of explaining to do to the legions of team fans Monday.
In a near hour-long question-and-answer session with the media, new Browns president Mike Holmgren and second-year head coach Eric Mangini hopped from one subject to another trying to cover all the ground traversed by the team over the last week and a half - especially over the busy weekend.
Included in the far-reaching discussion were: why aging quarterback Jake Delhomme was signed, the abilities of another new quarterback in recently-acquired Seneca Wallace, the reasons behind the surprising trade of linebacker Kamerion Wimbley, the signings of unrestricted free agents in tight end Ben Watson, linebacker Scott Fujita and offensive lineman Tony Pashos and even possible scenarios in the April NFL Draft.
Holmgren did his best to break the ice with a joke, saying new general manager Tom Heckert had made the recent rash of trades and was on the road, but that he and Mangini would do their best to explain the mess he'd left.
Jokes aside, Holmgren seemed genuine in sharing what the organization was trying to accomplish through cutting ties with both of last year's quarterbacks in Derek Anderson (released Tuesday) and Brady Quinn (traded to Denver Sunday).
"(The quarterback position) has been probably the one area we've spent the most time on as a group since I've been here," Holmgren said. "We all came to the conclusion that we couldn't go into the season the same way we went into last season."
In Anderson and Quinn's places, Holmgren and his staff picked up Wallace in a trade with Seattle and signed the free agent Delhomme - quarterbacks familiar with Holmgren's preference of running a West Coast offense.
"One of the areas we looked at as a group was at a veteran quarterback," Holmgren said. "A guy who'd done it and proven he could do it to come in here and add some stability to the position."
At the same time, Holmgren admitted trading Quinn "wasn't easy.
"Brady Quinn's a fine young man, and we wish him well," Holmgren said. "I suspect he'll do well. Oftentimes, players and organizations need a fresh start. Sometimes you both need to cut it off and just start over clean."
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