Browns President Mike Holmgren met with media Wednesday morning. Here are some of the highlights from the press conference:
Press conference was scheduled to begin at 11 a.m., but it's 11:09 and we're still waiting for a Holmgren sighting in the media center.
Holmgren entered the room at 11:13 a.m. He has an orange cast on his right leg, and he wheeled himself in the media center on a scooter. He recently had surgery on his foot.
Holmgren said this is the time of the year to be excited and optimistic. "My feeling is that we have an improved football team," he said.
Holmgren used to have a rule that everyone at practice, including the media, had to stand. But he's soon going to be the exception to that rule because of the cast on his leg. He said he'll often be seen in a golf cart during training camp, simply because he can't walk.
Holmgren on quarterback situation: "I think when they line it up the first time, Jake (Delhomme) will be in there."
Holmgren said position battle among defensive backs will be a good story to follow during training camp. "I think there's going to be really good competition in the secondary. ... That's going to be an interesting thing (to see) how that sorts itself how."
As reported before, three players will start training camp on the active physically unable to perform list, Holmgren confirmed: Shaun Rogers, Coye Francies and C.J. Mosley. Holmgren said he doesn't know if Rogers or fellow defensive lineman Robaire Smith will be suspended by the league because of their gun charges.
Holmgren on getting seven of eight draft picks signed despite uncertainty of collective bargaining agreement: "I think all of us are in the same boat in the first round. I credit Matt Thomas and Tom Heckert for a great job of getting our guys in here. We're gonna negotiate fairly and honestly."
Holmgren on first-round draft pick Joe Haden: "We've had good discussions with Joe's agents, and I'm hopeful he'll be in without too much loss of time." Holmgren also stressed how important it is for Haden to avoid missing significant time. He also said it's possible that Haden could be signed by Saturday, when the team's first full-squad practice of training camp begins.
Holmgren said wide receiver Brian Robiskie's disappointing rookie season happened for several reasons. The quarterback play last season didn't help and it's difficult for many receivers to adjust to the NFL in their first season as a pro. Holmgren said he thinks Robiskie can have a breakout season in 2010.
Holmgren on crowded group of linebackers: "What a coach has to manage at that point is the egos of the players. If you have eight guys that can play, it's not going to work out even all the time." Holmgren also said coach Eric Mangini likes versatile linebackers who can move around -- inside or outside -- in the Browns' 3-4 scheme.
Holmgren on running back position battle and trading up to draft Montario Hardesty: "I love Jerome Harrison. We had a good visit this offseason. He's a good football player. ... Anytime you get a chance in the draft to get a quality player at a great value, I think you do it."
Holmgren on NFL's new policies and warnings about concussions: "We're committed to do the right thing for the players at all times." Holmgren added he's had players downplay concussions in the past, so raising awareness is important.
Press conference ends at 11:50 p.m. A transcript will be posted on the blog later today.