INDIANAPOLIS: It appears the Browns’ search for a starting right tackle could include the first round of the April 26 draft.
Ohio State’s Mike Adams said Thursday the Browns and Washington Redskins had talked to him about playing right tackle although he’d spent his college career on the left side.
“I’m open to do whatever a team needs me to do,” Adams said.
Adams was suspended for the first five games last season as part of the memorabilia sales scandal that forced the resignation of coach Jim Tressel. Adams also sat out two games in 2009 for a violation of team rules, but was selected first team All-Big Ten as a junior.
After a strong showing at the Senior Bowl, Pro Football Weekly ranked Adams third among offensive tackles and projected him as a first-round pick. That could make him a consideration for the Browns at No. 22.
Asked Wednesday before he left for the NFL Scouting Combine about the right tackle position, Browns coach Pat Shurmur said, “We’ll have to see who’s going to play there.”
Tony Pashos was expected to fill the void when he signed in free agency in March, 2010, but he’s missed 14 games in two seasons due to injury and illness.
“Tony battled through the year pretty well for us,” Shurmur said Thursday. “I’ve got a lot of respect for him. He pushed through some injuries that were not always obvious. I was not down on how he performed.”
Pashos is under contract for 2012 at a salary of $3.35 million, but might not be in the Browns’ plans.
“We’ll have to decide how that goes at this point,” Shurmur said.
Shurmur literally sized up a potential replacement Thursday morning, watching as Adams was weighed (323 pounds) and measured (6-foot-7).
“Gosh, he’s a big guy,” Shurmur said.
Adams’ biggest weaknesses are his inconsistency and less-than-stellar performances against top pass rushers. But he got a taste of NFL talent as a junior when he faced Wisconsin’s J.J. Watt (now with the Houston Texans), Purdue’s Ryan Kerrigan (Washington Redskins) and Iowa’s Adrian Clayborn (Tampa Bay Buccaneers).
“I think he performed well this year and I’m looking forward to digging in on the tape,” Shurmur said of Adams.
There are also Adams’ character issues to be checked, but Adams did not hesitate to address them.
“Basically that I’ve had some bumps in the road early in my career. But I’ve let those things build my character rather than break it down,” Adams said.
“Anybody who knows me knows I’m not a bad guy. I might have made some mistakes, but I’ve definitely learned from them.”
Colbert defends Harrison
Pittsburgh Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert said the organization has not reached a breaking point with linebacker James Harrison over his continuing fines and suspensions. Last season, Harrison, a former Coventry High School and Kent State star, drew a one-game ban for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Browns quarterback Colt McCoy that left McCoy with a concussion. It was Harrison’s fifth illegal hit on a quarterback in the past three seasons.
“No. Absolutely not. James Harrison is a great player,” Colbert said. “He plays within the rules the best he can. Sometimes circumstances happen during the course of a game and you have to live with the consequences. If it’s not intentional, I don’t have any problem with the player.”
Colbert said Harrison’s hit on McCoy was not intentional.
Praise for Beanie
Arizona Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt lauded former Garfield High School and OSU running back Beanie Wells for playing hurt in 2011. In 15 games, Wells posted career highs in rushing (1,047 yards) and touchdowns (10) despite suffering a right knee injury in Week 7 that required arthroscopic surgery in January.
“I saw from Beanie this year a toughness and a commitment to staying with it no matter what happened. That’s something he had to do,” Whisenhunt said. “I was very impressed with how he fought every week to get back on the field when it would have been easy to say he couldn’t go. I respect him for that.”
Judging Matt Flynn
Tampering rules prevent Miami Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland from commenting on whether they’re interested in Green Bay Packers backup quarterback Matt Flynn, who becomes a free agent on March 13. The Packers could slap him with the franchise tag (which carries a $14.4 million salary) and try to trade him.
But Ireland did talk in general terms about how to evaluate a player like Flynn, who has made only two NFL starts.
“If you don’t have much tape to watch, you keep watching it over and over again and try to find answers that way,” Ireland said. “If you like him, you go get him. If you don’t, you don’t.”
Flynn could draw interest from the Browns because of his experience in the West Coast offense.
Iowa’s Riley Reiff, considered the second-best offensive tackle, met with the Browns at the combine, according to a report. Among others they talked to were Troy tackle/guard James Brown and Georgia tight end Orson Charles, rated tops at his position by Pro Football Weekly. Northern Illinois quarterback Chandler Harnish, projected as a sixth-round choice by NFLDraftScout.com, said he spoke with them Wednesday, but it was “very informal.” … Alabama running back Trent Richardson will work out on March 27 after undergoing minor knee surgery, according to Jason LaCanfora of NFL Network. … Former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar attended the combine, but not in an official capacity, according to a team spokesman.
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