The Browns held their minicamp last week, and out of it came three very encouraging stories:
1) Head coach Eric Mangini has come out and said that QB Brady Quinn has a slight edge in the quarterback competition, as he has been taking first-team reps. To me, this is very encouraging, because I have been lobbying for Quinn for some time now. I have nothing against Derek Anderson; Quinn just represents the direction this team needs to take. While Mangini doesn’t want anyone looking into this too much, one has to think Mangini will do the right thing eventually.
2) While there hasn’t been any progress on a new contract for Josh Cribbs, he did attend a team meeting, although he did not participate in any workouts during the team’s minicamp. Cribbs is still standing strong on his desire for a new contract – a notion I cannot blame him for – but at least he wasn’t completely avoiding the team. The workouts are, after all, completely mandatory. With Mangini planning to involve Cribbs much more in both the offense and defense, why in the world would they not work out a new deal for him?
3) This is something he pretty much had to say since all the trade rumors ultimately led to nothing, but at least WR Braylon Edwards said that he wants to remain with the Browns. While his actual preference might be otherwise, he is not causing a stir by demanding a trade after said rumors were swirling around for weeks, a mature move that Jay Cutler should take note of next time he wants to pout about the business of the NFL.
These may not be huge stories, but it tells me that Eric Mangini is in better control of this team than Romeo Crennel ever was. Judging by these players’ actions, it would seem that Mangini demands respect and actually gets it. Add in the mass exodus of ex-Jets to Cleveland this offseason and one might even think that players really do like playing for this guy. There is a new attitude in Cleveland and it is refreshing to see that, but the time it takes for all of this to potentially turn sour all depends on how this translates to wins.