August 21, 2014

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Browns notes: Savage blitzes Quinn on radio

BEREA — General manager Phil Savage sent a message Thursday to rookie quarterback Brady Quinn and his agent, Tom Condon.
Appearing on the team’s flagship radio station, WTAM
1100-AM, Savage discussed the weeklong holdout that doesn’t appear close to ending. Quinn, the No. 22 pick, missed his 10th full-squad practice Thursday.
“Our first proposal given to Brady’s representatives was May 23,” Savage said. “It’s not as if we’ve been sitting here for two months doing nothing.
“The last time I checked, three plus 19 equals 22.”
That was a shot at Quinn’s side, which seems to be insisting on more money than the No. 22 pick would normally get. The reasoning is that Quinn was a top-rated quarterback and the Browns traded a No. 1 pick in 2008 to get him. Savage’s counter is that he took Joe Thomas No. 3, then didn’t draft Quinn for another
19 picks.
Condon hasn’t returned messages all week.
Savage also defended the Browns against complaints that they’re being stingy. He pointed to the money they’ve spent in the last two years, including a $42.5 million deal with Thomas and a $49.5 million deal with free agent Eric Steinbach.
“All of a sudden, the Browns are going to shift gears and try to extract blood from the quarterback we picked, that we say is going to be the face of the franchise, that we say is the future of this team,” Savage said. “That makes no sense, isn’t logical. I think people are smart enough to figure that out.”
Savage said the sides are still communicating behind the scenes but progress is slow. Condon reportedly won’t personally return phone calls.
“We’ll talk all day, but you have to have two sides that are willing to engage,” Savage said. “What took six hours with Joe Thomas (to finish the deal) seems to be taking almost two weeks with our other player.”
Savage said the holdups are clauses related to playing time and what happens to Quinn’s salary in years four and five of the deal. He was asked if the holdout is affecting the team.
“No. By and large, the ship has set sail,” he said. “We’ve got a team to worry about.”

Catch the ball

Looking for an early theme to camp? Dropped passes.
The Browns have been practicing for a week, and a day hasn’t gone by without a noticeable number of drops. On Thursday, Travis Wilson, Joshua Cribbs and Braylon Edwards had drops within a 15-play stretch of team drills.
“There have been some dropped passes,” coach Romeo Crennel said. “We try to emphasize to guys that catching the ball is important. We do pushups to try to get them to focus on it.
“We talk to them all the time about it. We’re going to keep concentrating at it and try to get better.”
When a receiver drops a pass he’s supposed to do 10 pushups, a practice instituted this year. Edwards did his on his knuckles.

O Update

Defensive end Orpheus Roye had successful arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, according to Crennel. He is scheduled to stay home for a day or two, then begin rehab.
“Orpheus is a conscientious, hard worker and he’ll try to be back for the first regular-season game,” Crennel said. “That will be his goal.”

Busy man

With Roye sidelined, Shaun Smith will be seeing more of the field. In addition to his work as backup nose tackle, he will get time as starting left end and as starting left tackle in a four-man-line formation. Smith (6-foot-2, 325 pounds) was signed as a free agent from Cincinnati in the offseason.
“It’s an opportunity for me to step up and help the team any way I can,” Smith said.
Crennel was asked if Smith would have trouble picking up the intricacies of playing end after beginning camp at nose tackle.
“The defense is not that complicated upfront,” Crennel said. “If you can two-gap you can play either position. You have to learn the nose and end pressure calls, but I think he can handle that.”
Smith destroyed right tackle Kelly Butler on a pass rush in team drills.

Extra points

Linebacker Willie McGinest blew up a screen to Jerome Harrison.
 Offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski made Kellen Winslow run a route three times because he was getting too far upfield on his cut.
The running backs practiced diving over the pile and into the end zone. They used garbage cans as the pile and landed on a big mat.
Contact Scott Petrak at 329-7136 or spetrak@chroniclet.com.