December 21, 2014

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Browns Notes: Veteran QBs Vince Young, Tyler Thigpen to get tryouts at minicamp this week

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Vince Young scrambles during a game against the New York Giants on Nov. 20, 2011, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP File Photo/Kathy Willens)

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Vince Young scrambles during a game against the New York Giants on Nov. 20, 2011, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP File Photo/Kathy Willens)

BEREA — Quarterback Vince Young has been trying to restart his NFL career since 2011. He’s getting a chance with the Browns.

Young, the No. 3 pick in the 2006 draft, was scheduled to undergo a physical Monday and participate in a voluntary minicamp Tuesday through Thursday on a tryout basis.

“Our interest in Vince is that he’s been productive and he’s had success in the National Football League,” Browns general manager Ray Farmer said Monday in a pre-draft news conference. “We wanted to take the opportunity to see where he was. We’ve been kind of following him through the offseason and he had been doing some things that kind of caught our eye and made us kind of take note and we wanted to see what that looked like in his own time frame.

“The opportunity was right and minicamp seemed to be the appropriate time and we brought him in.”

The Browns brought in a second veteran quarterback in Tyler Thigpen, 10 days before they’re expected to add at least one quarterback in the NFL Draft. Brian Hoyer, who’s recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament, and Alex Tanney, who’s never taken an NFL snap, are the only quarterbacks under contract.

Young, who will turn 31 next month, was 31-19 as a starter but hasn’t played since 2011, when he went 1-2 with Philadelphia. He spent 2006-10 with Tennessee.

He was brought into training camp late last year by Green Bay, then released in the final cuts. Young (6-foot-5, 230 pounds) has completed 57.9 percent in his career with 46 touchdowns, 51 interceptions and a 74.4 rating.

Thigpen (6-3, 235) is 1-11 as a starter in a career that has included stops in Kansas City, Miami and Buffalo. He was last with the Bills in 2011-12 but didn’t make a start.

Thigpen, 30, was a seventh-round pick in 2007. He’s completed 54 percent with 21 touchdowns, 18 interceptions and a 72.5 rating.

Young and Thigpen share a trait new coordinator Kyle Shanahan is looking for at the position: mobility.

“I think it’s a piece of the puzzle. I wouldn’t say it’s the top piece,” Farmer said. “They both are mobile. They both are very good athletes.

“That’s a good piece. Kyle would say he likes a quarterback that is mobile. The offense is definitely going to require the quarterback to do different things — throw on the move, play outside the pocket to some degree.”

Farmer was assistant general manager last year when the Browns were desperate for a quarterback following injuries and poor play. Yet Young and Thigpen weren’t signed to play in former coordinator Norv Turner’s traditional system.

“When you talk about any one player fitting in a place, it’s styles make fights,” Farmer said. “If a guy doesn’t fit with a potential coach or a scheme that we were operating before, those guys get passed over. Now that there may be an opportunity for a fit, you tend to be a little bit more aggressive or follow guys a little differently.”

Farmer was asked about Hoyer’s progress.

“I don’t want to really comment about guys’ health and who’s injured and who’s not, where are they at. But he’s fine,” Farmer said. “He’ll be fine. It’s a long way away before we play any football. I’m excited where Brian is right now.”

EASY AS 1, 2, 3
Farmer believes he has a good idea what will happen in the draft before it’s his turn to pick at No. 4. Houston has the top pick, followed by St. Louis and Jacksonville.

“Internally, I feel like one, two and three is starting to shape up in my mind,” he said. “I would say there are five options to go one, two and three so I think I’m starting to narrow it down, at least in my head.”

Quarterbacks Johnny Manziel and Blake Bortles, pass rushers Jadeveon Clowney and Khalil Mack, receiver Sammy Watkins and offensive lineman Greg Robinson have been mentioned as possibilities to go in the top three.

MEET THE BOSS
Owner Jimmy Haslam met with some of the draft prospects who visited team headquarters over the past couple of weeks.

“He definitely was involved and we made sure he was involved,” Farmer said. “We made sure he had time to spend with certain guys.”

Farmer is in the role of GM because Haslam fired CEO Joe Banner and GM Michael Lombardi in February. In less than two years as owner, Haslam has fired two coaches, a CEO and a GM.

But Farmer insisted he doesn’t feel the need to make a splash in the draft.

“I don’t feel any pressure,” Farmer said. “He’s been more than supportive. He is involved, he is in meetings, he comes around. We keep him up to speed as to what we’re doing and why we’re doing it.”

NOT A FAN
Farmer, the first African-American general manager in team history, was asked about the racist comments reportedly made by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.

“Any time that those comments are made, we’ll say allegedly made, it is disappointing,” Farmer said. “That’s a different subset. I’ve been focused on the draft. I’m happy I’m in a situation where we don’t have to be worried about those comments being made.”

EXTRA POINTS
Kicker Brandon Bogotay was waived. He spent training camp with the team last year, but lost the battle to Billy Cundiff.

** Browns coach Mike Pettine will be the speaker May 19 at the 35th annual Akron Browns Backers banquet at Tangier restaurant. Receiver Josh Gordon will be honored as player of the year, and left tackle Joe Thomas as Good Guy Award winner. Several former Browns players will be in attendance.

Doors open at 4:30 for a fan fest, a VIP cocktail party starts at 6 and dinner is at 7. Tickets for dinner are $60. Call Jim Iona at (330) 630-2311.

** Farmer thanked all the organization’s scouts, but specifically mentioned Chisom Opara and Bobby Vega for their work in preparation for the draft. “Definitely demonstrated that they are frontline scouts and guys that can really make a difference in this organization,” Farmer said.

Contact Scott Petrak at 329-7253 or spetrak@chroniclet.com. Fan him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter @scottpetrak.

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