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Report: Browns didn’t like Griffin’s size, Tannehill’s maturity

Brandon Weeden AP

As the Browns move closer and closer to making a baseball player of the past their quarterback of the present (and, presumably, future), more information is trickling out regarding why the Browns opted to acquire Brandon Weeden with the 22nd overall pick in the draft.

Tony Grossi of ESPNCleveland.com looks at why the Browns wanted Weeden and, perhaps more intriguingly, explores why they didn’t want some of the other quarterbacks who were available.

Grossi reports that the Browns had concerns about Ryan Tannehill, unrelated to size and arm strength.  “[H]is maturity as a quarterback and field leader were so lacking that he turned them off in personal interviews,” Grossi writes.  “He didn’t project as a leader.”

As to Robert Griffin III, Grossi writes that the Browns believed he was “too small . . . [a]nd too eager to show how fast he could run.”  He says the Browns “never seemed all-in” on Griffin, and that they “pursued him just enough to say they tried.”

But what about team president Mike Holmgren’s public griping that the Rams didn’t play fair during trade talks, and that the Browns would have matched what the Redskins offered for the second overall selection in the 2012 draft?  Grossi’s take meshes with a rumor that owner Randy Lerner wanted Griffin, that Holmgren deliberately didn’t try hard enough to get Griffin, and that Holmgren then blamed it all on the Rams.

As to one of the primary free-agency options — former Packers quarterback Matt Flynn — Grossi says that Flynn wasn’t seriously considered because he’s “no bigger than McCoy with a similarly popgun arm.”

And so Weeden was the guy they got, and it looks like he’ll be the guy they go with in 2012.

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64 Responses to “Report: Browns didn’t like Griffin’s size, Tannehill’s maturity”
  1. jhart615 says: Jun 6, 2012 11:42 PM

    But they liked Brandon Weeden’s bite-sized NFL career….

  2. profootballwalk says: Jun 6, 2012 11:45 PM

    Tear down the other guys – after the fact – to make the guy you got stuck with look good.

  3. 805_9er says: Jun 6, 2012 11:48 PM

    What a loser organization! You can’t believe anything that comes out of that fat walruses mouth. I feel sorry for the fans there.

    0-16 this year…

  4. tommyf15 says: Jun 6, 2012 11:52 PM

    Weeden certainly has maturity. Unfortunately he’ll soon die of natural causes.

    They could have had RG3, man. Seriously.

    The Browns clean house after this season and start over.

  5. skinsrock says: Jun 6, 2012 11:53 PM

    I think Weeden will have some success in the NFL … BUT… RG3 … He is not.

  6. maximusprime107 says: Jun 6, 2012 11:54 PM

    You don’t gotta lie to kick it, Cleveland
    You lost

  7. vikesorgtfo says: Jun 7, 2012 12:02 AM

    I mean obviously every team is going to stand by their draft pick and the choices they’ve made, but this is a little weak. No need to try and fool anyone by attempting to discredit every other alternative.

  8. doe22us says: Jun 7, 2012 12:03 AM

    Sour grapes anyone????

  9. schoolchoice2011 says: Jun 7, 2012 12:04 AM

    RGIII would have been the perfect pick for the Browns. The last three Browns quarterbacks spent most of their time running for their lives so why not choose someone that excels at running. I am really worried about Weeden bc all the scouts say that his biggest weakness is that he has no mobility and lacks athleticism. Weeden is a slow 28yr old qb with the NFL’s worst offensive line.

    -Browns Fan

  10. XRayTiD says: Jun 7, 2012 12:06 AM

    No one wants to play for the Browns that’s why they couldn’t acquire any free agents & if what they say is true about why they didn’t want RG3 or Tannehill but chose someone who’s already nearing 30 then they all deserve to be fired.

  11. Match Point Floppy says: Jun 7, 2012 12:07 AM

    I love sour-grapes leaks.

  12. dickjagger says: Jun 7, 2012 12:10 AM

    The Browns got BEAT OUT by the Redskins on the RG3 trade and Holmgren then whined that a Redskins front office guy was tight with someone in the Rams organazation which is why they lost out. Now this? Sounds like sour grapes to me. The Browns did get a good back with their #1 though.

  13. finfanrb23 says: Jun 7, 2012 12:12 AM

    RG III – 6’2″ – 223 lbs
    Colt McCoy – 6’1″ – 215 lbs

    So why did you draft McCoy if you believed 6’2″ was too small?

  14. hbdbrowns33 says: Jun 7, 2012 12:13 AM

    Once again Tony Grossi opens his mouth and makes himself look rediculous again. Yeah the Browns didn’t want RG3 because he’s too small? Right. He still has sour grapes because he got fired from the PD. He is a terrible writer I don’t believe a thing he says.

  15. gweez76 says: Jun 7, 2012 12:14 AM

    Yup and I wouldn’t bang Gisel Bundtgen cause she’s too short.

  16. truthassassin says: Jun 7, 2012 12:17 AM

    Haha, yeah right!!! These guys would kill for RG3… The rest I can somewhat believe… Regardless, if Weeden is the answer I will be shocked

  17. mykl954 says: Jun 7, 2012 12:21 AM

    What a crock of smelly BS coming out of Cleveland. First they pizz and moan about being ignored after extending a better offer to the Rams to go up and get RG3 and now they didn’t like the guy whose leadership Gruden loved down to teaching receivers how to run routes and whose own college coach, another former GB offensive-minded HC, drafted. It’s like if Tannehill was still available (unlikely based on comments by KC and Seattle) where they took Weeden, they wouldn’t have grabbed him and thanked their lucky stars? Yeah sure! Akin to saying: “I passed on Megan Fox, passed on Brooklyn Decker cause I wanted to end up with Lindsay Lohan all along. Gimme a break

  18. couldntthinkofaname says: Jun 7, 2012 12:33 AM

    805_9er says: Jun 6, 2012 11:48 PM

    What a loser organization! You can’t believe anything that comes out of that fat walruses mouth. I feel sorry for the fans there.
    ________________

    Don’t. The fans are as bad as the front office.

    The only people more delusional in Cleveland than Browns fans are the liars in the front office.

    And after whining about the failed offer to the Rams–supposedly due to Fisher and Shanahan’s friendship (another lie from H and H), they did the exact same thing during the draft.

    They admitted that Heckert was buddies with Spielman and that Spielman told him what the best offer was and Heckert topped it.

    Yeah, where was that liar Holmgren when that happened. He sure didn’t mind friendship then.

    I have no doubts they lied to McCoy as well. It’s how they roll.

    Screw this team. 03 and 13. At least Barkley, Bray, and Wilson don’t have to worry about going there next year.

  19. brownwood26 says: Jun 7, 2012 12:39 AM

    Sounds like sour grapes to me…Browns got outbid by the Skins and now they’re trying to save face. In a somewhat related note, count on RG3 coming to Cleveland to jam those words down their throats when the Skins and Browns play in Week 15…

  20. thegreatgabbert says: Jun 7, 2012 12:40 AM

    “Midget” and “Milktoast” were the code names Brown’s scouts used in discussing the two quarterbacks. Although they would not disclose which was which.

  21. brenenostler says: Jun 7, 2012 12:42 AM

    Only the Browns would prefer Weeden over Griffin.

    I feel sorry for Browns fans.

  22. mikebrownistheworstownerinprosports says: Jun 7, 2012 12:48 AM

    Brett Favre- 6’2” 220
    Seneca Wallace- 5’11” 205
    Colt McCoy- 6’1” 215
    RGIII- 6’2” 223

    Yeah, not buying it Wilford Bremley.

  23. bartpkelly says: Jun 7, 2012 12:48 AM

    Grossi’s article stinks of ‘it’s a slow time of the NFL year and I need to write something controversial.’

    Grossi needs to be challenged on this and no one on here is doing it. So far, all the posts have taken what he ‘thinks’ as the truth and what really happened.

    It doesn’t make sense with RGIII and it isn’t Holmgren’s style to put up such false fronts to appease an owner.

  24. papaweedandtrich says: Jun 7, 2012 1:22 AM

    I used to really respect Grossi’s “tell it like it is” approach with the Browns, but ever since he got cut from that beat with the Plain Dealer his writing has turned into a whole lot of sour grapes, to the point of just making stuff up as he goes along.

    Nobody would risk 3 #1′s on QB you don’t really want. What if the Rams had actually taken the deal and the Skins didn’t put up something better. Then what?

    One of the biggest knocks on Tannehill coming out of college was his maturity level. Almost every analyst said the exact same thing “He’s not NFL ready” aka let him hold the clipboard for a year or 2 and grow into being a leader.

    As for Flynn you don’t break the bank on a backup with 2 games of NFL experience. I don’t care how good he played.

    I’m not saying Weeden is the answer & I’m not saying he isn’t, but be was the best consolation prize after missing out on RGIII, even if we did take him too high.

  25. wwwocls says: Jun 7, 2012 1:23 AM

    If the Browns are such geniuses at nitpicking, why does their franchise suck?

  26. rolli1967 says: Jun 7, 2012 1:51 AM

    Couldn’t Think of a Name – Name fits you perfectly because you are too STUPID to think of a name that fits your lack of intelligence. Your so gullible as to believe the innuendo and unproven rumors posted on this site. SCREW YOU and whatever loser team you happen to be a fan of.

  27. rolli1967 says: Jun 7, 2012 2:02 AM

    Anyone who believes this sorry story is really really gullible. Tony Grossi was fired by the Plain Dealer supposedly at the insistance of Brown’s upper management and now he is doing everything in his power to make the Browns’ brass look bad. Tony is spouting a bunch of UNPROVEN innuendo, speculation, and rumors. Come on folks get a grip and don’t believe every CRAP story on the internet!!!!

  28. jcg23 says: Jun 7, 2012 2:19 AM

    Please trade Colt back to Texas. You guys ruined him.

  29. peytonsneck18 says: Jun 7, 2012 2:26 AM

    IRG3 will be a BUST!!!!

  30. oldcracker says: Jun 7, 2012 2:45 AM

    I might agree with H & H about RG3 except they did offer quite a nice package for him.

    Tannehill had a knock about being a converted WR so, I can see their argument there.

    Weeden has a nice arm but, even with QB’s it takes some time to learn how to play in the NFL.

    Every year are some pleasant surprises but there usually are more disapointments. So much depends on the team’s philosophy and the coaching styles. Why do certain teams seem to glean diamonds, even from the undrafted, while other teams churn out turd after turd? I believe a lot more success depends on the coaching/teaching/handling of players, than the players themselves.

    Now add the revolving door in Cleveland and the circus and freaking egos of the FO & coaching staff last year, along with no pre-season! (McCoy never had a real chance)

    I hope Weeden is not another Weinke but, it all starts with Holmgren, Heckert & Shurmur getting their act together.

  31. bigwaz says: Jun 7, 2012 2:46 AM

    Keep those comments on file for 3 or 4 years and see how things pan out…

  32. latenightroach says: Jun 7, 2012 3:51 AM

    Report: Browns teammates nickname Weeden “Gramps”

  33. defscottyb says: Jun 7, 2012 5:41 AM

    Total BS, the Browns wanted RG3 so bad they could taste it. They tried to beat Washington’s offer but the Rams said no. This is just damage control to make themselves look and feel better about themselves and their draft look better (it was a decent draft for them). This is all just to instill “confidence” in the rb they took and the qb they took. All to try and make Browns fans happy and buy tickets. Sorry, but the Browns will never be very good… not anytime soon at least. RG3 is saying to himself “thank god they didn’t take me, they would of ran me and my career into the ground”.

  34. afcnorth54 says: Jun 7, 2012 6:39 AM

    Read the actual article. These are not quotes from the Browns. This is what Grossi speculates. And even if true, so what? Amazing how everyone rips the Browns for what Grossi says the Browns may have thought!

  35. deathtoromo says: Jun 7, 2012 6:56 AM

    Right…. Sounds like fat walrus got lying tips from Harbaugh. Dumbest story I’ve seen since, well , Harbaughs.

  36. kenny328usa says: Jun 7, 2012 7:09 AM

    considering the browns track record, i’d be thrilled right now if i was a dolphins or skins fan

  37. rubicon202 says: Jun 7, 2012 7:12 AM

    The Browns are in a continual state of confusion. The player personell choices to the coaching staff? I’m confused too. Not a “fan” but one from a distance. I feel for the fans and they deserve better.

  38. macbull says: Jun 7, 2012 7:19 AM

    Don’t know if anyone cares, but did anyone else notice, ESPN reporter Tony Grossi gives “no sources” for this “alleged” information concerning RG3 and the other QBs mentioned…

    Where did Tony Grossi get his facts from, for this story…who was the source ?

  39. truthhurtstoo says: Jun 7, 2012 7:24 AM

    This clearly shows why the Browns are the Browns…. losers from the front office on down

  40. fatsmcnadds says: Jun 7, 2012 7:50 AM

    Shannahan put Weedon back in at the end of the game at the senior bowl and had him throw a stop and go to try and win the game.He threw a lame floater for a pick.Weedon is old with a worn out shoulder from baseball.It was right then Shanahan decided to trade for Griffin.Browns better be having him throw constantly on the side lines to keep those old joints loose.Good luck wit da!

  41. metspeed21 says: Jun 7, 2012 8:05 AM

    The main thing they’re seeing in Weeden is that he is throwing accurately down field while Colt is still looking to complete 5 yarders. Whether or not he pans out will have to be decided on the field, but at least so far he’s showing that he deserved to be picked at the end of the 1st round. I can’t imagine the Browns would say anything disparagingly about guys they’ll have to play against in the future. This is Grossi surmising what the Browns think.

  42. prosourcetalk says: Jun 7, 2012 8:39 AM

    Oh please, everyone knows they took Weeden at 22 because Holmgren panicked when the Titans took Wright

  43. realfootballfan says: Jun 7, 2012 9:16 AM

    Said this at the time. If Holmgren was sold on him, they would have gotten him, but they seemed lukewarm at best on Griffin.

    I actually agreee with them on that decision because I think boom or bust prospects who come out of no where like he did last year more often bust than boom. Who’s identified and groomed more championship level QBs, Holmgren or Shanahan? I’ll go with the Big Show since Shanahan has been pretty lousy without Elway.

  44. champ1118 says: Jun 7, 2012 9:20 AM

    What did you expect them to say? I mean really? Have you ever once heard a team after the draft say, “Well, we really wanted player X but we couldn’t get him. So, we went with player Y. He’s ok and we’re satisfied but he’s not really who we wanted at that pick.” No team ever says that they wanted anyone other than who they picked. And there is no way every team got EXACTLY who they wanted. So, they lie. This is a lie too. The only team that we KNOW got exactly who they wanted are the Colts. The Browns wanted RG3 they got out-maneuvered for him and they’re all in on Weeden. Good for them being all in on Weeden, he’s a great guy and very talented. But come on, really, they have no other choice at this point and you really can’t expect them to say differently.

  45. nebster21 says: Jun 7, 2012 9:41 AM

    what do you guys expect the Browns to say. Yeah we completely blew it by getting Weeden. They have to say something to make it look like that was their pick.

  46. evomike06 says: Jun 7, 2012 9:59 AM

    They are just hating because they got out bidded for the guy they wanted. I mean come on when are they gonna stop making excuses? If they werent completely sold on RGIII they wouldn’t have even made a huge offer for him. Like another guy said above, wait until there reaction when RGIII smokes there crappy team this year.

  47. xli2006 says: Jun 7, 2012 10:07 AM

    Not the long term answer for the Browns. Could develop a bit, but not going anywhere in that division anytime soon.

  48. tiredofblatheringnflexperts says: Jun 7, 2012 10:42 AM

    I hope for Browna fans sake Jim Brown is off base with his assessment of Trent Richardson because Brandon Weeden=Chris Weinke.
    For Tannehill’s maturity be called into question is ridiculous
    1, the guy’s father was a coach, he’s been around football his entire life.
    2, he was RECRUITED AS A QB to A&M, when the need arose for him to play another position for the team he did not whine he suited up learned the routes and played well. So knowing precisely where your targets should be and teaching your targets how to be effective in the offense is a deficit now? I think he’s the definition of FB mature.
    3, when asked to return to his natural position (qb) he did and excelled.
    4, the kid graduated cum laude w/ 3.6 GPA in biology he’s plenty smart.
    5, the kid is married, so no Big Ben incidents are expected.

    I’m not saying the kid will be a all-pro but the Browns spin makes no no sense based on facts.

  49. parasonic says: Jun 7, 2012 11:04 AM

    wait a minute…there is an ESPNCleveland but NOT an ESPNWashington?

  50. Wahoo's Wigwam says: Jun 7, 2012 11:36 AM

    Its all pretty simple. Holmgrem wasn’t going to give up three 1st’s for RGIII. Matt Flynn was perceived as a 40-50 million dollar version of Colt McFrye. Tannehill was available but did not have enough experience at QB for the Browns liking.
    Weeden can start now, has maturity. experience playing QB , has a strong arm and can be very accurate. Seems like a fairly straight forward thought process to me by the Browns Mgmt.

  51. mykl954 says: Jun 7, 2012 11:59 AM

    I really do question this revisionist version of history, as I condemn throwing other players under the bus as a way to justify what might well be a high risk decision about someone with a short shelf life whose leadership qualities honed over boys up to 11 years his junior, might not translate when it comes to grown men.

    However, considering there is not a wide $ differential between draft picks 4 and 8 doesn’t it make sense that Sherman advised Tannehill he would be selected by the Fins and possibly could step right in to the Aggie pro offense?. And as a result coupled with Cleveland’s reputation and the growing perception of Holmgren as yet another Tuna who’s lost more than a step from his heydays, RT purposely blew the interview, or possibly could not muster up the enthusiasm to interview aggressively – if this BS is true at all.

  52. dawgtown86 says: Jun 7, 2012 12:27 PM

    It’s easy to take uneducated shots at an organization that isn’t winning. Great job.

    1. Enough about Weeden’s age: If you could get Kurt Warner or Roger Staubach at 29 years old in round one you take them. You pass on Leaf and Jamarcus at any age.

    If he’s good, it doesn’t matter.

    2. Holmgren wasn’t griping to the media he was talking to season ticket holders. Repeating a lie doesn’t make it true.

    3. Brown’s fans are among the best in football. Show me a city that has been through more losses (even losing the team) and heartache yet still sells out home games.

    4. Tony Grossi. HA.

  53. tebowsafraud says: Jun 7, 2012 1:09 PM

    What more can one say about the Browns……..

    That they make the Raiders look like a model of stability? That they make the Dolphins look like a well-oiled machine? That Randy Lerner makes Tom Benson look like Bob Kraft?

    Poor Brownie fans..it’s going to be ANOTHER long long long season.

  54. mrfrostyj says: Jun 7, 2012 3:48 PM

    I can 100% believe this and the reason is right in the article.

    If THE BROWNS OWNER thinks a guy is a good QB would you take him? I mean wasn’t Holmgren brought in because of the Browns owners complete lack of football common sense when it comes to picking players, coaches, waterboys and anything else…ESPECIALLY QB’s?

    Enough said

    Holmgren just owned a great big bonus.

    Are you going to take nautical advice from the captain of the Titanic?

  55. beastfootball says: Jun 7, 2012 4:51 PM

    peytonsneck18 says:
    Jun 7, 2012 2:26 AM
    IRG3 will be a BUST!!!!

    Dude quit with your hate or do you have a man crush or something you don’t see, Redskin fans trolling on Indy stories with the same lame statement come up with something new idiot!

  56. beeronthefridge says: Jun 7, 2012 7:06 PM

    Report: Browns management obtained a rocking chair with a little shawl to be placed by Weeden’s locker.

  57. deeceefan says: Jun 7, 2012 9:01 PM

    Hmm it will be funny for us skins fans in week 15, when RG3 easily eludes Cleveland’s sub par pass rush and we get to see Weeden (easily the least mobile of the 1st rd qbs) get yoked up by Orakpo and Kerrigan all afternoon.

  58. joemontanawasthegreatest says: Jun 8, 2012 5:56 AM

    This team has so many issues, a rookie qb will not solve them alone.

    They are another draft or two away from competing.

  59. allenjaymosley says: Jun 8, 2012 1:21 PM

    Who care what the Browns think? They have been 1 or 2 Drafts away for years. what’s taking soooo long. Ryan Tannehill is going to have a much better rookie season than Brandon Weeden to show just how dumb they are as an Organization.

  60. mptapp says: Jun 8, 2012 2:31 PM

    The most important Browns’ consideration wasn’t mentioned. Did they like Tannehill at #4 or Griffen at #2 (with the huge cost in trade) more than Weeden AND Richardson (plus all the other picks to trade up)?
    If they (or the Dolphins) really wanted Griffen, they should have made it happen. As it is, the Browns ARE better off than Redskins (for sure!) or Dolphins if none of the 3 QBs excel, which is quite likely, since they did still get a back who might be Adrian Peterson (don’t be silly, Adrian Peterson!) for the next 8 years.
    As a diehard Phins fan, I am more optimistic about Tannehill at QB in 2 years than I would be about Moore, Garrard, or even Manning…BUT I would have dropped back, taken DeCastro and then whoever I liked best in round 2 at developmental QB.

  61. the3taveren says: Jun 8, 2012 3:10 PM

    realfootballfan says:
    Jun 7, 2012 9:16 AM
    Said this at the time. If Holmgren was sold on him, they would have gotten him, but they seemed lukewarm at best on Griffin.
    ___________________________________

    They offered three 1st rounders, then tried to add a high second when they found out that the Skins had offered more, and then they publicly witched and moaned and accused Fisher of “hooking” his buddy.

    If that is “luke warm” I would hate to see Holmgren when he is hot to trot for a player!

    realfoolsballfan, you’re a moron if you actually believe what you posted.

  62. finatic001 says: Jun 8, 2012 3:40 PM

    The Browns stink and now he’s trying to justify himself for making poor business decisions.

  63. cwhite9295 says: Jun 8, 2012 6:53 PM

    The browns run a west coast offense, if they run what Holgrem and Shurman run. I have heard from a few wco coaches,Joe Philbin being one, that what they look for in a qb for a WCO is accuracy and mobility. Joe Montana was mobile, not the traditional pocket passer. Steve Young, Mobile. Holmgrem had another mobile qb. Brett Favre. Eagles, run it, look at thier qbs. Mcnabb, Vick. Packers current qb, Rogers. So, in order to decipher what the browns really wanted, look at the 3 choices they had. Which one is not mobile? Rg3, Tannehill or Weeden? Sure Weeden has a strong ARM, and is accurate. Both Rg 3 and Tannehill have strong arms and are accurate. So it seems they picked the qb that least fits thier system. That indicates somethings fishy. So I’ll just state facts that I know as true. The dolphins wanted Tannehill since last year. Thier new head coach hired Mike Sherman as oc. Tannehills head coach at Texas a m. A couple of other assistant coaches from Shermans staff at Texas a m were also hired by the dolphins. So let’s just say , that gave the dolphins as much inside information on Ryan Tannehill. Stuff like is he a good leader. What’s his work ethic? What his maturity level is. Jeff Ireland, the dolphins GM was getting this kind of information from guys who have been around, and watched Tannehill for the last 4 years. People who know that thier jobs depend on if Jeff Ireland keeps his. They know the truth about Tannehill. So what do you think happens when a team is looking to see if they want a player in the draft? Sure, they’ll talk to him. Do you think they stop there? Hell no they don’t! They call to check references! Guess who they called about Tannehill! His head coach from college,who now works for the dolphins and was instructed, and he agreed, to not say a word about Tannehill. So it is possible that the browns actually believe that Ryan Tannehill is immature and lacks leadership skills, but if that were true, the dolphins knew that, and would not have picked him at #8.

  64. rextraordinaire says: Jun 10, 2012 6:54 PM

    Funny, they didn’t seem to have a problem with RG3′s size when they matched the offer that the Redskins gave the Rams. Sounds like they are trying to make themselves feel better by making it look like they didn’t want him in the first place.

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