Ray Farmer’s playing hide-and-seek with QB search


The Browns have raised some eyebrows this offseason by not interviewing quarterbacks at the Combine, and not sending coaches to the pro day workouts of high-profile quarterbacks.

General Manager Ray Farmer has been to some, but told Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon-Journal he wasn’t going to Johnny Manziel’s, either.

We’re keeping everyone guessing,” Farmer said.

Farmer added that some of the pro days he’s been reported to be in attendance at, he wasn’t (apparently all G.M.s look alike).

The pro day attendance can easily be overblown, especially if the Browns plan on bringing all the quarterbacks to their own facility for pre-draft visits.

They better, as Brian Hoyer provides a limited ceiling for a team that has some good parts and otherwise made strides a year ago.

People have been wondering whether the Browns have a plan at quarterback for years, but this time, keeping the teams drafting around them wondering might offer some advantage.

56 responses to “Ray Farmer’s playing hide-and-seek with QB search

  1. Lets see, Farmer didnt interview or show interest in no QB’s. No leaks to media of his actions, then, there all of a sudden is leaked info that Farmer wants Teddy, and shows great interest in Him. Farmer, your a genius. Your playing the Pre-draft game like its chess. Now, take the Browns to the SuperBowl!!!

  2. It gets tiresome to watch football coaches and executives think they are engaging in cold war style espionage and misdirection. All it does is irritate and confuse fans, not other teams.

  3. Hoyer has a limited ceiling? Based on what? The QB with the unlimited ceiling in this or any draft is at best a crap shoot. Hindsight is always 20/20 though.

  4. Sounds like he’s more concerned with being mysterious than doing his due diligence. Can see zero reasons to skip a players pro day. Keep everyone guessing by attending ALL of them!

  5. Oh… I forgot… NFL general managers are suppose to expose all their cards before the draft.

  6. I kind of assumed this anyway, since smoke and mirrors are a normal part of the pre-draft process. But it’s good to hear Farmer himself acknowledge that there’s a method to this madness.

  7. It’s the Brownstains, it doesn’t matter who they get.
    They will still be the Factory Of Sadness.

  8. Any one of Manziel, Teddy or Bortles could be what they need. If he wants to keep his cards close to his chest then fair enough to him.

    I know that I’ll be taking Josh Gordon in my fantasy team as long as one of these three are starting in Cleveland. (or is it me who is playing mind games now?)

  9. By limiting his time with potential QBs he thinks he is keeping everyone guessing. Why not spend as much time with the potential QBs. This way you keep everyone guessing AND you learn more about the players.

  10. It makes no sense to play games like that. Obviously, the Browns needs a qb and need to do their do diligence in scouting them, if, for no other reason, than to know their true value in the draft relative to the other position players around them. I think it would be foolish to take one with their first pick because the value isn’t there, but what about in the later rounds? Do they think other teams won’t know that they’re still interested in upgrading a glaring weakness on their roster?

  11. Thinking I’d rather have a guy who has been a sturdy backup for 4-5 years over a rookie with so-so chances to make it.

  12. If Farmer attended Bridgewater’s pro day, it would have been a waste of time. Farmer already knows what he is going to do, take a QB at #26 or early 2nd round, forget #4.

  13. I don’t like these pre-draft smokescreens, but I also don’t see much value in the pro days. I’d rather have the coaches and scouts use the time it would take traveling there to watch more video on the quarterback.

  14. Here’s an idea: go to every single QB’s workouts and keep your mouth shut. That way you will actually get to see how good these guys are and no one will be able to figure out which specific QB you are interested in. Your current method of “I’m going to try to watch these potential QBs as little as possible just so know one will know who I’m interested in” is just ridiculously stupid on all fronts. Not only does everyone know you’re interested in a QB, but now you’re not able to watch them workout to make sure they’re worth investing the future of your franchise.

    Only a “genius” could come up with such a stupid method and then go out and tell the media that he’s “keeping them guessing.” Reminds me of how Doug Marrone was boasting last year about how they hid their intentions and no one saw it coming that they would take EJ Manuel in the middle of the first round last year — yes, no one saw it coming, because it was a stupid pick. Seriously, where do these guys come up with these ridiculous ideas?

  15. “The Browns have raised some eyebrows this offseason by not interviewing quarterbacks at the Combine, and not sending coaches to the pro day workouts of high-profile quarterbacks.”

    Then in the same article, you say:

    “The pro day attendance can easily be overblown, especially if the Browns plan on bringing all the quarterbacks to their own facility for pre-draft visits.”

    So… are you saying it’s overblown or not? It sounds like you don’t know what you’re writing.

  16. Other good teams, like the Ravens and the best GM in the league, Ozzie Newsome and I hate to say it but the Steelers and Kevin Colbert too, are too busy doing what they do to worry about reacting to what games the cellar dwellers are trying to play. Good teams act, bad teams react and if Farmer continues to waste his time, he won’t be there long either. If you waste your time on subterfuge, that is time you aren’t spending looking at film, talking to players and directing your organization. So the more “Cold War” games Farmer engages in, the further behind Newsome and Colbert his FO will be.

  17. Man, Ray Farmer seems to much like Mike Lombardi for my liking. Trying to be way too unconventional and trying to “outsmart” people. I’m just sick of hearing about how all the top pick coaches are taking advantage of time with these prospects while Ray Farmer and the Browns are trying to be the smartest team in the league. Just like how Lombardi was the only GM not at the senior bowl last year.

    Quit trying to act like the smartest dude in the league Farmer. Your not outsmarting anyone but yourself.

    There’s a reason why every other 31 teams do things the same way. Because that’s how its done. Quit trying to be so secretive about what your doing and just do a good job already. Just because you go to the QBs pro days doesn’t mean everyone knows who you are picking. You can still “keep people guessing” and still do your job.

  18. He doesn’t have to tell us anything. This shell game about whether the coaches were at this pro day or that is insignificant. Farmer already knows the QB that he is going to draft if they are available and he doesn’t have to say a word until draft day.

    Scouts scout. All the GM is doing is confirming what the scouts have already said about player X, Y or Z. If the player is Jimmy Garappolo then he can’t show his hand or someone will trade up in front of him to get his guy. I don’t have a problem with Ray Farmer playing hide the draft pick knowledge from the media. As Bill O’Brien said, Texans will draft a QB, we don’t know which round.

    Go Browns!!! Keep at it, Farmer.

  19. Maybe Farmer is smart enough to know that none of the QBs in this draft are anything more than a 50/50 shot, or worse. It reminds me of 2003 when teams took Palmer, Lefwich, Boller and Grossman in the first round. Only Palmer is left and he is on his third team, despite being an overall #1 pick in that draft. If the talent isn’t there, it just isn’t there. Wishing doesn’t make it so.

    The Browns have taken enough gambles. Mr. Farmer, take the best player on the board. I guarantee it won’t be a QB. The Browns should have gotten Alex Smith when he was available. He was the last franchise QB that wasn’t locked up. Sanchez might turn out yet, but probably not.

  20. Who cares about pro days. They have years of film on TAPE from real games played and they’ll have who they want in for DAY LONG private workout. I’d not go to the circus either. Geez..

    Besides, Brown go with Watkins at 4 and best inside linebacker at 26. They’ll get their QB in round 2. The kid from EIU, LSU or Alabama… Besides, Hoyer may be the guy. We know more about him in the NFL than anyone in the draft..

  21. Here’s an idea: go to every single QB’s workouts and keep your mouth shut. That way you will actually get to see how good these guys are and no one will be able to figure out which specific QB you are interested in.

    It’s called game film. You find out if guys can play by watching their game film. Also if they want to evaluate them closer they’ll have them into Berea for interviews/private workouts. Everyone is blowing this out of proportion in my opinion.

  22. There is little or nothing to learn at someone’s Pro Day that couldn’t be better learned studying film of the player actually playing the game couple with arranging a private interview/workout. There is a lot of work to be done with these Browns, and I’m glad and Farmer isn’t spending a lot of time attending every dog and pony show these prospects hold.

    Besides, Hoyer.

  23. Despite all the hype about this QB class, a closer look by those who take the time to break down and analyze film will tell you, this class is one of the weakest in years.

    Of the top 3, all who came out early..2 juniors and a soph…none look to be ready to start at the NFL level.

    I do believe the Browns/Farmer will take a QB, but it might not be until the 2nd day…OR, Farmer might take a QB with the #4 pick.

    Farmer is doing what he should be doing…saying very little and keeping everyone guessing.

  24. Personally, I love it. Don’t even let the other teams even know what you THINK about the top QBs and keep em guessing.

    Teams ahead of the Browns like the Rams are notorious for holding teams below them hostage if they know who the team covets. Don’t give them any ammo.

  25. It doesn’t make any difference who the Browns decide on at quarterback.

    Recent history proves that no matter who it is he will underperform and/or be given little to no protection.

    It’s a Cleveland Browns trademark.

  26. Perhaps the Browns feel good about moving forward with Hoyer? Their offense looked functional with him at the helm.

    Drafting a QB high because you need a QB, even if none of the potential choices warrant a high pick isn’t as risky as it used to be (thank you, Jamrcus Russell). But it is still something that can set a team back two or three years while they figure out if he’s going to develop or not (thank you, Brandon Weeden).

    Sticking with the guy you’ve got and maybe grabbing the Sanchize as a free agent and building the rest of the team up with two first round draft picks while keeping eye eye to the future for a QB to draft might be just what the doctor ordered for these guys.

  27. People who try to outsmart other people often end up outsmarting themselves. In the end, if you’re at the bottom, ‘everything’ is “looking up”.

  28. Isn’t a Fullback worth four QBs? Lets spend a bit of time seeing what Pro Days Farmer actually gone to see.

    Browns S M A R T

  29. jaredl77 says:
    Mar 24, 2014 11:57 AM
    It’s called game film. You find out if guys can play by watching their game film. Also if they want to evaluate them closer they’ll have them into Berea for interviews/private workouts. Everyone is blowing this out of proportion in my opinion.


    This may blow your mind, but there just happens to be more than one source of information that can be useful. Otherwise, on your theory, the Browns and every other NFL team should skip ALL pro days, the Combine, and individual workouts. Teams wouldn’t invest all their time, money, and personnel if they didn’t find any worth in these workouts.

  30. What purpose does it serve? I know the Browns are gunshy after losing out on RGIII, but this group of quarterbacks isn’t that great. Minnesota isn’t giving up it’s draft to jump up in front of the Browns to swipe their quarterback. Bill O’Brien isn’t going to have his opinion changed on whom to draft because Ray Farmer was standing around at some pro day. If Balke, Belichick, Schneider, Newsome, Reese, Colbert, et al feel okay showing up to Pro Days, I’m sure Ray Farmer can as well.

  31. The time spent on traveling to a bunch of pro days could yield better results if it is spent analyzing film of those QBs in real game situations. Watching a prospect go through a scripted set of throws with no defense on the field isn’t going to hurt things, but it won’t give you any new information that game tape have already shown you.

  32. It seems like this guy has no idea what he’s doing. I hope the Browns do pass on a QB so my squad has a better chance to pick one up. The Browns should draft a Center with their first pick…uh…or maybe just pick up AJ McCarron at the end of Rnd 1 and make everyone look silly.

  33. This is your last and final chanch to trade up to number 2 and get the QB you want. Call the Rams again, only this time be prepared to pay up.

  34. The reality is that the Browns will bring in all these QBs and have them complete a workout that represents what they want to do on offense. Put them through the paces out of their comfort zone. Not some scripted nonsense. I have no problem w/the way Mr. Farmer is handling himself or the pre-draft process. Or all the pre-draft, non-story BS that permeates the news outlets this time of year for that matter. I think that thus far he’s done a great job as GM. See ya May 8th!

  35. Hoyer looked good last season when he stayed healthy. But Hoyer?

    Consider that self-anointed QB genius Ken Whisenhunt now of the Titans, assessed Hoyer and declared that Hoyer was not good enough to keep playing for him and the Cards during Whisenhunt’s his last and huge losing season there.

  36. Ray Farmer knows what he’s doing and that’s a Hell of a lot more than any of us.

    I heard he’s having players fly into Akron to avoid the Cleveland local press, and working them out at Akron’s facilities, along with Jim Tressell.

    Hoyer is a great back up and band aid but is not a franchise QB. I see the Browns trading for a QB, and drafting at least 1 QB. (I could see a situation like Chuck Noll had in Pittsburg with the 2 Terry’s)

    No, we didn’t miss out on RGme, we dodged a bullet with that one.

  37. It won’t matter who the QB is if the O-line situation doesn’t improve. Though a lot of them are no longer here, enough of the old regime is and they are terrible. Glad the Browns focused so heavily on one of their biggest needs during F.A….oh wait.

    Defense-minded head coach, defense focus…but as I recall from 2013, the defense isn’t what lost 12 games for this franchise.

  38. Its not complicated people, he hasnt gone to any of the pro days because we’re NOT taking any of those QB’s. With the 4th pick in the 2014 NFL draft the Cleveland Browns select WR Sammy Watkins. With the 26th pick in the draft the Cleveland Browns select QB Derek Carr….. Gordon, Watkins, on the outside and Hawkins in the slot, with Tate in the backfield and a healthy Hoyer with Carr not being thrust in…..Not a bad beginning to creating a better football culture in the 216…..

    Oh yeah not to mention the defense being improved through free agency.

  39. “Now, take the Browns to the SuperBowl!!!”

    It’s really tough to get that many seats together in the stands, especially at the Super Bowl…

  40. Only QB worth drafting in first is Teddy, Manziel is 3rd rounder
    At the latest, Bortles is so overrated I think it may be
    A crime to draft him in the first round. Ray should just wait
    Till the next year and get on with Winston or Mariotta

  41. WHAT!? You mean this guy actually wants to pick a guy based on their actual in game ability? But how will he know if the guy can hit clay pigeons with a football. That’s super important.

    The Browns are so behind. I mean according to Blake Bortles a team asked him about how girlfriends dinner plans at the combine. How are you going to pick a player in the draft without knowing about what hot blonde he hangs with?

    This Ray Farmer guy really needs some GM training.

  42. Nice you can tag Hoyer a limited upside flop in just a few games. You now qualify to work for the Browns. That’s how they have thought the past 15 years without any weapons for the qb.

  43. Unless the Browns move up, they cannot be sure of getting Bortles or Bridgewater. They could take Clowney at #4, but they won’t get Carr with their later pick. He will go to the Cardinals.
    Do they really want to get Carr with the #4 pick? I suggest they give the Rams their #4 and second round picks, taking Bortles or Bridgewater at #2. Rams don’t want a QB or Clowney. They will deal.
    If Cleveland does not deal, I see Bortles to Houston, Bridgewater to the Vikings (trade up), Clowney to Jacksonville. Then Cleveland can get a WR, or an OLB, an OT or Manziel. If Cleveland wants to wait another year or two for a developmental QB like McCarron or Garoppolo (no Manziel), so be it.
    They missed out on RG3 who I think will still be a quality QB.
    Just let the fans know that they are going to be building toward the future (AGAIN/STILL). Browns are in a division that is there for the taking, now. Rams fans feel their pain. Rams had a window to win until SF and Seattle got their QBs.

  44. Or maybe he’s already watched the Browns draft QBs high and watch them implode. The draft class this year looks about equal of the prospects next year or even lesser. Why waste a high pick on one when you can get a QB later on (and cheaper) and even wait until next year. A healthy Hoyer throwing to Gordon,Cameron and possibly another good WR from the draft,is way better than the Weeden/Campbell Express.

  45. If Farmer doesnt take Sammy Watkins at #4, then he should be fired on the spot. Bortles, Bridgewater and Manziel all blow.

    Get McCarron, mettenberger or murray in the 2nd or 3rd rounds. All 3 of them are better than these other 3 over-hyped QBs

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