By Tony Grossi
The Morning Kickoff …
Brown never looked so good: The Browns soon will submit their home uniform preferences for the 2012 season.
“I think it’s safe to say we will wear some brown,” coach Pat Shurmur told me.
Hallelujah! Fans have had it with the all-white look of 2011.
It was purely by accident that the Browns wore white-on-white for 16 games last year. They chose to wear white jerseys at home to honor the tradition of the greatest Paul Brown years. It so happened that each of their opponents on the road chose to wear dark jerseys. So that put the Browns in white for each game for the first time in their history.
If they had gone 11-5, everybody would have loved the all-white look. But at 5-11, all white was not right. They’re the Browns, right? Not the Whites.
Shurmur confirmed the Browns are contemplating breaking up the home season into four games with brown jerseys and four with white. Different regimes have done that before. The final decision will rest with President Mike Holmgren, Executive Vice President Bryan Wiedmeier and Shurmur.
Rookie camp wrap-up: With rookie camp over, drafted and undrafted rookies can now participate in the offseason program and be involved in the upcoming 10 OTA (organized team activities) sessions on the field with the veterans over the next month. They also will be able to participate in the mandatory full team minicamp June 5-7.
Some quick-hitters on the rookies:
Trent Richardson: Unique physique. Looks so much bigger than 5-9. Can’t wait to see him in games. Wish he’d chosen No. 34, a more regal number for a blue-chip NFL running back.
Brandon Weeden: Throws a pretty ball. Has a real stature in the pocket. Seems to love and embrace the responsibilities of the position. Very personable.
Mitchell Schwartz: Big and smart. Looks like he can step right in.
John Hughes: Can benefit from some time in a pro weight room.
Travis Benjamin: Fast. Unpolished. Rough around the edges. Skinny legs. Thick dreadlocks. Need to see him catch a ball over the middle.
James-Michael Johnson: Bigger than advertised. Driven.
Ryan Miller: Very tall. Too tall? Will be all about his ability to bend.
Emmanuel Acho:Should break in as special teams core player.
Billy Winn: Thirty pounds lighter than Phil Taylor. Thirty pounds. Built more like a defensive end than a tackle.
Trevin Wade: Bigger than Buster Skrine, but not as fast.
Brad Smelley: Caught a lot of short passes in five practices. Remains to be seen if he can lead-block on short-yardage runs. If so, he can press Owen Marecic for a roster spot.
The newest best thing: I’ve never seen so many rookies under contract in the month of May. The Browns have nine of their 11 picks either under contract or agreed to terms. Only Richardson and Weeden are unsigned. The new CBA has made rookie holdouts obsolete.
For years, the absolute worst thing about the NFL beat was chasing agents for info on the status of contract talks. On the record? Off the record? Could you take my call, please?
Now, who cares? Let us know when your client signs and we’ll get it in. Got to love that.
(Note: I wrote the Browns were 5-11 last year and they were actually 4-12. I guess I still can't believe they lost that game to St. Louis, 13-12. Sorry.)
Tony Grossi covers the Browns for ESPN 850 WKNR, ESPN 1540 KNR2 and www.espncleveland.com.
He has covered the Browns with distinction since 1984 and is one of 44 voters for the National Football League Hall of Fame. Email your “Hey Tony” questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow Tony on Twitter @tonygrossi
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