Pressure is nothing new for Heckert

Posted by Vic Carucci on April 19, 2012 – 10:42 pm

By Vic Carucci, Senior Editor

Tom Heckert acknowledges that the Browns face as vitally important a draft as any they’ve had in recent memory.

The Browns’ general manager also points out that pressure is a constant companion for him and the rest of the team’s player-personnel staff.

He’s absolutely right. Whether the Browns were 4-12 or 12-4 last season, the chore of making them better for 2012 would be huge. Expectations never get smaller.

Obviously, there is a great deal of frustration among the fan base over the team’s prolonged playoff drought and mediocrity, and that clearly ramps up the feeling that Heckert and the Browns’ other talent-evaluators have to get this draft right. That is especially true with the club owning the fourth and 22nd overall picks. But …

“I think we always have pressure,” Heckert told me on “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford” Thursday.

Yet, he fully understands what must happen.

“We have to come through with the young players,” Heckert said. “Our philosophy in the organization is to build through the draft, so obviously we have to do well. So I don’t think there’s any added pressure, but we need to add young players to this team and we do have to improve. Obviously (4-12) is not going to cut it, and we all know it. So it’s a draft where we expect guys to come in here and help us win games.”

There are a couple of massive challenges facing the Browns in this draft beyond getting the premium choices right.

One, they must choose between needs and best players available. This year, the brunt of the needs clearly exist on offense, particularly with defense being emphasized in the last two Browns drafts. The second challenge is not being so focused on the fourth overall choice that the remaining 12 picks are treated as something less than critically important.

“Obviously, we do have to help ourselves on offense because these last two years we kind of went the defense route,” Heckert said. “But I think you have to look throughout the whole draft. You can’t just focus on the first pick or the first two picks. To say we need first-round players at every position on offense, I just don’t think that’s the case. We can’t obviously take defensive players in the first three picks; we just can’t do that.

“But can we take one defensive player in there? I think we can, and still come out with enough offensive players to help us on offense. So I think there’s a fine line but you still can’t go away from your philosophy of taking a need position over a good football player. I don’t believe in it.”

>>Be sure to tune in Monday through Friday, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET, for “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford” on ESPN 850 WKNR or catch the live stream right here on ClevelandBrowns.com.

>>Have a question for “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford”? Ask me at Twitter.com/viccarucci


Posted in Carucci's Call | 10 Comments »


10 Responses to “Pressure is nothing new for Heckert”

  1. By Vohler on Apr 20, 2012 | Reply

    Can Stephens, Spears, and other young players who were locked out last summer, have an impact on the Browns this season?
    Which young players in particular can become starters if needed?
    How are injured players recovering?

  2. By Paul Nagy on Apr 20, 2012 | Reply

    This is a no brainer T Rich at 4th best receiver available at 22nd then offensive linemen at 37 or a QB. Get some excitement in Cleveland for a change.

  3. By Dennis Montgomery on Apr 20, 2012 | Reply

    With the departure of Hillis, it more sense for the Browns to draft Trent Richardson. He will be an immediate impact for the offense. The team has other needs that will hopefully be address, such as offensive linemen and wide receivers. The Browns management can’t evaluate the quarterback position till they have linemen who can protect the quarterback. In my estimation these are the greatest needs that need to be address.

  4. By John Robison on Apr 21, 2012 | Reply

    The future is now! It’s great to have extra picks, but the browns need playmakers now. How can you really judge the talent that McCoy has without providing, serious weapons to the supporting cast.As a life long Browns fan, I want to get some excitement in Cleveland.I think Richardson at #4 , a wide receiver at 22, and maybe, either another running back or tackle in the second round, would spell excitement right now.Everyone knows a good running back helps the Browns in their division.I have faith in what Holmgren and Heckert are doing. The Browns need consistency in the front office and coaching staff to make this work It finally caught up with us. Changing front office, coches,abs and philosphies, every two years. I’m tired of being on the losing end, and let’s start really start turning this around in 2012.GO BROWNS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. By Chuck on Apr 21, 2012 | Reply

    I would like to see them do the opposite of what everyone seems to want them to do. Claiborne with 4th pick and hightower with the 22nd. Those 2 guys can boost our defese to an elite level for years to come I.e. Baltimore adding Lewis and reed. Then u have 10 picks to grab guys to help the offense, and the defense will be a completed project (minus another pass rusher and depth on d line) which can be addressed after draft via free agency.

  6. By Chuck on Apr 22, 2012 | Reply

    Winning teams all have 1 thing in common……an identity. So lets make ours defense and get excited about that!
    .

  7. By cherokee on Apr 23, 2012 | Reply

    i have a feeling, that, my trust in the front office is well founded

  8. By DanD on Apr 23, 2012 | Reply

    Somebody is going to steal Kellen Moore from Boise St in the late rounds. Please be Cleveland. Sure he’s small, but so is Drew Brees. KM is the winningest QB in NCAA history, Sorry Colt. With the 2 winningest ever, something has to click.

  9. By Butch on Apr 23, 2012 | Reply

    Take T-Rich at 4. Take a tackle at 22. Find a receiver in second round and get Dequan Menzie in 3-5 rds for db depth.

  10. By matt stewart on Apr 24, 2012 | Reply

    richardson at 4, package 22 , 37 and a 4th round to jacksonville and take floyd at number 7.

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