Browns president Mike Holmgren expressed optimism Monday that there will be a resolution to the labor dispute between NFL owners and players, though he acknowledged the timetable for a return to action was uncertain.
"It is our feeling and hope that we will play football games," Holmgren said, according to the team. "We've worked very hard to establish a program that will win."
As the lockout commences, the Browns prepare for the 2011 NFL draft. They hold the No. 6 overall pick. Asked about the club's top draft needs, Holmgren mentioned the defensive line — which could undergo some changes with the Browns switching from a 3-4 to a 4-3 front — as well as the secondary, which got a lift from rookie CB Joe Haden and rookie SS T.J. Ward last season.
"You can never have too many corners," Holmgren said.
Holmgren said the team would bring in 30 prospects for pre-draft visits but indicated the team would not publicly disclose whom it would be interviewing.
The Browns' president also again praised QB Colt McCoy, who enters 2011 as the starter after a promising rookie season. Holmgren specifically pointed out McCoy's play in outings vs. the Saints, Patriots and Jets — three of Cleveland's best games of the season.
"Did he exceed expectations for me? I would say yes, because I didn't expect him to play," Holmgren said of McCoy, who began the 2010 season as the No. 3 quarterback.