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Cleveland missed out on Chargers' star


FU Spanos and Dundon
Staff member

Tony Grossi
Plain Dealer Reporter

As the 2001 NFL draft approached, LaDainian Tomlinson had Cleveland on his radar screen.

"My agent was telling me that Cleveland was a team I could go to," Tomlinson said on a conference call this week. "I was prepared for the situation. I knew they needed a running back badly. I thought with me being available, there was a good chance of me coming to Cleveland."

Unfortunately, Tomlin son was not on the Browns' ra dar screen.

The first pick of the Butch Davis era - No. 3 overall in that 2001 draft - was used on defensive tackle Gerard Warren. Tomlinson, one of the most prolific running backs in NCAA Division I-A history at Texas Christian, was taken fifth by the San Diego Chargers.

Instead of Tomlinson, Davis was tracking Deuce McAllister of Mississippi. Davis tried to move up in the second round to select McAllister, who fell to New Orleans at No. 23.

Davis later said he and his coaches felt McAllister was a better fit in the offense being implemented by new coordinator Bruce Arians. Tomlinson was never a factor in the Browns' plans.

"I never went to Cleveland for a visit, and I don't think I talked to the team at the NFL combine," Tomlinson said.

"I don't think there was any interest at all."

We know how this story turned out.

Tomlinson has become the pre-eminent back of his time. His coach, Marty Schottenheimer, says "of all time."


Well-Known Member
Reuben Droughns is a decent RB for the Brownies, but nowhere the caliber that L.T. is.

Where's Gerard Warrren now? Oh, yeah, in Denver, along with the rest of the 2004 Browncos.
If you go back, their drafts have produced next to nothing with all of those top picks. Not only did they miss on LT, but McNabb 2 years before that. Add to the fact that that the guys they chose instead, along with another first pick, Courtney Brown, are no longer on the team. They coulda been a contender.


Well-Known Member
Here is another article on the Browns passing on LT. There are some funny lines and quotes in this one;


The OBR Daily News & World Report

By John Taylor

Posted Nov 3, 2006

If "if's" and "but's" were candy and nuts, it would be Christmas every day. And in Cleveland, there would be an LT jersey underneath each and every tree. But enough with the hindsight, right? Right? Anyway, feel free to weep openly about what might've been as you read the latest edition of the DN&WR. I know I did.

What might have been.

Five years ago, holding the third pick of the draft in the palm of their hands, the Cleveland Browns had the opportunity to draft LaDainian Tomlinson.

However, not only did Butch Davis, Pete Garcia & Company opt for Gerard Warren over Tomlinson, they, apparently, did not even meet or consider the TCU product and future Hall-of-Famer. Instead, Tomlinson went two picks later to the Chargers.

"I was prepared to go to Cleveland," Tomlinson said in this morning's Akron Beacon Journal. "I knew they needed a running back badly. Obviously with me being there, I thought there was a good chance I would land in Cleveland. But I never went to Cleveland on a visit, never talked to (them) at all. I don't think I even talked to them at the combine."

Now pardon me while I throw up in my mouth.

(Writer's note: I don't want to discredit the entire organization for that decision as there were a good number of people in that war room who wanted to take current Saints running back Deuce McAlister over Warren but were overruled by Davis.)


On Wednesday, Kellen "You Can't Spell Winslow Without An 'I'" Winslow likened this Sunday's game against the San Diego Gates to a heavyweight tight end match up, with the Chargers' Antonio Gates, a two-time Pro Bowler, apparently playing the role of Spinks to Winslow's Tyson.

Winslow reiterated his off-season stance that he's the best TE in football even at ninety percent, telling reporters that "I said I was the best. I am the best, and I'm going to prove it on Sunday."

Needless to say, the Kent State product did not take kindly to Winslow's words, particularly since they come from a player with a grand total of nine games played in three seasons.

"For you to play in seven straight games and decide you're the best tight end in the league, I don't think that's appropriate to say," said Gates. "There are certain things that I will never let get to me. Obviously he's not a person I would be worried about. He hasn't played long enough."


Before the 2004 draft, then-North Carolina State quarterback Philip Rivers was often times compared to former Browns great Bernie Kosar. Partly due to his gangliness and partly due to his unorthodox throwing style, draft gurus and NFL scouts alike attached Kosar's name to Rivers in a good many pre-draft scouting reports.

In his conference call yesterday, Chargers head coach Marty Schottenheimer--who was Kosar's head coach during the QB's first four seasons in the league--did nothing to dismiss those comparisons. If anything, he added to the Kosar mystique attached to Rivers' name.

"Bernie stepped in very early and had a terrific career and we really never missed a beat with him," said Schottenheimer. "Philip is very much like Bernie in that regard. Their knowledge and understanding of the game, their ability to anticipate throws, their decision-making

FAST FACT: In three career games against the Browns, Tomlinson has averaged 137.7 yards a game and scored four touchdowns. This season, the Browns defense has given up an average of 136 yards per game on the ground.


QUOTE OF THE DAY: "So rather than put three guys on Shawne, maybe now we only have to put two on his replacement."--Browns head coach Romeo Crennel, on how the loss of Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman to suspension will affect his club's game plan.

QUOTE OF THE DAY, THE SEQUEL: "I don't want to sound cocky or anything, but I think I was destined to be where I am now. If I would have gone to Cleveland, I think I would have had a successful career considering the amount of time I put into working hard. I try to be the best and I don't think it would have been different being in Cleveland."-- Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson, making me sick to my stomach yet again.:icon_mrgreen:


Well-Known Member
Boltster said:
If you go back, their drafts have produced next to nothing with all of those top picks. Not only did they miss on LT, but McNabb 2 years before that. Add to the fact that that the guys they chose instead, along with another first pick, Courtney Brown, are no longer on the team. They coulda been a contender.
If Cleveland had taken McNabb, I don't think they would have sucked so badly to have had the #3 overall and be able to pick L.T. before us, unless they traded up. :yes:
exodus said:
Yeah well, cinci and arizona dropped the ball on this one as well. Yay for us and our lucky asses!

It was only partly luck. We could've just kept the #1 pick in the draft and taken LT first overall. I'm pretty sure Butler made that trade knowing that the next three teams would not take LT.