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Hank Poteat now a Brown

Cleveland signed Jets free agent cornerback Hank Poteat Monday evening. He is 31 years old. Poteat was drafted by the rival Steelers in the third round of the 2000 draft (77th overall); he also played his college football in Pittsburgh. The Browns are his fifth pro Team as, after Pittsburgh, Hank played for the Bucs, Patriots and the Jets with Mangini. He has playoff experience winning a Super Bowl with the Pats.

We have mixed feelings about this signing. On the one hand, Poteat will help with some depth in the secondary and provide some leadership in the locker room. But there has to be some significance to how his former teams have played him. He never started for the Steelers - he played off the bench for three seasons and then was waived. He never started for the Bucs; in fact he played just one game and then was waived. He played in all three of New England's playoff games en route to their Super Bowl victory, however, he was later released by the team twice. The Jets also released Poteat before the 2008 season started with Mangini at the helm but then re-signed Hank three weeks into the regular season.

Poteat weighs just under 200 pounds and stands 5 foot 10 inches tall.

This signing will likely not have a significant immediate impact for our secondary as Poteat will likely not start. In that sense his value may be more as a fellow who will lead by example and "talk up" Mangini.

As an aside, many commentators are complaining about the new regime's focus on Jets players. There is no question that the Team has to pay attention to all potential players throughout the league, however, it is not unusual for a new coach to bring in players that he is familiar with to try to establish very early on a conduit between he and the other players and to spread his wings in showing that there is a new boss in town. But let's not lose out on other opportunities.

Go Browns!

-Clayton

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