Browns Notes: Emmanuel Ogbah Calls UCF LB Shaquem Griffin ‘Inspiring,’ Talks QBs In Interview

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By 92.3 The Fan
CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Shaquem Griffin stole the show at the NFL Combine but he didn’t get much attention from teams when it came to formal interviews.

After throwing up 20 reps of 225 on the bench press then recording the fastest speed for a linebacker since they began tracking the times in 2003, Griffin caught everyone’s attention, including that of Browns defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah.

Ogbah was asked about Griffin’s NFL prospects considering that he plays with one hand in an interview on SiruisXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio channel’s ‘Left Coast Live’ featuring hosts Ric Bucher and Nicole Zaloumis Monday night.

“You definitely going to look past that,” Ogbah said. “He’s definitely inspiring and one of those guys that you would definitely love to play with. He showed the world that it doesn’t matter what you got. He put up 20 reps of the 225. Those kinds of things are amazing and to have a guy like that on the roster, that’d be amazing too.”

Griffin told Rich Eisen on the ‘Rich Eisen Show’ Tuesday that the Seattle Seahawks, who drafted his twin brother Shaquill last year, were the only team to sit down with him for a formal interview at the NFL Combine.

“So many people are going to have doubts about what I can do, and obviously, it started at the bench press,” Griffin said in Indianapolis last week. “Some people think I can do 3, some people think I can do 5, some people didn’t think I could do the bench press. But I did it and competed with everybody else and did 20, and that’s just one step closer to everything I need to accomplish.

“There’s going to be a lot more doubters saying what I can’t do, and I’m ready to prove them wrong.”

Ogbah won’t be one of them.

“A guy like that just brings energy to the team too,” Ogbah added. “If he can do it, anybody can do it.”

Get A QB Or 2, Please – Ogbah was also asked about the Browns’ current quarterback situation coming off a winless season in that same interview.

“In my opinion, I feel like I would want a veteran,” Ogbah, who is recovering from foot surgery and expects to be 100 percent by the end of March, said on SiriusXM. “I want a veteran but also get a [young] guy too. I feel like guys on the team want to win. I’m what? 1-31? If it was my decision I would want a veteran guy to come in because I definitely want to win some games. I came from a winning program st Oklahoma State and I just want to win plenty of games.”

The Browns are expected to sign a veteran early in free agency as well as draft another rookie. Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield is in the conversation. In college Ogbah played against both Jameis Winston and Mayfield and he said Mayfield was the toughest for him to get to.

“For his size you would think it would be easy to get him down but no, he’s definitely very shifty and he knows how to escape the pocket a lot,” Ogbah said.

Ogbah sidestepped a question about what he felt the Browns should do with the first and fourth picks in the draft, not wanting to speak out of turn, but he sounded like he’d be fine if Mayfield ended up a Brown.

“You can tell that the guy has a passion for the game,” Ogbah said. “It’s all passion. It;s not like he’s doing anything to really hurt the team. I understand he’s had some, like, off the field issues but the guy can play. The guy has won a lot of games at OU. What we need, we need a winner. We need somebody to come in and win some games for us.”

Barkley Working Out With Pair Of Former Browns – Saquon Barkley is working out with a pair of former Browns according to an Instagram story posted by Johnny Manziel. The story also showed current Steelers and former Browns cornerback Joe Haden also working out with them.

It is unclear what relationship Barkley has with Manziel and Haden but Manziel posted a picture with Barkley on his verified account witht he following caption: “UNDISPUTED #1 Pick…Go get it my guy @sb_xxvi @sb_xxvi @sb_xxvi @sb_xxvi #JLT.”

The Penn State back, who has racked up over 5,000 scrimmage yards and 51 touchdowns the last 3 seasons combined, is regarded as one of the top 2 or 3 players available in the upcoming NFL Draft following his performance at the Combine in Indianapolis last week.

Waiting Game – The Browns are still waiting on Joe Thomas to make a decision if he will play in 2018 or retire and pursue a media career.

The New York Post reported that Thomas auditioned with Fox Sports recently and that the network was impressed with his performance. Thomas also participated in the ESPN ‘car wash’ in which he appeared on their platforms over 2 days last month.

Thomas’ ThomaHawk Show podcast that he co-hosts with former Browns receiver Andrew Hawkins has become a must listen weekly.

Thomas told 92.3 The Fan last week that a report by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport that he was going to return was premature and no decision has been made. It is expected that Thomas will announce within the next week with free agency and the new league year beginning on March 14.

Ivory To Bills – General manager John Dorsey confirmed last week in Indianapolis that he met with free agent running back Chris Ivory.

On Tuesday Ivory signed with the Buffalo Bills.

Tag Deadline Passes – Tuesday marked the deadline for teams to apply the franchise or transition tags to players and as expected the Browns elected not to use either.

Running back Isaiah Crowell, who will be an unrestricted free agent this month, was the only eligible player that could’ve been be considered. Dorsey met with Crowell’s representatives in Indianapolis last week.

Gun Show Closed – The NFL announced that referees Ed Hochuli and Jeff Triplette have retired.

Hochuli, who was known for his tight shorts, big arms and lengthy explanations, had been with the league since 1990. Triplette started his officiating career in 1996. Triplette inadvertently hit former Browns offensive lineman Orlando Brown in the eye with a flag during a game in 1999 prompting Brown, who died in 2011, to shove him to the ground.

Former back judge Shawn Hochuli – Ed’s son – was promoted to referee as was former side judge Alex Kemp the league announced.