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Combine notes: Westlake native Tommy Eichenberg wants to prove doubters wrong

INDIANAPOLIS — Tommy Eichenberg believes his greatest strength doesn’t show up in a box score, stat sheet or scouting combine workout.

“My love of the game is unmatched and I feel like that could help me stick out from a lot of guys,” the Ohio State linebacker said Wednesday at the combine.

What does he love about football?

“Everything really,” he said. “There’s nothing about it that I don’t love. Workouts, practicing, love playing.”

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Eichenberg is a Westlake native who went to St. Ignatius and was a two-time captain at Ohio State. He’s expected to be a midround pick during the NFL Draft in April.

At 6-foot-2, 233 pounds, the biggest question is his ability to run sideline to sideline and cover in the pass game. He’s hoping to prove the doubters wrong before the draft.

“Being able to move out in space, being able to cover, a lot of things that I feel like it’d be good to show teams,” he said.

Eichenberg said he’s healthy after an elbow dislocation against Rutgers. He missed the end of that game and the next two before returning in a brace to face Michigan. He finished second on the Buckeyes with 82 tackles and was named the Butkus-Fitzgerald Big Ten Linebacker of the Year.

His brother Liam, an offensive lineman, was a second-round pick of the Dolphins in 2021 and has started 38 games.

Tommy Eichenberg said he grew up a Browns fan.

“I was lucky to be from Ohio and go to Ohio State,” he said. “I just want to make the people of Ohio proud.”

The three losses to Michigan stick with him.

“I felt like I let down so many people, really, especially being a captain, too,” he said. “That’s a standard is winning that game. It’s very hard for me. But you gotta keep moving forward.

“They got good. Like, they’re good. They’re a good team. I know from now on the Buckeyes will be good.”

Welcome addition

The Browns pounced on Duce Staley after the season, hiring him as running backs coach to replace the fired Stump Mitchell. Coach Kevin Stefanski expects big things.

“Duce brings the energy every single day. He does a great job even with our staff bringing it every day,” Stefanski said. “He definitely is a guy that you’re going to hear out there on the practice field. He may have some shouting matches with the coaches at times, that might happen, so I may have to intervene, but again, a very, very competitive guy.”

Staley played running back in the NFL for 10 years and won a Super Bowl with the Steelers.

“I’m excited about Duce and the impact he’s gonna have on that room,” Stefanski said. “Duce is a guy that’s played at a high level, he’s developed young guys, he brings his own ideas based on the schemes he’s been in over the years.”

Hurt feelings

Raiders quarterback Brian Hoyer was a guest on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” this week and responded to criticism from former Browns teammate Johnny Manziel that Hoyer didn’t help him as a rookie in 2014.

“I was kind of apathetic towards him,” said Hoyer, a St. Ignatius graduate. “I didn’t go out of my way to be a jerk to him, but I was trying to win this job and go out and perform the best I could. I feel sorry that he feels that way about it. I never had any animosity towards Johnny, if anything it was towards the owner (Jimmy Haslam) and the GM (Ray Farmer) who were always trying to push him ahead of me when clearly he wasn’t ready and I was going to be the starter.

“It’s unfortunate that left a bad taste in his mouth. I feel bad that he feels that way but I don’t recall it being that way, either.”

Manziel, a first-round pick who flamed out of the league after 2015, blamed Hoyer for part of his problems, saying he was dismissive when Manziel asked the same question more than once.

“My quarterback room was not a home for me because of Brian Hoyer,” Manziel said on Shannon Sharpe’s “Club Shay Shay” podcast. “Brian Hoyer had been waiting on opportunity … he saw how much of an upper hand he had on me and he didn’t hold back when it came to that.

“I could’ve used a little help.”

On the up and up

Receiver Elijah Moore didn’t have the season many expected after the Browns acquired him from the Jets in an offseason trade. But the 59 catches and 640 yards were career highs to go with two touchdowns.

As a rookie with the Jets in 2021 he caught 43 passes for 538 yards and five touchdowns.

Stefanski thought Moore’s production was hurt by the Browns starting five quarterbacks, and that the best is yet to come.

“Just look at the numbers, he has a career year and I think that was for a reason,” Stefanski said. “I feel really strongly about him the player. When you are moving different quarterbacks in there that can affect it.

“You look at the Jets game where Amari (Cooper)’s out and Elijah went right to the focal point and was making plays up and down the field before he got hurt. So I know what he’s capable of and after a career year we anticipate him even getting better.”

Calling Cleveland

Missouri defensive lineman Darius Robinson leans on Browns defensive end Isaiah McGuire for advice during the draft process. They played together for the Tigers before McGuire was drafted in the fourth round last year.

“That’s my best friend. We talk every day,” Robinson said. “It’s funny, his rookie year, called him every day, ‘What’s Myles Garrett like? What’s the Browns like?’

“He’s constantly giving me advice about continuing to work. He’s somebody I definitely look up to. It’s funny, he’s my best friend, but I look up to Isaiah. He showed us what the standard is.”

Browns writer for The Chronicle-Telegram and The Medina Gazette. Proud graduate of Northwestern University. Husband and stepdad. Avid golfer who needs to hit the range to get down to a single-digit handicap. Right about Johnny Manziel, wrong about Brandon Weeden. Contact Scott at 440-329-7253, or email and follow him on and Twitter.

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