Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

In the Hot Seat Costner Moves from Field to Front Office as Browns GM for 'Draft Day'

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

In the Hot Seat Costner Moves from Field to Front Office as Browns GM for 'Draft Day'

Article excerpt

Everyone in Steelers Nation -- or the nation -- will understand the assessment of a prospective draft pick shown in some game footage: "That's pure Roethlisberger." The kid is NFL ready.

And that is pretty much it for Steelers references in "Draft Day," a slickly produced dramedy starring Kevin Costner as the general manager of the Cleveland Browns.

The movie, from director Ivan Reitman, tracks one pressure- packed day in the life of Sonny Weaver Jr. (Mr. Costner) as he tries to assemble his dream team and not get fired, copes with some surprising personal news and grieves for his father. Throw in his opinionated mother and an ex-wife and you've got a veritable 12- hour stress test.

The day starts with a call to Sonny from his Seattle Seahawks counterpart: "I have the golden ticket, Sonny. If I give it to you, you get to save football in Cleveland." In fiction, as in fact, Cleveland needs a Hail Mary pass or maybe an Immaculate Reception.

This ticket is far from free, but it might be a sweet deal -- the chance to land the expected No. 1 draft pick, Heisman Trophy- winning quarterback Bo Callahan (Josh Pence) from the University of Wisconsin.

Until now, Sonny has had his eye on Ohio State University linebacker Vontae Mack (Chadwick Boseman from "42"), not to mention Ray Jennings (real-life Houston running back Arian Foster), whose father was a Browns legend.

Draft day will have ripple effects for everyone from the current Browns quarterback (Tom Welling) to the caustic coach (Denis Leary) who sees his draft analysis going up in flames -- literally -- and the team owner (Frank Langella).

"Draft Day," penned by playwright and Cleveland native Rajiv Joseph and screenwriter Scott Rothman, is designed to appeal to moviegoers who follow Mel Kiper on Twitter and those who see Radio City Music Hall and think Rockette high kicks, not high picks.

Even casual fans will recognize some of the famous faces, including NFL Commissioner Roger S. …

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