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News » Cleveland Browns Strategy and Personnel 2008-10-17

Cleveland Browns Strategy and Personnel 2008-10-17

Cleveland Browns Strategy and Personnel 2008-10-17
The Browns will have to play a second straight game without starting right defensive end Shaun Smith. Smith played two games with a broken left hand after suffering the injury Sept. 14 against the Steelers. It was surgically repaired Oct. 1 while the Browns were on their bye. The Browns hope Smith can play Oct. 26 in Jacksonville.

Louis Leonard will start against the Redskins.

"Shaun won't make it for the Redskins," Coach Romeo Crennel said. "It's up to the doctor to make a determination after he has the surgery how much time he thinks the guy needs to be ready. The doctor doesn't think he's ready yet."

Leonard did not make a tackle against the Giants. Shaun Smith, who was starting in place of injured Robaire Smith, has 11 tackles.


--TE Kellen Winslow was at the Browns training complex Thursday, but he did not practice. The Browns hope he can practice Friday. Winslow missed the game against the Giants and was hospitalized three nights last week because of an undisclosed illness.

--SS Sean Jones practiced without limitations Wednesday. He continues to progress from arthroscopic surgery Sept. 11 and is expected to start against Washington.

--Against all odds, the Browns sack leader after five games is rookie seventh round pick Alex Hall with three. He is not a great run-stopper, so Willie McGinest will continue to start.

--If Sean Jones does start at strong safety, Mike Adams can go back to being the nickel back. Last week the Giants had success isolating Plaxico Burress on Terry Cousin when Cousin was in the slot.

--Steve Heiden caught five passes against the Giants in Kellen Winslow's absence, but he will go back to being primarily a blocking tight end if Winslow starts.

--RT Ryan Tucker returned to practice after resting his knee on Wednesday. He was limited Thursday.

--RT Kevin Shaffer became more involved in practice Thursday. He has not had contact since suffering a concussion Sept. 28 in the game against the Bengals.

GAME PLAN: The Browns used a balanced offense to beat the Giants and want to use the same attack against the Redskins. Derek Anderson is effective rolling out to his right. He did that against the Giants and bought time to throw downfield. With Donte Stallworth back, the Browns expect some single coverage on Braylon Edwards.

Getting to the quarterback is still a problem for the Browns. A key for them will be maintaining their gaps when Clinton Portis tries to cut back against the grain.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH: Browns LB Leon Williams, who has 17 tackles, vs. Redskins TE Chris Cooley, who has 30 receptions. The Browns have difficulty matching up with opposing tight ends. This job could go to Sean Jones if the strong safety returns fully after missing four games recovering from knee surgery.

Browns RB Jamal Lewis, the team's leading rusher with 323 yards, vs. Redskins LB London Fletcher. Fletcher leads the Redskins with 50 tackles. Lewis ran more aggressively last week than he has at times this year. Getting Ryan Tucker back at right tackle is a big boost to the run offense. Tucker is a power run blocker.

INJURY IMPACT: The Browns are keeping a close watch on Kellen Winslow. His undisclosed illness prevented him from practicing Wednesday. Steve Heiden can step in if Winslow has to miss a second game, but the Browns are better with Winslow. ... Kevin Shaffer believes he is over his concussion. Ryan Tucker is still expected to start at right tackle.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: October 17, 2008

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Robaire Smith Name: Robaire Smith
Position: DE
Age: 30
Experience: 9 years
College: Michigan State
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