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News » Cleveland Browns Strategy and Personnel 2008-08-04

Cleveland Browns Strategy and Personnel 2008-08-04

Cleveland Browns Strategy and Personnel 2008-08-04
LB Antwan Peek clutched his right knee after practice July 28 and two days later was on the injury report. On July 31, he had arthroscopic surgery. He will miss the entire preseason. The Browns are hopeful he will be ready for the season opener.

Nagging injuries plagued Peek all year in 2007. The Browns do not want a repeat, so the Browns are being very cautious. Any time Peek comes up limping there is cause for concern.

"He brings a lot to the table as a rusher because he has some quickness and physicality about him," coach Romeo Crennel said. "He played with some bumps and bruises last year. If we can keep him out there and healthy, I think he'll make a big impact on the defense and on the pass rush."

--Romeo Crennel wants Brady Quinn to be sharper in practice. Quinn threw three interceptions one day and a few days later was picked again. In between, he ended practice one day with a touchdown pass to Joshua Cribbs in the two-minute drill. The play covered 55 yards. Quinn zipped a laser to Cribbs on a deep slant and hit him in stride.

"He's taken some opportunities to try to make plays down the field that maybe last year he wouldn't make because he would just take what the defense gave him," Crennel said. "But I think he has a better command of the offense. He's trying to anticipate when he can make the play down the field, so I think some of that has occurred."

--Asked to name what young players have jumped out in training camp, Romeo Crennel named rookie LB Alex Hall and undrafted rookie RB Travis Thomas. Thomas, 5-11, 215 pounds, is intriguing because, of his 14 career starts at Notre Dame, 10 were at linebacker. To make the Browns roster, he will have to beat out Jason Wright or Jerome Harrison.

"My goal is to beat out one of them," Thomas said. "It's up to the coaches to decide whether I do that. All I can control is my effort and the way I play. It's a lot of competition, but it's healthy competition."

Thomas has not been a hesitant runner.

--Part-time WR Joshua Cribbs, a Pro Bowl player as a kick and punt returner last year, has been taking direct snaps in practice. Each time he ran the ball. A quarterback at Kent State, Cribbs is itching to pass.

"I feel empowered when I'm at quarterback," Cribbs said. "It's a great feeling. I love it. I'm telling the coaches to give me a wristband with the plays on it."

--The addition of Shaun Rogers is doing what it was supposed to do -- at least in practice. Rogers is causing so much commotion that Kamerion Wimbley is getting to the quarterback more. Of course, Wimbley is not about to sack his teammate, but he is hopeful adding Rogers and Corey Williams will allow him to increase his sack total of five last year. He had 11 sacks as a rookie in 2006.

BATTLE OF THE WEEK: Rookie Alex Hall vs. David McMillan at OLB -- The Browns assumed Hall would be a project when they drafted him from St. Augustine in the seventh round, but he looks comfortable making the leap to the NFL. McMillan was a fifth-round draft choice in 2005. He has played in 29 games with no starts. He has two career tackles. Time might be running out on him. Hall intercepted a pass from Brady Quinn early in camp and during a non-tackling intra-squad scrimmage, he was credited with sacking Ken Dorsey.

OTHER BATTLE FRONTS: Jason Wright has returned from a pulled hamstring and has reestablished himself as Jamal Lewis' backup. Jerome Harrison is still making a strong push for playing time. ... Darnell Dinkins has taken advantage of a knee injury to Steve Heiden and rest given to Kellen Winslow to show he should be retained at tight end. His competition is coming from rookie Martin Rucker.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK: CB Brandon McDonald -- The more McDonald practices, the fewer questions exist about his ability to establish himself as the starting right cornerback. He intercepted a pass for Braylon Edwards and broke up another pass in the same practice.

ROOKIE WATCH: LB Beau Bell is getting more comfortable in the defense. He is working alongside Leon Williams on the second team. ... TE Martin Rucker is developing good chemistry with Brady Quinn. He looks comfortable catching passes over the middle. ... NT Ahtyba Rubin is a project. He will have to get stronger to gain playing time down the road. ... WR Paul Hubbard has to become more aggressive. During the scrimmage, he stood and watched Eric Wright make an interception in front of him. He did not attempt to break up the pass. ... With LB Antwan Peek out because of a knee injury, LB Alex Hall is getting practice time on the left side. He had been working behind Kamerion Wimbley on the right side.

INJURY REPORT: RG Ryan Tucker (hip) and WR Joe Jurevicius (knee) are on PUP.

LB Antwan Peek is starting his rehab following arthroscopic knee surgery. He will miss the preseason.

TE Steve Heiden (knee), RB Lawrence Vickers (hamstring), WR Kevin Kasper (hamstring), DE Corey Williams (shoulder) and S Gary Baxter (knee) are day-to-day.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: August 4, 2008

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Dave Zastudil Name: Dave Zastudil
Position: P
Age: 29
Experience: 7 years
College: Ohio
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