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News » Cleveland Browns Strategy and Personnel 2008-08-21

Cleveland Browns Strategy and Personnel 2008-08-21

Cleveland Browns Strategy and Personnel 2008-08-21
--Rookie TE Martin Rucker will miss six weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery to remove cartilage in his left knee. He was having a good training camp. He caught five passes for 70 yards in the preseason opener. Now the Browns have to decide whether to carry him on the roster until he heals or put him on injured reserve.

--Rookie OLB Alex Hall had been working on the right side behind Kamerion Wimbley. He has shifted to the left side, something Romeo Crennel had been contemplating since Antwan Peek underwent arthroscopic surgery two weeks ago. Peek is on target to be ready for the opener Sept. 7, but Crennel wants Hall to know both positions.

"If he's good enough to make the team, then he's going to have to be able to swing to both sides," Crennel said. "Guys will try to learn the system and their position. If you start flipping them too early, they get a little bit more confused."

--CB A.J. Davis is fighting for a roster spot. He is victimized when he goes against Braylon Edwards (now injured) or Donte Stallworth, but he holds his own against slower receivers.

--Romeo Crennel is impressed with FB Charles Ali. It would not be a complete shock if the Browns go into the season with Jamal Lewis, Jason Smith and Lawrence Vickers as the running backs and Ali as the fullback. That would mean waiving Jerome Harrison.

"There are some things you can change about a player and some things you can't change," Crennel said of Harrison. "One of the main things is his stature. He's just not the tallest guy in the world but he's got a big heart and he gives good effort.

"I think as the cut-down date comes, we'll take a look at it and see what's best for the team and see how he can help the team. We know he has particular abilities and the team can use those abilities but we have to look at it and see how he fits in the big picture."

--WR Syndric Steptoe is getting extensive work as a punt and kick returner backing up Joshua Cribbs, and returned a kick 90 yards to the Giants' 9-yard line Monday night. It is unlikely, but Steptoe might take away some of Cribbs' return duties if Cribbs takes on a more extensive role in the offense. Steptoe also had a 44-yard touchdown reception off a Brady Quinn pass.

BATTLE OF THE WEEK: Training camp began with Travis Wilson and Kevin Kasper battling for the third receiver spot. Kasper has faded because he cannot shake a sore hamstring, but first-year player Steve Sanders is in the battle with Wilson now. Wilson is ahead; he is starting in place of Braylon Edwards against the Giants Monday night.

Edwards is recovering from being stepped on by Donte Stallworth while the receivers were running sprints. Edwards was not wearing shoes when Stallworth stepped on his right heel.

OTHER BATTLE FRONTS: Mike Adams has taken the lead on Terry Cousin in the battle to be the nickel back. ... Louis Leonard is ahead of rookie Ahtyba Rubin to be a backup nose tackle, but both should make the team. Leonard has been getting work at defensive end.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK: WR/return specialist Joshua Cribbs -- Cribbs is making a strong case to be more involved in the offense (12 touches each of the past two years). He threw a 50-yard touchdown pass in practice on Friday and has been lining up at wide receiver, quarterback and running back.

ROOKIE REPORT: Fourth-round LB Beau Bell is out four-to-five weeks recovering from knee surgery. ... Fourth-round TE Martin Rucker is recovering from knee surgery and will miss six weeks. ... Sixth-round NT Ahtyba Rubin plays well against the run in practice. ... Sixth-round WR Paul Hubbard is playing with more confidence than he did early in camp. ... Seventh-round LB Alex Hall is still raw, but he shows he can get to the quarterback.


--QB Derek Anderson left Monday night's loss to the Giants with a possible concussion following a sack by DE Osi Umenyiora. He was just 4-of-10 for 20 yards in the game.

--LB Antwan Peek (knee) is out at least three more weeks.

--LB Beau Bell (knee) is out four to five weeks.

--TE Martin Rucker (knee) is out six weeks.

--RG Ryan Tucker (hip) is on PUP, but he hopes to be ready for the opener.

--WR Joe Jurevicius (knee) is on PUP. He might not be ready until the end of October.

--WR Kevin Kasper (hamstring) is day-to-day.

--WR Braylon Edwards (heel) will not play against the Giants Monday and might miss the preseason game Saturday in Detroit.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: August 21, 2008

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Lennie Friedman Name: Lennie Friedman
Position: OG
Age: 31
Experience: 10 years
College: Duke
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