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News » Study gives good reviews to clubs' anti-staph efforts

Study gives good reviews to clubs' anti-staph efforts

Study gives good reviews to clubs' anti-staph efforts

With Free Agency still proceeding and more than 200 players still looking for new teams, the Browns received some good news this week. They received high marks in a study conducted by the NFL and players union on staph infection prevention measures.

The Browns' facility was one of seven in the NFL that two infectious disease experts, Dr. Donald Poretz and Dr. Daniel Sexton, visited between December 2008 and February 2009.

Poretz also interviewed the Browns' medical staff and those of the Ravens, Dolphins, Saints, Jets, Eagles and Redskins.

Here are some excerpts from the report, released by the NFL:

"Each of the seven teams that were surveyed has a comprehensive, realistic and appropriate level of concern about the problem of MRSA [Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus] infections in their players. And more importantly, each of these teams has developed an appropriate, reasonable and effective strategy for recognizing and controlling the spread of MRSA if a random case of infection arises in an individual player."

"Equally important, each team surveyed has attempted to prevent MRSA infections in their players by utilizing appropriate protocols and practices related to the care of minor skin injuries."

In a statement provided by the Browns, team President Mike Keenan said, "We were pleased to receive the results of the independent study conducted by the NFL and NFLPA which confirmed that we are doing everything we can in terms of prevention and treatment."

The report disclosed that there were 33 MRSA infections league-wide from 2006 to '08 versus 60 MRSA infections from 2003 to '05 - "a nearly 50 percent decline," it notes.

But the report doesn't address why the incidence of staph increased in Cleveland during that period. The Browns had four publicized incidents of staph infection from 2006 to '08 (Kellen Winslow, Joe Jurevicius, LeCharles Bentley and Brian Russell) and three incidents from 2003 to '05 (Winslow, Braylon Edwards and Ben Taylor).

The report's excerpts contain one sentence that could explain why the Browns' incidents went up despite the team's exemplary efforts to detect, treat and prevent MRSA infections.

It said: "Post-operative MRSA infections cannot be attributed to deficiencies in control and prevention activities in team training facilities."

Bodden all smiles: Former Browns cornerback Leigh Bodden signed a one-year deal with New England for a reported $2.25 million. He agreed that suffering through an 0-16 season with Detroit impacted his choice of teams in Free Agency.

"Not being a part of a winning team definitely takes a toll on you," Bodden said in a conference call with New England reporters. "Everybody wants to win in this league, but everybody is not fortunate enough to be on winning teams. But I had a choice to be on a winner and I chose that, and I'm just excited for the challenge."

Former Cleveland teammate Andra Davis raved to the Boston Herald about Bodden.

"He's going to do great in New England and be a great addition to that team, being around a better bunch of players," Davis said. "I think he's going to be a great fit, because, to me, he's one of those Champ Bailey corners. I used to tell my agent that he was one of the best corners in the league."

Patience paid off: When the Titans tried to re-sign defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth last summer, they would not budge from their final offer of $32 million over four years.

Haynesworth recently revealed to the Nashville Tennessean, "I was like, 'I'll take four years for $34 million' and they were like, 'Nope.' . . . I was like, 'If you move a million here or there I'll take that,' and they were like, 'Nope.'

"It was frustrating, but I almost took it. I look at it now and I'm happy I didn't. I can now set up all my family and their kids with what I got. It worked out pretty well, I guess."

Haynesworth didn't cave and played lights-out in 2008 under the team's franchise-tag contract. Then he hit the jackpot in this year's free agent sweepstakes - a $100 million deal from the Redskins with an NFL-record $41 million in guarantees.

For team owners, the moral of the story might be this: Sometimes it's worth spending an extra million or two to keep your own players happy.

Over the Falls: Buffalo's signing of Terrell Owens shocked nearly everybody, but when the dust settled, the move makes a lot of sense. Certainly the Bills have a need for a receiver of Owens' ability.

They've finished in the bottom eight in the NFL in total yards for six straight years. Also, coach Dick Jauron is on the hot seat after three straight 7-9 seasons. Further, Owens might help stave off a drop in season-ticket sales. The Bills have been bland since the Jim Kelly Super Bowl era vanished 15 years ago.

Jauron always has been a popular coach with his players, no matter the teams (Bears, Lions and Bills). Players respect him immensely and he might be the right coach to bring out the best in Owens. Further, the Bills are only tied to Owens for one year (for $6.5 million).

The move also gives AFC East rivals New England, Miami and the Jets a new challenge when playing Buffalo.

To reach this Plain Dealer reporter: tgrossi@plaind.com, 216-999-4670

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 18, 2009

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David McMillan Name: David McMillan
Position: LB
Age: 26
Experience: 4 years
College: Kansas
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