Beaming Praise for new Browns RB

The Browns clearly think that they may have gotten a steal with the fourth-round selection of Virginia Tech running back Lee Suggs, and would like for the fans and media to reach the same conclusion. Helping them in that cause is VT head coach Frank Beamer, who offered his thoughts about Suggs and his potential today. Mike McLain was in Berea, and has the full report.

BEREA - Not surprisingly, Virginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer is convinced that the Browns made a wise decision in selecting running back Lee Suggs in the fourth round of the NFL draft.

So what if Suggs will probably have surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff. Beamer thinks that once Suggs is healthy, he'll make Browns' fans happy for years to come.

"The thing I know about Lee Suggs is that I think he's a really good player," Beamer said. "He's such a good short yardage runner - he has a great knack of finding a little crease and jumping in it, and he's a guy that can take it all the way. He's got the speed to do that, plus he'll come out of the backfield and catch the ball. He's got good hands and he'll block.

"I think Cleveland got a great deal to be quite honest with you getting him at that position. In the end I'm a guy that I almost know that he'll make the team and he'll play and be very productive. The Browns are going to be glad to have him before it's all over."

Suggs (5-11 and 201 pounds) rushed for 1,207 yards and scored 27 touchdowns in his sophomore season of 2000 at Virginia Tech. Suggs then tore the anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus in a knee in the third quarter of the Hokies' 2001 season opener against Connecticut. He underwent surgery two weeks later and missed the remainder of the season.

Suggs bounced back surprisingly well last season, looking like the runner that had such a big sophomore season. He rushed for 1,325 yards on 257 carries and scored 22 touchdowns.

"I thought he was faster this fall than he was previously," Beamer said. "I don't think there's any question that he's fully recovered from his knee injury."

The shoulder injury occurred when Suggs was lifting weights in California after last season ended. A physical examination at the scouting combine practices in late February revealed possible damage to the rotator cuff.

Browns coach Butch Davis said that Suggs would probably have surgery that would sideline him for the upcoming season. Beamer expects Suggs to handle the recovery process without any problems.

"The thing I can tell you about Lee is that whatever the deal is he'll work hard. There's not a better person as far as being serious about what he needs to get accomplished and what it takes to get accomplished," Beamer said. "With his knee he was relentless in his efforts to get that thing back, and like I said I thought he was better than before. He'll do whatever it takes to get the job done, I can assure you of that."

Suggs is known for his ability in short-yardage situations. He also has good hands, although Beamer rarely asked him to be a big part of the passing game.

"It was the nature of our football team last year that we were certainly a better running football team than we were throwing, but he can catch the ball really well coming out of the backfield, and he can block and pass protect," Beamer said.

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