Tuesday PM Practice Report

It's Tuesday, August 19th, 2003 and Chaun Thompson has seen the light. The big linebacker from the little school talks about the "whole different mentality" he encountered when the practice ended and games began. Plus, Andre Davis takes some steps back, new defenders impress, Jamel practices, and Andra Davis warns against developing a distaste for "vanilla". Here's Mike with the first report from today's practice...

BEREA – Chaun Thompson admits that it might have been unwise for him to suggest he needed just a few days of training camp to get up to speed.

"I over-spoke," he said. "I was going through practice like it was cool. It's a whole different mentality when they turn the lights on out there."

Thompson has found the conversion from NCAA Division AA college football to the NFL to be steeper than he expected. He didn't help his cause by missing more than one week of camp.

"I need to carry more of a load. I need to be more physical," Thompson said. "I thought that going from a small school to here would be easy, until I got in the first game. At Michigan they teach you techniques. At West Texas (A&M) they give you a playbook and say, ‘Go and make plays.' Up here, everything is so precise, you have to be on top of everything."

Thompson injured a knee last Saturday against Green Bay. He says the knee is fine, but it's unlikely that he'll play against Detroit.

Receiver Andre Davis is making strides as he retruns from a three-week absence because of sprained knee ligaments and a hyperextended knee. Davis has been on the practice field the last two days.

"It's been real frustrating," Davis said. "It's the first time I've been out for this long. To see all the receivers playing so well, you always want to be a part of it."

Davis won't play against Lions. He hopes to play a week from Thursday against Atlanta in the preseason finale.

"I don't want the first game to be against Indianapolis and being the first time I'd be testing it," said Davis, a second-round pick in the 2002 draft. "I'm looking forward to going day by day, adding a little more and to just get going."

Butch Davis is pleased with the play of rookie free-agent linebackers Sherrod Coates, Howard Clark, Mason Unck and Jeremy Lloyd.

"This is really a solid, good group of guys," Butch said. "They've all in their own rights shown us some things."

With Thompson likely to sit out the Detroit game, Clark could see plenty of time at strong-side linebacker.

Running back Jamel White, who's been hobbled by a hamstring pull, has been getting in work this week. However, don't expect to see him against the Lions.

Middle linebacker Andra Davis warns against being too concerned about the play of the defense to date.

"We're very vanilla right now," Andra said. "We're not showing anything. Once everybody gets the scheme down, if after the first few games of the season we're still missing those tackles and are out of our gaps, then it becomes a problem."

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