Third Straight Start for Couch?

FIRST REPORT: Mike McLain provides the first independent report on today's events in Berea. Injury updates on Kelly Holcomb and Quincy Morgan (above) highlight an upbeat day-after...

BEREA – Unless Kelly Holcomb makes rapid improvement in recovering from a fractured right fibula, Tim Couch will start at quarterback Sunday against Oakland.

Coach Butch Davis announced Monday that Holcomb still isn't ready to play a game. Davis added that the situation could change as the week develops.

"If we were going to play a game today, Tim Couch would be the quarterback," Davis said. "As the week progresses, it's my assumption that Tim Couch will be the quarterback again this week. Until Kelly is 100 percent, and he's truly able to go out and play, there's no reason to make a change."

Holcomb's injury wasn't expected to keep him sidelined for much more than one week. It now appears probable that he'll miss at least four weeks.

"I can't even begin to project how long it takes for some things to heal," Davis said. "Doctors within some reasonable expectation can tell you if it's a sprained ankle that it's seven to 10 days. If it's a high ankle sprain, it might be the end of the season. I can't even begin to tell you how long it takes that stuff to heal.


PRACTICE PERFECTION: Davis credited the win over Pittsburgh to the way the team approached practices last week. Linebacker Brant Boyer thinks the loss to Cincinnati was a learning experience.

"It might have been," Boyer said. "Guys have to show up and play every week. They have to realize that you can't take a week off. You can't feel better about one team. You can't get more up for the Steelers than the Cincinnati Bengals. Any team can beat you at any time."


FLY AWAY HOME: Davis joked about changes the Browns have contemplated to deal with Sunday's home game against Oakland.

"I want to turn the corner," Davis said of the Browns' home woes. "I think we're going to get on a plane and fly to Akron and bus back to Cleveland."


MORGAN PRACTICES: The Browns suffered no major injuries. Receiver Quincy Morgan sprained a knee in the second quarter and played sparingly in the second half. He went through the light practice that was conducted Monday.


GAME BALLS AND PARKING SPOTS: Game balls went to Courtney Brown, Daylon McCutcheon and Earl Little on defense. Brown had two sacks, two pressures, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery McCutcheon returned an interception 75 yards for a touchdown, and Little had an interception.

Everyone on the offensive line was given a ball. William Green, who rushed for 115 yards, and Tim Couch also received balls.

Andre Davis' 69-yard kick return earned him a ball.

Davis uses a point system to rate special teams performances. Boyer and Barry Gardner tied for first against the Steelers. The prize for winning is a preferred parking space in the players' lot.

"You know how the weather is here," Davis said. "They're playing harder for a parking spot than they are for money."


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