Warren's Play a Bright Spot

Mike looks at Big Money's big plays, plus lots of other tidbits from Sunday's game...

DENVER - One bright spot in the Cleveland Browns' 23-20 overtime loss to the Denver Broncos was the play of defensive tackle Gerard Warren.

Warren looked like a third overall pick in making four tackles and registering two sacks for minus 12 yards. Warren appeared dominant at times.

"The coaches obviously expect a lot out of me," Warren said. "I was getting a lot of double teaming this year. If I get one-on-one, I don't think anyone in this league can block me."

Warren has been criticized often this year after coming off a poor 2002 season. Warren, who was out of shape last season, reported to training camp this year in good shape, but he didn't produce as expected early in the season. That changed with his play Sunday.

"I didn't need to be reassured," Warren said. "The guys on the other side of me have confidence in me. I've begged them to tell me something if I needed to change my game."


OTHER GAME NOTES:

  • Cornerback Daylon McCutcheon was deactivated because of a lingering ankle injury. The move was surprising because McCutcheon was listed as probable on the injury report. Roosevelt Williams started in place of McCutcheon.
  • Linebacker Ben Taylor wasn't able to answer the call, which Brant Boyer got another start. Taylor hasn't started since Nov. 9 against Kansas City. He hurt his back during that game. Two weeks later he suffered a staph infection in his right elbow.
  • Right tackle Ryan Tucker is the only lineman to start every game this season. If he starts the next two games, it will be the second time in his career that he's started 16 games. He got the call 16 times in 2001 with the St. Louis Rams.
  • Denver is 3-0 in overtime games against Cleveland, with all three scores being 23-20. Fred Steinfort kicked the game-winning field goal in Denver Nov. 8, 1981. Rich Karlis kicked a 33-yard field goal in the 1986 AFC Championship Game in Cleveland. Jason Elam kicked a 25-yard field goal Sunday.
  • Rookie cornerback Michael Lehan played most of the game in place of Anthony Henry, who has a knee injury. Henry replaced Williams on nickel situations. Michael Jameson was the nickel back instead of Chris Crocker.
  • With three receptions for 115 yards, Dennis Northcutt logged his second career 100-yard receiving game. He had a career-long reception of 44 yards.
  • Linebacker  Chaun Thompson sprained his left ankle on the opening kick off. Thompson returned to action.
  • Receiver Andre Davis had his playing time reduced because of the effects of the flu. He managed to play significantly in the second half and caught a 35-yard touchdown pass from Tim Couch.
  • The Browns deactivated Derrick Frost; third quarterback Nate Hybl; defensive backs Ron Israel and McCutcheon; linebacker Craig Osika; receiver C.J. Jones and defensive lineman Felipe Claybrooks.


     

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