Butch gets tough

Butch Davis has taken a firm stance with the three Browns who were arrested earlier this week.

Butch Davis has taken a firm stance with the three Browns who were arrested earlier this week.

Davis suspended defensive tackle Gerard Warren, H-back Mike Sellers and cornerback Lamar Chapman for one week. Each player will be fined an amount close to the total of one game check.

"I've always looked at players on this football team like members of my family," Davis said. "Sometimes they don't do the right thing all the time, and they don't make the wise choices you want them to make. There are several factors that go with that. If they need help, you have to get them help.

"That doesn't mean that you don't love them, but sometimes you have to have tough love. Subsequently to that, we are going to suspend the three players from the game this week under the premise that we are not judging anything they might have done criminally other than the fact it was conduct detrimental to the football team."

Warren and Sellers practiced Wednesday, working with the scout team. Chapman is sidelined for the season with a knee injury.

Davis showed clear disappointment by the players' lack of responsibility.

"Not only performance on the field, but the performances of the players off the field are an extension of this organization," Davis said. "It's embarrassing to Mr. Lerner (Browns owner Al Lerner), the whole team and to this city.

"That's part of accountability. There are boundaries. They have to know that there's going to be accountability and punishment, but the punishment must fit the crime."

Carmen Policy defended Davis' decision.

"I love the coach's approach," Policy said. "He's maintaining discipline, and he's engaging in tough love. I think he's being a great parent to this team under these circumstances.

NOT MUCH TO SAY: The few players that showed up in the locker room before Wednesday's practice were careful not to discuss the arrests.

The only issue players agreed to talk about concerned the importance of putting the incidents behind them and concentrating on Sunday's home game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Some did say that they're standing behind Gerard Warren, Mike Sellers and Lamar Chapman.

"It's not a real big distraction," quarterback Tim Couch said. "We obviously thought about it on our day off, but now we're just worried about Cincinnati. Those guys are our teammates, our family members. We're going to be supportive and stay behind them."

Safety Devan Bush said, "We're a team of fighters. No one expected much from us this season. We've been fighting back all year, and we'll do it again."

MAKING A MOVE: Rookie offensive lineman Paul Zukauskas was promoted from the practice squad to the 53-man roster. He replaced offensive lineman Toby Myles, who was waived.

Zukauskas's spot on the practice squad was filled by Gannon Shepherd, who was waived by Jacksonville on Oct. 29. Shepherd, who played at Duke, was originally signed by Chicago as an undrafted free agent in 2000. He spent time on the Bears' and Jaguars' practice squads last year.

Zukauskas was told by Davis early in the season that he would be promoted to the 53-man roster at some point during the season. His next goal is to be on the active roster on game day.

"I hope at some point I will be, especially to get six games in," he said. "That will make it count as a season, and I'll get my second-year salary next year."

INJURY REPORT: Middle linebacker Wali Rainer (ankle) is questionable for the Browns. Listed as probable are running back James Jackson (ankle) and cornerback Daylon McCutcheon (ankle).

Out for the Bengals is offensive guard Matt O'Dwyer (knee). Questionable is receiver Darnay Scott (ribs). Listed as probable are safety JoJuan Armour (ankle); running back Corey Dillon (knee) and receivers Chad Johnson (clavicle) and Peter Warrick (thigh).


The OBR Top Stories