Jackson Ponders the Pine

Joe Vardon sits in for Dave today, and brings us updates from a wet and rainy Berea, Ohio. Taking center stage again today was running back James Jackson, who continues to be at the center of trade rumors. Plus... training camp comes to a "healthy" close. Here's the latest!

BEREA — Cleveland backup running back James Jackson remains adamant that he doesn't think about a potential trade to the Miami Dolphins.

If his claim is true, then it's anyone's guess as to how he can entertain round after round of questions from reporters regarding his possible departure.

As the rumors mount concerning Miami's interest in acquiring a running back to replace the recently-retired Ricky Williams, Jackson continues to discuss his candidacy for that role. He maintains that any trade the Browns make is out of his hands, but illustrated his desire to be with a team that could grant him more playing time than Cleveland can offer.

"I don't want to ride the bench anymore," Jackson said. "That would be hard for me, riding the bench again. Very hard for me."
If the Browns don't trade Jackson to Miami or another team, the bench might be his only option. With Lee Suggs and William Green slotted to get the bulk of the carries this season, Jackson's best chance to play might be on special teams or in third-down situations.

"I don't know how coach Davis will work it," Jackson said. "Each back is good. He might want to give each back 25 carries. If that happens, there won't be any room for anybody else."

Perhaps the best news for Jackson is that he will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season. He said on Thursday that he'd like to play five more years after this season, and will be looking to spend his remaining time in the NFL wearing a different uniform.

"It's time for new money," Jackson said.

THAT'S ALL FOLKS — The Browns ended training camp yesterday with two indoor practices. They focused on special teams in the morning and prepared themselves for Saturday's preseason game against the Detroit Lions in the afternoon.

Due to the rain, the team was forced to workout inside its fieldhouse, keeping all fans and media (aside from one pool reporter and photographer) from getting to watch the last open practice of the season.

All workouts for the rest of the year will be closed to the public.

Of all the positive things the Browns felt they saw during camp, the brightest spot was a lack of injuries to infect the team.
Starting outside linebacker Chaun Thompson (broken wrist) and backup middle linebacker Brant Boyer (broken foot) are Cleveland's only regulars to miss significant time due to injury.

Compared to the health of some teams in the league — a Browns spokesperson said there are 125 players listed on injury reports in the NFL — Cleveland made it through camp basically in one piece.

"I think we've been pretty fortunate, and we need to stay fortunate," Cleveland coach Butch Davis said. "We all saw what happens when you're unlucky a year ago. Fourteen guys go on injured reserve ... and we didn't give ourselves much of a chance to be as competitive as we would've liked."

STILL SMARTING — Backup center Melvin Fowler and defensive back Roosevelt Williams both sat out on Thursday with sprained ankles. Their status is day-to-day.

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