Berea Report: The Search for a Streak

After blowing the Bengals out of Cleveland Browns Stadium, the Browns are quickly turning their attention to a much tougher foe: Meek, sedate wide receiver Terrell Owens and the Eagles. Also news from Berea today: Flattened linebackers, fumbled snaps, injured toes, and that Owens guy and his mouth...<BR>

BEREA – There's been talk about consistency in the aftermath of the Browns' 34-17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.

The problem is that the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles are next up for the Browns. The Eagles have won each of their five games by a double-digit margin.

"Somewhere during the course of the season you need to get on a roll," Browns coach Butch Davis said. "It comes from confidence. It comes from getting guys back. It's remarkable how well you can play when you get some of your players back."

Since their return to the NFL in 1999, the Browns have won more than one game in a row eight times. Seven of the streaks have covered two games, and in Davis' first year as coach in 2001 the Browns won three straight games after losing the opener.

Asked how hard it is to keep momentum going, Davis said, "I don't know. We' ll find out when we get some going."

SMASHMOUTH SMITH: Davis can't say enough good things about the blocking of fullback Terrelle Smith.

Smith was credited with helping pave the way for a 139-yard rushing effort last Sunday. On a 9-yard run by William Green in the second quarter, Smith knocked out Bengals linebacker Landon Johnson with a powerful block.

Smith acted like a bird as he glided to the sideline to inspire his teammates to pick up on his lead after the play.

"There was a certain element of leadership on this team, but we needed to add more veterans," Davis said. "In 2002 we lost a lot of guys that brought pizzazz and charisma to the team. One of the things we felt in the offseason was that we needed to add more spark-plug type guys.

"The first time I saw (Saints coach) Jim Haslett (after signing Smith), he said, ‘You're going to love this kid. You're going to be amazed at all the intangibles he's going to bring to your football team.' "

SNAP DROP 2004: Davis is concerned about the number of fumbles on the exchange between center Jeff Faine and quarterback Jeff Garcia.

"We've got to put the fire out. It has to stop," Davis said. "Our miscues are the only things that kept them in the game. You can't put the fault on one individual. It's something they have to work out together."

GAMEBALLS AND INJURIES: A game ball was awarded to kicker Phil Dawson, who made both of his field-goal attempts. Defensive honors went to cornerback Daylon McCutcheon, linebacker Chaun Thompson, tackle Alvin McKinley and safety Chris Crocker. Offensive honors went to the entire line, Green, running back Lee Suggs and Garcia.

Receiver Andre Davis has his foot in a boot because of a toe injury. Butch said the injury is similar to turf toe.

Andre is listed as day to day. Guard Kelvin Garmon (quadriceps) and offensive tackle Ross Verba (groin) are listed as day to day. Linebacker Barry Gardner is week to week with a groin injury.

T.O.? WHO? It appears as if most of the players don't want to make a big issue out of controversial comments Eagles receiver Terrell Owens has made about former teammate Jeff Garcia. Owens has been critical of Garcia's arm strength and in a Playboy interview he questioned Garcia's sexuality.

"I don't think (it will be a distraction)," tight end Aaron Shea said. "I don't go against Terrell Owens. I really could care less about the guy. It's unfortunate he says the stuff he says."

Garcia was asked about seeing Owens on the opposite side of the field after Sunday's win over the Bengals.

"It's not about myself playing TO," Garcia said. "It's not about a one-on-one battle. It's about the Cleveland Browns playing the Philadelphia Eagles. He' s moved on, and he's doing a great job in Philly. I've moved on, and I'm trying to handle my own here."

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