Roman Oben was one of the happiest players in the Browns' locker room after their 41-38 win over the Tennessee Titans.
Relegated to the bench the previous two weeks because of ineffective play, Oben was given a starting assignment when Ross Verba couldn't answer the call because of a stomach virus. Oben wasn't pleased about the circumstances that led to his return to left tackle after starting the first 12 games, but he was ecstatic about his play as the Browns generated 409 yards of offense.
"It feels good," Oben said. "I just wanted an opportunity to succeed, and then that opportunity was taken away from me."
Oben has never criticized coach Butch Davis for benching him. He does admit that not playing the last two weeks wasn't easy to handle.
"I'm just upset about not being able to compete on Sunday," Oben said. "When it sets in is on Saturday morning walk-through when you're about to go to the plane or the hotel and you're not going to be out there breaking out of the huddle or running out of the tunnel.
"Maybe I was one of the reasons why we weren't running the ball that well," he added. "He (Davis) made a decision because he thinks that will help the team, but I'm just a backup trying to help the team win. That's what I did today."
MOVING UP: Rookie receiver Andre King continues to climb the depth chart. King had three receptions for 61 yards. He has moved ahead of Dennis Northcutt, who didn't play a single down.
King was emotional on draft day when talking to reporters. As a 28-year-old rookie who gave up a baseball career to play football at the University of Miami, King became tearful last April when realizing that he was destined for a future in the NFL.
"It's been a long road," King said. "To be in the minor leagues and then coming up here, it's been a long trip. I owe it to coach Davis and (player personnel man) Pete Garcia. I owe it to them. It's a case of playing hard for them every week."
NOT WORRIED: Cornerback Corey Fuller has always been in the corner of quarterback Tim Couch. Fuller felt a sense of vindication after Couch threw for 336 yards and three touchdowns.
"Like I told him earlier in the week: ‘You are the quarterback, and you are the future,' "Fuller said. "There are no ifs, ands or buts about it. We have to have confidence in him if we're going to get the job done."
QUITE A YEAR: Receiver Kevin Johnson caught six passes for 70 yards, giving him more than 1,000 yards for the season. He's the third Brown to have more than 1,000 receiving yards in a season. Ozzie Newsome did it twice, and Webster Slaughter did it once.
BIG NUMBERS: The 24 points scored by the Browns in the first half were the most they've scored in a half since their return to the NFL in 1999. The Browns' offensive output of 41 points is their most since scoring 42 points against the then Los Angeles Rams in 1993.