Berea Report: The Day After

Here's Monday's Berea Report, wherein worst right tackle fears are realized, back-up QBs are discussed, subjects are avoided, blitzes are potentially nixed, and so forth. Here's Mike with your first independent word from today's events at Browns HQ...<BR><BR>

BEREA – Ryan Tucker's season has come an end, adding more misery to the path ahead for coach Butch Davis.

Tucker tore the medial colateral ligament and suffered a partial tear of the lateral meniscus in his left knee against the New York Jets. He'll wait a week for the swelling to reduce and will probably have arthroscopic surgery next week.

Tucker is the 11th player to go on injured-reserve and the third offensive starter. Tight end Kellen Winslow went down with an ankle injury in the second game, and Garmon suffered a season-ending knee injury in the eighth game.

Tucker tried to remain positive Monday, but it's a hard theme to sell.

"The season's not over," Tucker said. "We can still salvage a lot. We can still win some games and build up our confidence again. We just need to win one game and then take it from there."

Joaquin Gonzalez, who started at right guard when Garmon went down, will start in place of Tucker. Paul Zukauskas, who was recently benched for Enoch Demar at left guard, will likely start at right guard.

The problem is that nobody can adequately replace Tucker at right tackle.

"He was playing well," Davis said. "On a winning football team, I'd say he probably gets legitimate consideration for a Pro Bowl player. But there will be people that will argue that how can a 3-7 team have anyone deserving to be in the Pro Bowl?"

This is the second time Tucker has injured his left knee. He suffered a tear of the anterior cruciate ligament while at TCU.

Davis didn't give a clear answer when asked if Kelly Holcomb or rookie Luke McCown would start if quarterback Jeff Garcia can't go against the Bengals. Garcia has a slight separation of his right shoulder. It's not known if he'll be able to practice Wednesday.

While fans have been calling for McCown, Davis seems inclined to give the rookie more time.

"We wanted to try to find a talented young quarterback to invest some time in and not put any pressure on him," Davis said of McCown. "Don't create the Tim Couch situation where you want somebody to be the end all to all of your problems."

: Davis didn't want to discuss conversations he may have had with owner Randy Lerner about his job security.

"I'm so focused on trying to win these games and to help this team and to look at what's wrong and what's right," Davis said. "We put together a 45-play tape to show to the players of the things they're capable of doing when they do it on a consistent basis. I'm worried about each game and trying to help this team get better. That's the only focus that I've got."

: Don't expect defensive coordinator Dave Campo to continue calling a lot of blitzes in future games because of the success the Browns had in blitzing Jets quarterback Quincy Carter.

"Every game is different," Davis said. "If you blitz, you're playing zero coverage with no help. Do you like the matchups? Is it an offensive line you can take advantage of? Is it a quarterback who doesn't make good decisions with the ball? There are a multitude of reasons why you blitz. You can blitz every single down. You might lead the league is sacks, but you'd probably also lead the league in touchdowns given up."

: Receivers Andre Davis (toe) and Andre King (ankle) are improving and are listed as day-to-day. Garcia and running back Lee Suggs (toe) are also listed as day-to-day.

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