Berea Report: Holcomb Redux

Mike McLain brings us the latest from Berea, including the sequel to last week's exciting episode of the Kelly Holcomb Show, the latest medical updates from Team MCL, and Butch Davis' latest comments to the press. The strange season of 2004 continues...

It will be Kelly Holcomb again at quarterback when the Browns host the New England Patriots Sunday.

Jeff Garcia's ailing right shoulder remains a problem. It's doubtful that he'll get any repetitions in practice this week.

"The doctors reported last week and, I don't think it has changed any, that Jeff's injury would probably be at least two weeks," coach Butch Davis said. " We'll see where Jeff gets to between now and then, but a lot of it certainly is evidenced by the fact that a quarterback's ability to perform is directly related to his ability to take snaps."

Holcomb's play in throwing for 413 yards and five touchdowns in a 58-48 loss to Cincinnati might also have persuaded Davis.

Davis noted that Holcomb wasn't the only offensive star. "As well as Kelly played, the tight ends showed up and were outstanding," Davis said. "They weren't all easy (catches). The first touchdown to Steve Heiden was borderline acrobatic. Antonio Bryant made some plays. Dennis Northcutt made some plays and had a chance to score another touchdown."

Holcomb has soreness in the left side of his upper chest.

ANDRA DAVIS INJURY: Middle linebacker Andra Davis will be placed on reserve injured with a tear of the medial collateral ligament in his left knee.

Fortunately, for Davis, the injury isn't severe enough to require surgery. Barry Gardner will likely replace Davis.

THE NEW GUY: Offensive lineman Damion Cook was pleased about his chance to start at right guard.

Cook, who was signed Nov. 17 after being waived by Baltimore, struggled early against Cincinnati, but he did an excellent job of pass blocking once he settled down.

BUTCH BAFFLED: Butch is scratching his head wondering what other ways the Browns can come up with to lose a game.

"Every week it seems as though there's an issue of some significance that you can't quite get over the hump," he said. "A week ago it's the defense that' s magnificent – six sacks and the other team can barely get to the line or scrimmage and you're holding them to three points and the game comes down to making two field goals. The next week, you're struggling to get them out."

Butch again pointed to the inordinate number of injuries as the primary reason the Browns have struggled the last two seasons.

When Andra goes on IR, the Browns will have 12 players on the list "The number one issue that has affected this team for two seasons in a row has been injuries," Davis said. "There's absolutely no substitute for the same guys playing every single week. A year ago the Carolina Panthers were basically in mint condition and had every guy healthy and made it all the way to the Super Bowl. This year they've had their share of injuries, and they're not quite the same team that they were a year ago."

Listed as day to day on the injury report are receivers Andre Davis (toe) and Andre King (ankle); Garcia; running back Lee Suggs (toe), and cornerback Daylon McCutcheon (shoulder).

DRIVEN TO DISTRACTION: The distraction surrounding his job status was something Davis admits was a problem last week.

"Were the distractions of last week a distraction? Absolutely," Davis said. " People are human. They can't help but read, see, talk, discuss. Everybody is affected by the distractions, but I don't think it selectively affects certain guys."

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