Crennel Plans the Rotation

The Romeo Crennel Browns hit the field on Saturday... who gets to play? Challenges including finding time for all the safeties, including Sean Jones and Brian Russell (pictured).

BEREA - Coach Romeo Crennel plans to play the starters about one quarter in Saturday's preseason game against the New York Giants.

Crennel will deviate from the plan at position groups where there is plenty of competition.

"The only way I'd give a starter more time is if I have a couple of guys competing for a starting position," Crennel said. "Then I'd have a rotation with those guys, and they'd end up with a quarter."

Position areas that will see a rotation with possible starters are at free safety and running back. Brian Russell and Chris Crocker are battling at free safety. Lee Suggs, Reuben Droughns and William Green are competing at running back.

DECISION TIME SOON: The front office will have to make a decision soon on the cornerback Daylon McCutcheon's playing status for the regular season. McCutcheon has missed all of camp with persistent headaches.

General manager Phil Savage said that McCutcheon's health status remains baffling. McCutcheon has seen a specialist three times.

'We're going to talk about it and see where we want to go with it,' Savage said. 'It has gone on a little further along than we thought.'

Michael Lehan has replaced McCutcheon with the first team. Lehan has a history of leg and shoulder injuries. His lack of durability might force the Browns to sign another cornerback.

QB ROTATION JUGGLED: The first depth chart has been released by the team. Rookie quarterback Charlie Frye is listed third. Doug Johnson is second, and Josh Harris is fourth.

INJURY UPDATE: Droughns missed another two practices with a strained hamstring. Crennel expects to know Wednesday if Droughns will be able to play Saturday. Offensive lineman Craig Osika (toe) and tight end Aaron Shea (hip flexor) were sideline observers. Shea has no structural damage and should be back later this week.

THE HITTING STARTS: Crennel is starting to get anxious in anticipation of Saturday's game.

"I want to see how we hit and how we tackle," Crennel said. "We really haven't been tackling. I told them, 'You've been playing tag. On Saturday, tag isn't going to be good enough.' "

Johnson connected with Dennis Northcutt on a deep sideline play. Trent Dilfer has been sharp most of camp. He teamed with Antonio Bryant on a deep pass.

GREEN GALLOPS: William Green broke off a long gainer around the right side. Green's practice time has increased due to Droughns' absence.

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