Berea Report: Kelley in the Middle

Ethan Kelley, shown here observing a nerd, has one more Super Bowl ring than he does game appearances. Despite only playing in a single game, Kelley brings to the Browns an important knowledge of Romeo Crennel's system and could play a major role in 2005. Plus, updates on Corey Simon, starters against the Bears, and injury updates...

Berea – In the NFL, many times familiarity breeds confidence.

When Romeo Crennel needed depth on the defensive line he looked to a former Patriot for help.

Ethan Kelley was with the Patriots for the 2003 and 2004 seasons and earned two Super Bowl rings. He only played in one game, but showed enough to catch the eye of Crennel.

"He has the advantage of knowing the system and playing in it," Crennel said. "He has an opportunity for more reps here and a real opportunity to play."

The 6-2, 303 pound former Baylor star has the physique that Crennel likes.

"We like a nose tackle who is a blocky, fire plug type of guy," Crennel said. "Guys like Ethan Kelley, Jim Burt or Ted Washington."

Kelley had four tackles last week against Carolina and forced a fumble the Browns recovered.

"I'm just trying to get in where I fit in," Kelley said. "I want to go out and play and do whatever I can."

Kelley knows what's expected of him and starter Jason Fisk in the 3-4 scheme.

"The position is kind of a garbage man," Kelley said. "The nose tackle here is to occupy space and that's what I try to do is free up the linebackers to make plays."

Unsure on Simon:
Crennel was asked several questions about free agent DL Corey Simon and he said GM Phil Savage and he have not decided yet what they'll do, if anything.

"Phil and I haven't come to any conclusions," he said. "We'll sit down and decide what's best for the Browns.

"I know Corey's a good football player," he said. "Phil knows he's a good football player. We need to see if he fits the Cleveland Browns and what we're trying to do here."

For Starters:
Crennel said the starters will probably play the first quarter and possibly into the second quarter.

"Our starters need some work," Crennel said. "They might go one quarter or a quarter and a half. We still need to gel and get more cohesive."

Roster Exemptions:
The seven players from NFL Europe who have roster exemptions until the final roster cut Saturday are: DB Michael Grant, FB Ben Miller, LB Jamal Brooks, LB Ivory McCoy, LB Omar Nazel, OL Lewis Dawson and WR C.J. Jones. The Browns also have two other roster exemptions from the league.

Out for Bears:
Crennel listed six players as out for Thursday's game with the Bears: RB Lee Suggs (ankle), CB Gary Baxter (concussion), OL John Dunn (ankle), CB Antwan Harris (shoulder), LB Renauld Williams and LB Ivory McCoy.

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