Berea Report: Browns Try to Slow Manning

Fred reports from Thursday's practice session in Berea, where scheming against Peyton Manning is the buzz. Here's the lastest news - and the first report - from Bernie's Insiders...

BEREA – When fans think of the Colts most think of a high-powered offense led by Peyton Manning.

Not so far this year.

Through the first two weeks of the 2005 season the Colts have been led by their defense as they've given up just 10 points (7 vs. Baltimore and 3 vs. Jacksonville).

However, everyone knows it's just a matter of time before the offense takes off. The Browns hope it's not this week.

Through two games, Manning is 34-of-64 for 376 yards, including two touchdowns and an interception—numbers he's put up in one game before.

However, Manning is more concerned with wins.

"The main thing is we've won the first two games, which we're pretty excited about," he said. "Ultimately, your goal is to win championships, but in order to do that, you first have to win football games."

Manning is coming off an unbelievable season in 2004 where he was the NFL's MVP setting an NFL record for throwing 49 touchdown passes. He broke a record that had stood for 20 years when Dan Marino threw 48 touchdowns in 1984.

Besides Edgerrin James in the backfield running the ball, Manning enjoys receivers like Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne and Brandon Stokely.

"What Peyton does is mind-boggling," Trent Dilfer said. "I'm a big fan of Peyton because he's a great quarterback. I marvel at his accomplishments."

Romeo Crennel has had success in the past as defensive coordinator of the Patriots in shutting down Manning and the Colts offense. Crennel's defenses have stymied in two playoff games against the Patriots and Crennel is 6-0 against Manning as a defensive coordinator.

Crennel astutely pointed out that he will not be suited up for this week's game and downplayed his role in the process.

"Really, there's nothing I can do again this week," Crennel said. "I can't make any plays. I can't tackle anybody and I'm not on the field. These players here are the ones playing the game."

Manning didn't play very well against the Patriots in the 2003 AFC Championship Game and in last year's divisional playoffs. He threw four interceptions in the first game and did not throw a touchdown last year.

"(Crennel) certainly was a huge part of the Patriots success and he's an excellent coach," Manning said. "But as for those games, they played well and we did not play well. That's pretty much the summary."

Crennel said he isn't sure what the reason for the success against Manning has been.

"I don't know if we got into his head," Crennel said "He just didn't win those games. You have to look at the different players you have to look and try to put the players in the position they can do their best."

Manning basically calls the plays from the line of scrimmage from without a huddle.

"He'll be prepared and ready to go, Crennel said. "The thing about Peyton is they basically go no huddle so there's still plenty of time left to change the play.

"(Peyton's) trying to find out what you're doing defensively and he'll get the right play called," he said. "It's a chess match and he sees what defense you're in and then makes the adjustment."

Crennel is familiar enough with Manning, but knows he doesn't have the same personnel he enjoyed while with the Patriots.

"The Patriots can do it one way but not every other team can do the same things," Crennel said. "We've seen Peyton enough to know how to scheme him."

Injury Update: CB Leigh Bodden (groin), TE Aaron Shea (pectoral) and RB Lee Suggs (ankle) practiced in full pads, but are still listed as questionable, along with DL Orpheus Roye (knee), FB Corey McIntyre (hamstring) and LB Mason Unck (groin).

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