Browns-Colts: Helping Out with Freeney

The two previous quarterback who have faced the Indianapolis Colts defense have come away hobbling. To help save Trent Dilfer from a similar fate, the Browns are likely to give LJ Shelton a lot of help with dangerous DE Dwight Freeney (photo). Also, Marlin Jackson and Braylon Edwards face off, again.

HELP WITH FREENEY: L.J. Shelton has never played Dwight Freeney, which may be the reason Shelton is excited about facing Freeney when the Browns travel to Indianapolis on Sunday.

Shelton may not truly realize what he's in for.

"It's a challenge," Shelton said. "But I'm up for it."

Shelton is a big blocker - 6-foot-6 and 345 pounds - who might seem vulnerable to a lightning-quick guy like Freeney.

But Shelton probably will get help.

Browns coach Romeo Crennel and line coach Jeff Davidson saw Freeney a lot in New England, and they know what he can do.

It's not likely Freeney will get a lot of single-up blocks.

If Trent Dilfer is to repeat his 300-yard passing game of a week ago, he'll need time.

So expect Shelton to get help from a fullback, running back or tight end in blocking Freeney.


JACKSON AND EDWARDS SQUARE OFF (AGAIN): A pair of rookies from the University of Michigan, Indianapolis Colts cornerback Marlin Jackson and Cleveland Browns wide receiver Braylon Edwards, will be renewing acquaintances Sunday when the Browns visit the RCA Dome.

College teammates for the past four years, Edwards was the third pick in this spring's NFL draft and has become Cleveland's big-play receiver just two games into the season.

Jackson, meanwhile, was the Colts' top draft pick this year and has earned a job as a nickel back in Indianapolis' pass coverage alignment.

The pair would often square off during practice during their collegiate careers and each credits the other for helping to develop their individual talents. This week's game will afford them the opportunity to face off for real.

"He really helped prepare me for this situation now, being in the NFL. Facing him every day in practice made the transition a lot smoother, a lot easier," Jackson said this week, "It's going to be fun. It's not going to be weird. We know each other like the back of our hands.

"I know I can't do certain things against him because he knows to expect them. And he can't do certain things against me because I know what to expect. I know how he plays and he knows how I play. So it's going to be a lot of fun going out there and trying to figure each other out now."

Edwards admits that he is looking forward the opportunity to face Jackson again.

"It's going to be interesting. To be completely honest, I don't think I would be the receiver that I am now if it wasn't for Marlin," he said. "I think we did a lot to help each other. Every day, going against each other. Just being physical every day, being competitive every day.

"It never allowed either one of us to take a day off. When you have a guy like myself or a guy like Marlin, when the other guy wasn't feeling up to it, we'd remind each other what we were out there for. Every day we competed, so it made us both better."


The OBR Top Stories