Richardson Gets Competition

Friday in Berea, the Browns announced that they have signed oft-cut punter Gabe Lindstrom to the Practice Squad. Lindstrom has been looking for an NFL job since the Browns returned to the league in 1999. Plus, the latest on the Browns injured players heading into this weekend's tussle with the Titans...

Coach Romeo Crennel has decided to give punter Kyle Richardson some competition by adding Gabe Lindstrom to the practice squad. Lindstrom was one of four punters brought in for a tryout Tuesday.

"(Richardson) is a professional football player and he should respond to competition," Coach Romeo Crennel said Friday. "I tell these guys all the time you have to compete to make the team and you have to compete to play. In (Richardson's) case it might be more like a training camp because there's another punter here. If he doesn't perform a change might be made."

Gabe Lindstrom last punted for the Bears in their 2005 training camp. He started out as an undrafted rookie with the Cowboys in 1999. He has been with several teams, including the Browns in 2001. The Browns cut him before their 2001 training camp.

"I've been hitting the ball well," he said. "I'm kind of a late bloomer. I'm excited to get this opportunity. I'm looking forward to showing what I can do."

Lindstrom was working as a teacher in a juvenile detention in Arizona when the Browns called.

Richardson ranks 30th among NFL punters with a net average of 34.4. The only punters ranked lower are the Steelers' Chris Gardocki (34.1) and the Rams' Reggie Hodges (31.0). Derrick Frost, cut by the Browns so they could keep Richardson, is 18th with a 37.5 average.

Cutting Richardson would not be easy because he holds for Phil Dawson, who is 13 of 13 on field goal tries this season. Lindstrom said he feels comfortable as a holder. He was the punter and holder at the University of Toledo and he held in the various training camps he has been in.

Dawson needed time to adjust to Richardson, his third holder in three years. By the time he would adjust to Lindstrom the season could be over.

Richardson, meanwhile, is confident he will punt well against the Titans.

"I just didn't focus in at the right time," Richardson said. "I'm looking forward to this game and erasing anything that's happened."

Richardson said he and special teams coach Jerry Rosburg watched tapes of his punts and could detect no technical flaws. He said he has to 'lock in' on the ball better as he goes through his normal routine.

Green won't play: Running back William Green remains doubtful with a sprained left ankle. He is still in a walking boot and will not play against the Titans unless he has a miraculous recovery.

Jason Wright will play if Droughns needs a rest or is injured. Droughns said the Titans will be wasting their time if they try to injure him.

"I'm a pretty tough player," he said. "The only way they'll take me out is if they have to cart me off the field."

Droughns gained 100 yards against the Lions and last week rushed for 99 yards against the Titans.

Injury updates: Guard Joe Andruzzi (knee), defensive back Ray Mickens and defensive end Alvin McKinley (elbow) are questionable. Whether they play will be game-time decisions, Crennel said.

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