Mini-Camp Report: Day 1

Mike McLain reports from today's mini-camp that Jamir Miller and Butch Davis have had a meeting of the minds, provides more on Daylon McCutcheon's signing and the status of Rickey Dudley's rehab. Minicamp news served piping hot...

For now, Butch Davis and Jamir Miller are on the same page concerning the latter's contract squabble.

There had been speculation that Miller, who wants a new contract despite having two years left on a deal he signed in 1999, might skip the camp. He was the only non-excused player to miss the 14 practices held during the recent quarterback school. He said he couldn't attend the sessions because he had to be with a daughter who broke an arm.

"Jamir and I talked last week, and he assured me that he would be here," Davis said. "I think that's healthy and positive. I think it's a move in the right direction. The coaching staff is counting on him to be a part of this football team. We just have to make some concessions and find the best way to make sure that it's not a distraction."

Davis wants to avoid a situation in which Miller misses time in training camp because of a holdout.

"As the team progresses, the dynamics of every contract has to fit into the framework of physical sanity," Davis said. "We don't want to get close to the Super Bowl and be two players short and then have to have a fire sale and cut six or seven veterans."

Miller said he felt reassured after his talk with Davis. He expressed optimism that a new contract would be worked out before training camp, but he never said that he wouldn't hold out if he doesn't receive a new deal.

"We agreed that we wanted to come to a resolution of this problem," Miller said of his talk with Davis. "I'm a part of this team, and I'm under contract. Hopefully, I can go home (to California) and get a new contract and be back here for training camp."

NEW DEAL: Daylon McCutcheon has agreed to terms on a three-year contract.

"I said from the beginning that I wanted to be in Cleveland," McCutcheon said. "I'm happy to have things done so I can concentrate on football."

Davis considered McCutcheon one of the best "slot" cover corners in the NFL. McCutcheon, a starter on the outside in each of his three seasons, plans to fight to retain his starting job.

"I look at myself as a starter," McCutcheon said. "Someone is going to have to take it (starting) from me. If that happens, as long as we're winning football games I'll be happy."

WHAT AN ACE: Defensive lineman Felipe Claybrooks was the talk of the locker room. Claybrooks, who never played golf before Monday, aced the 13th hole at the Fox Course at the Browns' annual charity golf tournament at the Fox-Meadows Country Club near Medina.

Claybrooks borrowed clubs from the group he was playing with in the scramble event. He didn't know which club he used.

"I was excited, I guess," Claybrooks said. "I guess I feel more excited now that people are talking about it."

NOT HERE: A no-show for the quarterback school and the current mini camp was rookie tight end Darnell Sanders. Sanders couldn't attend the practices because of commitments to classes at Ohio State.

"No one feels worse about it than Darnell," Davis said.

FEELING FINE: Tight end Rickey Dudley is making steady progress from the foot surgery he had last October. Dudley tore ligaments in his right foot against San Diego. He has been careful in dealing with the rehab.

"I was really on top of it," Dudley said. "I had a couple of different doctors give me an opinion on it so that one wasn't telling me one thing and another telling me another thing."

Dudley had nine catches for 115 yards at the time his season ended. With Mark Campbell out for the 2001 season because of a knee injury suffered in training camp, O.J. Santiago became the primary tight end. Santiago, not known for his blocking skills, had 17 receptions for 153 yards.

The Browns used the third of three fourth-round draft choices on tight end Darnell Sanders, who, like Dudley, is an Ohio State product. Since no veteran tight end was signed in free agency, the job appears to be Dudley's, assuming his foot holds up.

"I had guarded optimism (concerning Dudley's recovery) about a month ago because the tight end is a big part of this offense," Davis said. "It's a huge weapon for a quarterback to have. I think he's on schedule. Every day he gains more confidence. If there was a blessing with him getting hurt last year, it was that it happened early enough in the season that he had enough time to recover."

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