GREEN UPDATE … William Green was not on the practice field Tuesday afternoon when the Cleveland Browns kicked off their second training camp under Butch Davis, but the coach did not seem disheartened by the absence of the team's first-round pick.
Practicing without Green was pretty much what Davis expected at the start of camp. According to Davis, negotiations between Browns vice president and assistant director of football operations Lal Heneghan and Green's agent, Tom Condon, are right where they should be at this stage of the game.
"There are no negatives as of now," said Davis. "I think everything is proceeding pretty good."
The holdup on the contract has to do with slotting his salary numbers to fit in comparably with the rookies who were drafted near him.
"In the first round, there are probably five or six guys who have signed," said Davis. "With the slotting and the way guys manipulate things, the more people that start to fall into place … then there starts to be a clearer definition."
For Now, Davis was happy just to have the group of 35 rookies and selected veterans on the field for the start of training camp.
"We got off to a good start," said Davis. "I think it's been a long, full four and a half weeks since we broke from the quarterback school, and I think the players were chomping at the bit. We've been standing around here for the last two and a half days, waiting for something to do. It was good to get back out there. I think the players were eager. They were excited."
MORROW AT H-BACK? … Butch Davis hinted that the Browns are looking at Alvin Morrow as a project for the H-Back position.
"He is a guy not many people know a whole lot about, but he is an extraordinarily gifted and talented athlete," said Davis. "He has an opportunity to be a Mike Sellers type of an athlete. He is amazingly gifted for as big as he is, at 265-270 pounds. He can run and he can catch and he's a real good athlete."
Morrow is listed as 6-foot-3, 260 pounds. After starring in football in high school and signing to play at Florida State, he decided to give up football in favor of a career in baseball. Morrow was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the second round of the 1997 draft. He played outfield for three and a half years in the Brewers organization before being traded to the Blue Jays in 2000, where he played for almost two seasons. He gave up baseball and signed with the Browns as a free agent on Dec. 26, 2001.
ENCOURAGING SIGHT … Earl Holmes and Rickey Dudley look to be on track to being 100-percent healthy for the start of the regular season.
Holmes appears to have benefited from minor surgery on his knee during the off season.
"He moved around considerably better than did in the quarterback schools and minicamps," said Davis. "I don't think he's 100pct right now, but he has six more weeks until the first real game, and there isn't any doubt (he'll be ready)."
Dudley, who missed the final 12 games of last year after surgery to repair a right mid foot sprain, moved well and made some difficult catches Tuesday.
"It was good to see Dudley out there running," said Davis. "He was 200-percent better than he was during quarterback school and minicamp. He was cutting on that foot and making catches. One was way down below his knees."
WHO IMPRESSED? … Davis singled out the linebackers and the tight ends-H-Backs on day one.
Holmes was joined at linebacker by the rookie trio of Ben Taylor, Andra Davis and Kevin Bentley.
"I really liked what I saw out of the linebackers," said Davis. "I thought the three rookie linebackers … showed flashes of instincts. They filled holes … and although we didn't tackle, they had a little bit of a collision. There was a little bit of a nasty attitude. They made some pops."
At tight end, Davis said he was pleased with the play of Dudley, Morrow, Mark Campbell, who has recovered from a knee injury that kept him out all of 2001, and rookie Darnell Sanders.
"Sanders caught the ball real well," said Davis. "He is a pleasant surprise. Given the number of catches he had in his Ohio State career, he catches the ball as if he went to a school where he caught the ball 65 times over the course of a season. He has very, very soft, Supple hands … and he comes from an accomplished background as a blocker."