OBR News and World Report: 8/2

Run for your lives! John Taylor has returned with his daily review of the news. There may be no escape this time, so the best thing to do is just crank open this article, catch up on the news, and adjust to this world gone mad. You get used to it after a while.

A day after arthroscopic knee surgeries on the right and left knees of Daylon McCutcheon and Ryan Tucker, respectively, various reports have the Browns cautiously optimistic about the surgical duo's return for the September 10th season opener.

"We're shooting for that," head coach Romeo Crennel told reporters following a two-hour practice on Tuesday.

"Things can change, of course, but I'm hoping for them to be there."

There is a sliver of hope that either Tucker or McCutcheon—or both—would be available for the team's exhibition finale, but Crennel stated that an appearance against the Bears would not be a prerequisite for either to start the real season.

*****

The clear "winner" in the McCutcheon injury situation has been, obviously, fourth-year veteran Leigh Bodden.

(Or, as Chad Johnson and Yogi Berra are wont to say, "Lehigh Bowden".)

Heading into camp, the race for the starting corner opposite Gary Baxter was considered too close to call between Bodden and McCutcheon.  However, after the first few days of camp—and even before McCutcheon was slowed by an injury that would eventually require surgery to repair—Bodden was considered the slight frontrunner.

Now, Bodden's status as a starter has clearly been cemented not only by his play on the field and Crennel's "compliments" off of it, but also by the fact that he is the subject of not one, but two full-length feature stories in this morning's papers.

*****

While the Bodden/McCutcheon corner fight is nearly settled, there is another position battle in the secondary that is still very much up in the air.

Former second-round draft picks Brodney Pool and Sean Jones, according to the Warren Tribune-Chronicle, are in a virtual dead heat in their race to replace Chris Crocker at one of the two safety positions.

While some (you know who you are) seem to think that Pool has the upper hand based on his status as a Phil Savage draft pick, most learned observers feel that the battle will be decided on the field and not in the inner bowels of Berea.

*****

Lost in the shuffle of the season-ending injury to LeCharles Bentley (why does typing that still elicit a bemused chuckle and shrug of the shoulders, with nary a hint of surprise?) and surgeries to two additional starters is the bubbling-just-below-the-surface story of the back of Joe Jurevicius.

For the second consecutive day, the veteran wide receiver was held out of camp due to back spasms.

While this is likely precautionary in nature, and in the grand scheme of things will probably be nothing more than a mere blip on the training camp radar, one cannot help but think—given the injury events of this year, specifically, and the last seven years as a whole—that something more, something insidious, is lurking just around the injury corner.

Like, say, reports trickling across the AP wire that Jurevicius' spine was completely ripped from his body in a tragic ice-pack incident and the jelly-like outer shell of the WR was carted off the field in a 55-gallon drum.

Would anyone be surprised?  Honestly?

Didn't think so.

*****

Various reports coming out of Berea have backup quarterback Ken Dorsey struggling with his play on the field.

Gee, never saw that one coming.

In fairness to Dorsey, though, Crennel refused to come out and state that the backup was struggling, deferring instead to the veteran's assessment of himself.

"It's not fair to say he's struggling without talking to him."

*****

While most of the rookie attention has been focused on Kamerion Wimbley and D'Qwell Jackson, the Browns' other other first-year linebacker—Leon Williams—has been quietly impressing the coaching staff.

Williams took a handful of reps with the first team defense yesterday, and while Crennel stated that it meant next to nothing, he did offer—for the coach—high praise for the rook, stating that he's "done pretty good".

Whoa there coach.  Easy on the platitudes.  Wouldn't want the kid's head to swell or anything.

*****

Crennel, again, on Williams, this time on how the University of Miami product slipped to the fourth round: "He's not the most flexible guy, but he can bend well enough."

 

Obviously, Williams was not a graduate of the Courtney Brown School of Hip Rotation.

*****

Speaking of Wimbley, it's beginning to look more and more like the Florida State product will begin the season as a situational pass rusher, with Matt Stewart getting the majority of the snaps on first and second downs.

*****

Memo to the Browns re: their relationship with WOIO 19 Action News (Motto: EVERYTHING WE REPORT IS IMPORTANT AND SENSATIONAL, WHICH IS WHY WE SCREAM EVERYTHING, UP TO, AND INCLUDING, OUR MOTTO): If you lay in bed with gutter, trailer-park trash, you're bound to get screwed by the skank.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "I would say he's an elite left tackle for us. He's the only one that I have."—Romeo Crennel, damning starting left tackle Kevin Shaffer with faint praise.

QUOTE OF THE DAY, THE SEQUEL: "I look forward to getting a big-name QB on the ground."—Kamerion Wimbley, knowing full well that getting a QB born with no name—or arms or legs, for that matter—to the ground would be an immense improvement over the 2005 "pass" "rush".


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