As the The Ted Washington Project enters the second week of its "U Gonna Eat That?" tour, the show continues to play to rave reviews wherever it goes.
From coaches to teammates to training camp attendees, all marvel at the large man with the nimble feet and immovable body. And all salivate at the prospect of someone other than Jason Fisk manning the middle of the Browns' defensive line.
"He's experienced, he's big, he knows the system. He's not just here to plug up the middle. He's the type of player that will go make the tackle also."
Said defensive end Orpheus Roye, on the opposition virtually being forced to double-team Washington on every play, "They've got to put two guys on him in the inside and that'll make us one-on-one. I don't feel there's a tackle out there who can block me one-on-one, so I feel being one-on-one will give me more chances to make plays."
Well, obviously, the players are more than pleased with Washington's presence on the roster. Does the coaching staff feel the same way?
"The first thing you've got to do is you can't let people run the ball inside on you," defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said.
"By having a guy like Ted inside, and you have some stoutness in there, it allows you to play more split-safety coverages - cover-2, quarters, whatever. When you can do that, you are less prone to give up big plays. And that kind of goes back to the philosophy of being hard to score on."
Hopefully, for the sake of all involved, there are no blown tires as this tours rolls from city to city this season.
Yesterday in this space, we talked about the progress being made this camp by wide receiver Frisman Jackson, and the potential for two circumstances that could keep the veteran from entering the 2006 regular season as the team's third receiver.
One, the health of Braylon Edwards.
Two, the development of rookie wideout Travis Wilson.
Don't look now, Frisman, but the latter is happening, and happening at an exponential clip.
Despite the fact that he missed the first three days of training camp due to a contract holdout, Wilson is gaining ground in the WR competition. So much so, in fact, that head coach Romeo Crennel, who would just as soon give up a meal before complimenting a rookie holdout, did just that in assessing the Oklahoma product's play thus far.
"I thought that was a good effort play on his part. He
got some opportunity and took advantage of it,'' Crennel said, describing
Wilson's "Catch of Training Camp" over the head of cornerback Chris Thompson yesterday.
''He showed some aggressiveness for the ball, which is something he did in college. He's a big receiver. He can go up and take the ball away from guys. I was glad to see that. I was encouraged by what I saw. If he continues to make plays like that, run the correct routes, block the correct people, then he can make some progress."
The battle to be the Browns' third-down running back continues to simmer in Berea, with rookie Jerome Harrison drawing most of the newspaper copy and veteran injury-waiting-to-happen Lee Suggs languishing third on the depth chart behind starter Reuben Droughns and backup William Green.
In spite of the competition with the fast-rising Harrison, Suggs seems more concerned with who's in front of him than with who's gaining on him.
"Anything other than first is a disappointment," Suggs told the Dayton Daily News, "but that's how they chose to make it, and I have to go with it. I was ready for it."
Pssssstttt, Lee: check your rearview every once in awhile. It might behoove you.
Now let us read from the book of Genesis, Chapter Two, Verse Two: "And on the ninth day Chuck ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the ninth day from all his work which he had made."
In other words, quarterback Charlie Frye was given the day off yesterday. Not because of any simmering medical issue, but simply to give his arm a rest from all the work he had made with WR Dennis Northcutt in the first eight days of camp.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "I threw that ball 66 yards in the air, so I don't want to hear anything about the arm strength thing."—quarterback Charlie Frye, offering all Doubting Thomases a free cup of Lipton's Shut-The-Hell-Up Instant Soup.
QUOTE OF THE DAY, THE SEQUEL: "Let me tell you how to block him. First of all, you gotta have a backpack of C4 dynamite to get him out of the hole. It's kind of like he's a mountain in the middle of the water and water can't move him, fish can't move him, no one can."—fullback Terrelle Smith, on defensive tackle Ted Washington.
QUOTE OF THE DAY, TERRELLE'S SEQUEL: "He scoots around pretty well, which we don't understand, because the guy is 38."—Smith, again on Washington.