Camp Notes: Meet Ross Tucker

The Browns newest player is also their newest hope to fill the void left at center after the loss of LeCharles Bentley and Bob Hallen. Fred Greetham reports on the newest Brown, plus some other notes from camp...

Berea – Meet Ross Tucker--the newest candidate to be the Browns starting center.
The Browns acquired Tucker in a trade with the Patriots on Tuesday and he's raring to go.
"Anytime you're a player in the league you want the opportunity," Tucker said. "It's an outstanding opportunity for me and I hope to make the most of it."
Tucker doesn't think it will take him long to pick up the Browns offense as it is similar to New England's.
"I heard a lot about RAC and (offensive line coach/assistant head coach) Jeff Davidson and I was excited to come here," he said.  "The offensive line calls are similar to New England's because the coaches came from there."
Crennel thinks Tucker will be used against the Lions on Friday night.
"We'll probably mix him in some," he said. "He should be able to pick up the offense pretty well and we'll try to work him in there."
Tucker agrees.
"I hope to play Friday night," he said. "Hopefully, I'll make a good first impression."
Undrafted rookie free agent center Rob Smith injured his ankle against the Eagles and he's in a boot. Crennel said Smith could miss a couple of weeks.
Crennel said it's hard to judge a guy with just one day of practice under his belt, but in the situation the Browns are in, he's a welcome sight.
"Ross has had one day of practice with us," Crennel said. "He does have a little NFL experience, but only time will tell how he does. In the situation we're in now, he fits in pretty good as he'll be either one or two with us. He has good size and has some experience and we'll see how he does."
Crennel had some positive comments for Alonzo Ephraim, who started against the Eagles and played the first half.
"I thought he hung in there pretty well for his first time out there," Crennel said. "He was able to hang in there. He did a decent job for just coming in."
Tucker has been in the league for six years and he thinks this is the opportunity that he's been waiting for.
 "I've been around long enough to know that nothing is taken for granted," he said. "A lot of time in the NFL it's being in the right place at the right time. I can't wait for Friday night."
Cornerback Getting Thin: The cornerback situation is starting to be an area of some concern as Gary Baxter injured his pectoral muscle and most likely won't play the rest of the preseason. He said he'll be ready for the opener.  Daylon McCutcheon (knee) is also expected to be ready for the season opener after having arthroscopic surgery.
"The cornerback situation is what training camp is all about," Crennel said. "It allows everyone to show what they can do. A guy like Antonio Perkins will get an opportunity.
"(Davin) Holly and (Jereme) Perry get chances as guys get nicked up they get opportunities."
Crennel said Perkins and Pete Hunter would have the best chance to fill in for Baxter right now.
"Perkins had a string of a couple days of good practices," he said. "(Jereme) Perry and (Davin) Holly have shown a little. Ralph Brown just got here and he's trying to show what he can do. We're looking for consistency in guys, who can string some good days together."
Crennel said he doesn't feel the situation at cornerback is as critical as it was at center.
"We'll have to see how it goes as far as Pete," he said. "If anyone is ahead, it will be Perkins. There's not as much urgency to go get someone because we're getting Daylon and Baxter back. If guys here don't show anything than maybe we'll have to go get someone."
"Baxter's shoulder or pectoral should be OK in time," Crennel said. "He needs no surgery or ‘scope."
Willie Misses: LB Willie McGinest was excused from practice, according to Crennel. He was asked if he was physically fine.
"To my knowledge, he's OK."

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