OBR News and World Report: 8/17

You love it, your friends love it, and Grandma reads it while knitting booties! Yes, here is Thursday's edition of the OBN&WR. The always-dependable NFL source for fans and journalists since earlier this month!

The last thing a fan of the Cleveland Browns needs, especially in this preseason of discontent, is yet another injury to worry about.

With that in mind, we'd like to give you some encouraging news regarding linebacker Willie McGinest and his healing elbow.

McGinest, who underwent surgery in the off-season to remove bone chips from the elbow, is listed as questionable for tomorrow's game.  This comes on the heels of his missing the preseason opener due to a "coach's decision".

However, The OBR has been told that, if this were a regular-season game, McGinest would be on the field and in the starting lineup.

While the staff would like to get McGinest on the field for at least one fake game, their concerns are lessened by the fact that the veteran LB knows the 3-4 defense so well that he could probably play the defense in his sleep, which, oddly enough, is precisely how the majority of LBs in the first five years of the Browns re-existence executed the 4-3 defense.


With the critically-panned soap opera As The Center Turns continuing to play out on a daily basis, the Browns have not yet given up on the possibility of acquiring Eagles center Hank Fraley.

The two clubs have spoken regarding Fraley, although there is no deal in hand that could be considered even remotely imminent.

For their part, the Browns are leery of giving up a high-round draft pick for what could amount to be a one-year rental.  The veteran offensive lineman is in the final year of his contract and could become a free agent at the end of the 2006 season.

Regardless of whether it's by trading for someone like Fraley, or paying close attention to the waiver wire in the coming weeks, the Browns are in a have-to mode when it comes to acquiring another interior lineman before the start of the regular season.

The four-game suspension of Alonzo Ephraim guaranteed that.


Speaking of Ephraim, here is the Merriam-Webster online dictionary definition of the word "contrite":

"feeling or showing sorrow and remorse for a sin or shortcoming."

Now, here is the Ephraim-Webster on-field dictionary definition of the same word:

"None of that stuff there is my concern right now. I got so much on my plate just making sure I go out and get better and focus on just trying to make this team," the veteran said when asked about his suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

"I'm not focused on that. I'm focused on the game. I'm here to help the team any way I can. This is a team. It's not about one individual player. We've all been together and we help each other. That's what we're doing. We're trying to grow as a team."

You know, it warms the heart to see today's professional athletes stepping up to the plate, admitting to their shortcomings and showing such far-reaching remorse.  Kinda makes even the most grizzled of fans get a little moist in the eye area.


Injuries that have seriously depleted both the center and cornerback positions, as well as the voided deal involving Lee Suggs, has allowed the Browns backup quarterback situation to pass—or flutter harmlessly to the ground as the case may be—quietly under the radar.

As a public service, we would like to offer the following play-by-play update on Kenny Dorsey and his big band of not-so-hip swing men: Incompletion. Incompletion. Interception. Incompletion. Interception. Completion. (practice is halted for approximately fifteen minutes to allow grounds crew to remove streamers and confetti and balloons from the field.) Incompletion, followed by an interception as the ball was being tossed to the ball boy to be wiped off. Incompletion.

Thank you and have a safe drive home…


With the cornerback carousel continuing to spin out of control, the Browns have decided to allow Ralph Brown to hop on and take a few spins as the starter.

Head coach Romeo Crennel told reporters yesterday that Brown would be given the starting nod in tomorrow's preseason game against the Lions.  The seven-year veteran signed with the Browns on Aug. 6 after spending the last two seasons with the Vikings.

Pete Hunter, who started the preseason opener in place of the injured Gary Baxter and was torched by the Eagles on two deep pass plays, is currently still aflame despite the best efforts of the Berea Fire Department and his availability for the game is unknown.


For those who have asked and/or wondered, the answer is "yes", rookie D'Qwell Jackson is still the odds-on favorite to start at one of the inside linebacker spots, despite the return of Chaun Thompson from injury and the paucity of reports on his continuing progression.


According to the Canton Repository, former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar spent quite a bit of time talking to current Browns QB Charlie Frye after practice yesterday.

Guess that unofficial job for Kosar The OBR wrote about last week is coming along quite nicely.


The following is the first paragraph in an Associated Press story that appeared in today's Canton Repository: "An Ohio University football player who authorities said punched a police horse pleaded no contest to disorderly conduct and was fined $100."

It has nothing to do with the Browns or the NFL, but I just feel that when a scene from the movie "Blazing Saddles" gets played out in real life it deserves a mention somewhere.


Memo to Whom It May Concern: It was a four-hour physical, not a five-hour one.  Oops, my bad.  Please adjust your future articles accordingly.


QUOTE OF THE DAY: "It's been a different type camp, hasn't it?"—running back Reuben Droughns, on the unique twists and turns training camp 2006 has taken.

QUOTE OF THE DAY, THE SEQUEL: "This isn't my first rodeo. I've started 24 games and I don't know how many preseason games. So this is a good opportunity for me, and I'm looking forward to going out Friday night and showing what I can do."—center Ross Tucker, on drawing his first starting assignment as a member of the Cleveland Browns.

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