OBR News and World Report: 8/22

Don't be alarmed. It's something called "positive news", and it struck yesterday. Contrary to what you might otherwise believe, you are not in some sort of "freaky alternative universe like the one Broncos fans inhabit". We're here to provide help and counseling to understandably stunned and confused long-time fans, aided by the news purification and condensation skills of Mr. John Taylor.

Unbelievably, there were not one, not two, but three pieces of good news coming out of Berea yesterday.

First and foremost, the trial of Reuben Droughns on domestic violence charges has been pushed back to February 7, the day after the Super Bowl.

The starting running back has been accused of shoving his wife out of the door of their Denver-area home by the Denver district attorney's office, which filed harassment and assault charges against Droughns despite the protestations of Droughns' wife.

There had been some concern that a mid-season trial would have caused Droughns to miss practice and/or game time.

A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for the end of October, but the RB's presence will not be required.  There is a chance that the charges could be dropped at that time, but that is considered highly unlikely.


The second bit of good news involves the health of Braylon Edwards, and could very well be considered a close second to Droughns' trial being pushed back.

Earlier in the off-season, the speculation was that Edwards would not return from surgery to repair a torn ACL until early to mid-October.  Now, there is the possibility that Edwards will suit up and be on the field for this Saturday's game against the Bills.

"If the week goes well and he is feeling good, we might have to give him one or two reps to see if he can move around against some different competition," head coach Romeo Crennel told reporters.

''He's making good progress. The game is always different. Your teammates know what your issues are, but your opponent doesn't care what the issues are. We're being conservative. We'll give him a few reps when we think he's ready."

In yet another sign of his progress, Edwards—who told reporters if it were up to him he would play Saturday—was sans knee brace for a portion of the final two-a-day for the first time since returning to practice.  Yesterday was also the first time the wide receiver participated in 11-on-11 team drills in full pads.


And last, but certainly not least, in the good news department is the health of linebacker Willie McGinest.

The free-agent acquisition has missed the first two pre-season games as he continues to pace his return from off-season elbow surgery.  There was some concern that the missed exhibition time was a precursor to missed regular season action, but both McGinest and Crennel seemed to put that to rest yesterday.

"I've been doing this for 13 years. I'm working hard, getting my reads, getting stronger," McGinest, who has yet to miss a practice this training camp for non-personal matters, said.


"Everything's getting better every day. I mean, I don't know what the state of emergency is. I assure you, everything's going great."

A Browns source assured The OBR last week that, if these were regular season games, McGinest would be suited up and in the starting lineup.  That, obviously, has not changed.


Both Gary Baxter and Daylon McCutcheon remain confident that they are on track to start the regular-season opener against the Saints.  The cornerbacks are recovering from a strained pectoral muscle and knee surgery, respectively.

Neither is expected to play in either of the two remaining pre-season games.


Remember Jeremiah Pharms, the former fifth-round pick of the Browns in the 2001 draft who was arrested two weeks after his selection for a drug-related shooting?  Pharms, who never suited up for the club, served 27 months of his 41-month sentence and is apparently in the process of turning his life around.

The 28-year-old signed a three-year contract with the Arena Football League's New York Dragons last year and is still hoping for another shot at playing in the NFL.

For a good read on Pharms' amazing turnaround, click HERE for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer article.


QUOTE OF THE DAY: "I don't think about my age. If I feel good at 38, 39 and 40, and the coaches are satisfied, Ted Washington will continue to play. I love the game. That Man upstairs has been watching over me. I've been blessed. I know what to do to get ready for training camp and the regular season."—nose tackle Ted Washington, whose size allows him to be one of the few persons on this planet who can speak of themselves in the fourth person.

QUOTE OF THE DAY, THE SEQUEL: "Ted is demanding and takes pride on teams not being able to run the football inside, which is something we want all of our players to do. He's got size, strength and initial quickness. That's why he's been so successful for a long time. He still wants to be the best there is at his position."—head coach Romeo Crennel, on what Washington brings to the table (besides a big fork, of course).


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