OBR Daily News & World Report: 9/5

If you read the OBR - and you know you do, despite what you tell your boss and spouse - you know that John Taylor has broken story after story in the last month. Today, another one of them is confirmed. Plus, Romeo Crennel unveils the magic secret for stopping Reggie Bush. Enjoy.

When the whole Lee Suggs trade fiasco went down during the middle of August, The OBR was the first and only source to report that the reason for the running back failing his physical with the Jets was due to arthritis in his knee.

Yesterday, Suggs himself confirmed that fact to the South Florida media.

"They said I had a little bit of arthritis in my knee," Suggs said of the Jets medical staff.

"I don't know too many football players that don't. Their doctors had different standards than they do here just like they are different than they are in Cleveland. They made that decision and I had to deal with it."

Suggs, by the way, passed his physical with Miami.

*****

Suggs also took a little parting shot at the city he left behind when asked what his reaction was after finding out he was claimed off waivers by the Dolphins.

"No more snow. Get to get out of Cleveland."

*****

Hank Fraley, acquired Saturday in a trade from the Eagles, did not work with the first-team offense during the portion of practice open to the media yesterday.  Instead, Lennie Friedman worked as the starter.

However, it would be more than a mild surprise if the seven-year veteran wasn't in the starting lineup coming come Sunday against the Saints.

For his part, Fraley feels that he'll be knowledgeable enough in the offense to be considered a go for the regular-season opener.

"I feel comfortable even though I haven't taken any reps or plays yet," Fraley told reporters before practice.

"I feel comfortable enough to get in there and play. We have two veteran guards in there that know the playbook and can help me out. I feel comfortable with the calls having studied the past couple of nights."

*****

Much like the Fraley-Friedman situation, the starter at inside linebacker will be determined toward the end of the week.

D'Qwell Jackson seemingly held a firm grip on the starting position, but several slip-ups—most notably in the passing game—have opened the door for Chaun Thompson to retake the position he held at the beginning of training camp.

Thompson is 100% healthy after suffering a calf injury that forced him out of the first two pre-season games and allowed the rookie Jackson to supplant him as the starter.

*****

Speaking of starts, Braylon Edwards will likely not get one Sunday, but is expected to see plenty of action and be a big part of the offensive game plan.

"Braylon is going to play in the game, no question about that in my mind," Crennel said. "And I think that he's going to make plays in the game."

The game Sunday will mark yet another step in the amazing progress of the wide receiver, who was not expected to return to action until the beginning of October at the earliest.

*****

Some fans and media types have expressed concern in the past regarding the fact that general manager Phil Savage spends so much time away from Berea on college scouting trips.

In fact, those trips were reportedly one of the sources of friction between Savage and John Collins.

While some may be concerned about his time spent away from the office and on the road, Savage is not.  Quite the opposite, in fact, as Savage does not see himself setting up shop behind a desk for quite some time.

"Maybe in five or six years, if we get this organization where we hope to get it, I'll want to sit behind the desk more," Savage is quoted as saying in this morning's Bud Shaw column.

"That would be the time to do it. But with the energy level I have now and how important I think it is for me to be out there, I don't think I'll be doing that anytime soon."  

*****

After releasing Nick Speegle, Corey McIntyre and Frisman Jackson on Saturday, the Browns spent significant time yesterday working on special teams.

The three veterans were key components on nearly all of the special teams units and the Browns are hoping their replacements can come from somebody already on the roster.

*****

If Brian Russell is unable to play Sunday, Sean Jones would move from the strong safety position and start in Russell's place at free safety.  Brodney Pool would then take over Jones' spot at strong safety.

Yesterday, a source told The OBR it is "highly, highly unlikely" that Russell—recovering from surgery to remove an inflamed bursa sac in his elbow—would be available, even though head coach Romeo Crennel has called the veteran a game-time decision.

*****

Running back William Green, placed on injured reserve with a quad injury during the final round of cuts, has not been seen in Berea since the move.

The Browns are attempting to reach an injury settlement with the five–year veteran.  If that were to happen, Green would then be released and free to sign with any team, including the Browns.

However, the Browns have almost no interest in retaining Green, unless an injury to one of the three tailbacks would occur.  Even then, Green would likely not have any interest in a return to Cleveland.

*****

Adam Schefter of the NFL Network reports that the Browns have worked out quarterbacks Dave Ragone and Mike McMahon in recent days.  The veteran QBs were released by the Rams and Vikings, respectively, over the weekend.

*****

The Cowboys signed defensive tackle J'Vonne Parker, who was released by the Browns on Sunday after the club claimed defensive end Jovan Haye off waivers.

*****

FAST FACT: In the Browns last twenty games, including this pre-season, they have exactly four rushing touchdowns.  They had zero touchdowns on the ground in the four pre-season games this year.

*****

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "We might call things potatoes. They might call them tomatoes." — head coach Romeo Crennel, on the adjustment to different terminology facing newly-acquired center Hank Fraley.

QUOTE OF THE DAY, THE SEQUEL: "Tackle him." — Crennel, on the key to stopping Saints rookie running back Reggie Bush.

QUOTE OF THE DAY, THE FINALE: "I've been talking to the players about having a role on the team. The role changes from day to day and, in some cases, week to week. One week, I may be the star, but the next week the game plan might not allow me to be the star. Sometimes we get caught up in who's going to start. The thing that's important is how well they play. Braylon is going to play, no question about it. I think he's going to make plays in the game to help us win." — Crennel, turning into a philosopher when asked about Braylon Edwards starting this week.


The OBR Top Stories