Not only will the Browns have to worry about containing Reggie Bush on plays from scrimmage, they'll also have to worry about keeping the rookie running back under wraps on special teams.
The second overall pick in the 2006 NFL draft told Saints beat reporters yesterday that he will return punts in the club's season opener against the Browns.
Bush worked with the punt return unit throughout training camp, but did not take the field with that group during any of the club's four pre-season games.
just wanted to save me," Bush said of
"He didn't feel it was necessary. He told me the story about (the Giants') Jason Sehorn returning a punt in the preseason and getting hurt and he was out for the season. It's all about keeping me healthy."
As far as stopping Bush on plays from scrimmage, Browns rookie Babatunde Oshinowo seemingly has the answer.
"He can score from anywhere on the field," Oshinowo, who played against Bush in college and currently resides on the Browns practice squad, said.
"In this defense, you have to set the edge on him so he doesn't have the opportunity to beat you outside. You have to make him come back inside so everyone can help."
Or, the Browns could just decide to take wide receiver Braylon Edwards' advice on how to control the flashy rookie.
"Hit him in the mouth every play."
I'll take "Violence" for $500, Alex.
Of the players listed as questionable on the club's injury report yesterday, only linebacker Mason Unck did not practice yesterday.
Joe Andruzzi (ankle), Gary Baxter (pectoral), Leigh Bodden (pectoral), Darnell Dinkins (knee), Nat Dorsey (ankle), Antonio Perkins (groin) and Isaac Sowells (ankle) were all listed as questionable on the injury report but participated in practice.
Speaking of Baxter, the veteran cornerback reiterated his week-long stance that he will play in the opener, and also added that he will not be limited by the second pectoral injury he has suffered in less than one full calendar year.
"I play the game full speed," Baxter said. "I don't even think about that. It's mind over matter. I love this game, and I play this game very hard. If something happens, it happens, but I'm way past that. I'm just trying to go out there and do a great job."
This weekend, the Browns will square off against not only the Saints, but also former Browns center Jeff Faine.
Faine was the club's first-round pick in the 2003 draft and was dealt to
According to head coach Romeo Crennel, it was a free-agent signing a month before the draft which made Faine expendable and turned him into trade bait.
"The whole thing in a nutshell was that we were able to sign LeCharles Bentley," Crennel said. "When we signed him, that made Jeff expendable. If we hadn't signed Bentley, chances are that Jeff would still be here."
Umm, yeah, OK coach. If you say so.
With that in mind and as a public service for the reading public, we have taken the above quote from coach Crennel and fed it into a sophisticated OBR "Coachspeak-to-English" translation program.
The following is what the computer spit back at us.
"There was no way in hell that Faine was still going to be on my team in 2006. Come hell or high water we were going to sign somebody to replace him. If I wanted to see a rag doll getting tossed around on a daily basis, I could've gone down to the local daycare center.
Quite a stir was created yesterday after the Toronto Star
reported on the possibility of a 2007 or 2008 Browns regular-season game being
moved to the city of
Today, the Canadian Broadcasting Company sheds a little additional light on the situation.
According to the CBC, Larry Tanenbaum and Ted Rogers—Canadian businessmen who are interested in bringing the NFL to Canada—will attend an upcoming Browns home game as part of their ongoing effort to land an NFL expansion franchise. The paper did not specify which game they would be attending.
The NFL would like to see a game in
The Toronto Star reported yesterday that the Browns would
likely be involved if a game is played in
As an aside, both Tanenbaum and Rogers are multi-multi-millionaires—if not billionaires—so they will not be led to their seats in the Dawg Pound upon their arrival at Cleveland Browns Stadium.
So, in what loge will they be soaking up the American football atmosphere?
Browns owner Randy Lerner told The OBR yesterday that he has
"no knowledge of (a regular-season home game being moved to
Which means, of course, that the
All we have to say on this is, we don't know and stay tuned.
There has been some talk throughout the course of the pre-season regarding the Browns medieval offensive approach to the fake games, about their inability to get the ball into the hands of their playmakers.
Proponents say you don't want to show your entire hand when the games don't count, while critics counter that this button-down approach is what it is and that's what you'll get once the real bullets begin to fly.
Either way, the potential is there for some of the egos—and, no, not "egos" in the TO sense—on the offensive side of the ball to begin chirping about the lack of balls—and, no, not "balls' in the locker room sense—they are seeing.
Especially if the offense were to come out of the gate struggling.
The Browns head coach addressed this very issue in an enlightening Q & A with the Columbus Dispatch's James Walker.
"Last year it wasn't as much of a problem because we didn't have Kellen, and then Braylon got injured. So now with both of them being on the field at the same time, and both of them wanting the football, and both of them wanting to be the guy, I think at times that may cause me some agitation."
Crennel went on to add that winning would be a way to cure any potential problem that may rear its head.
"But I think if we win games, they'll just be happy that we won, and hopefully they won't be talking about, ‘You only threw me five balls today and I needed 15'."
Just something to remember on the above subject: offensive coordinator Maurice Carthon does not suffer fools—or fools who dare to get in his ear—very well.
He is very much from the Bill Parcells School of Coaching, in both style of coaching and his way of dealing with players. It would make for a long season should any player begin barking to not only Carthon, but the media as well over his perceived lack of opportunities.
And this is not saying that anything will or won't happen with Edwards or Winslow or anyone else. It's merely an issue that bears watching throughout the course of the season, particularly if the offense fails early on to hit on all cylinders.
Ran Carthon, son of the current Browns offensive coordinator, has been signed to the Colts practice squad.
This will be the third stint for the running back—released over the weekend by the Seahawks—with the Colts.
FAST FACT: The Saints are on the verge of selling out every home game for the first time in the franchise's history.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "We haven't done enough where we can get to the point we can underestimate anybody."—head coach Romeo Crennel, on facing the 3-13 New Orleans Saints in the season opener.