Berea Influx

Tryouts! Get yer tryouts here! Or, as some would say: if you can't beat ‘em with quality, hit them about the head and face with quantity. Or something like that. Either way, The OBR once again has the first and exclusive 411 on players coming and going through the inner sanctum of Berea.

If the Browns had laurels, they'd be resting on them in their own imitable National Lampoon's European/Christmas Vacation kind of way.

Since they are currently 1-4 and aren't in possession of many, if any, laurels, they aren't resting on what they don't have and, instead, are shuttling players into Berea who might maybe have laurel-like potential.

The OBR has learned that no less 11 players were at the team's practice complex for tryouts on Tuesday. And, yes, that total does indeed include the infamous People's Champ, the one and only "FredEx".

While the NFL Network may have scooped us all on the Freddie Mitchell tryout, The OBR has obtained the complete list of players who were in town during the Browns' off-week.

Of those Elite Eleven, six were on the offensive side of the ball and five were on the defensive side. Sadly, for fans and Charlie Frye alike, there were the exact same number of offensive linemen as there were ex-Pro Bowlers on the workout list.


Anyways, off to those that were here…

In addition to the aforementioned Mitchell, two additional WRs plied their wares for the Browns and the offensive staff: Damerien (Darnerian, Darian) McCants and Ronald Bellamy.

McCants spent the first four years of his career with the Redskins before landing in Philadelphia for the 2005 season. In 41 career games, McCants has 58 receptions for 774 yards and eight touchdowns.

The Delaware State product's best season came in 2003, when he caught 27 passes for 360 yards and six TDs. Of those 27 catches, 22 resulted in first downs. In fact, in '02 and '03, 38 of the 6-3, 215-pounder's 48 receptions resulted in first downs.

(Browns fan, though, might best remember him as the receiver who this year beat the irrepressible Pete Hunter for a 32-yard touchdown in the club's pre-season opener against the Eagles.)

Bellamy is a 6-0, 203-pound product of the University of Michigan who "played" for the Dolphins in his rookie year of '04, "played" for the Ravens in '05, and should not be confused with the boxing half-brother of NBA great Walt Bellamy.

The WRs weren't the only skill positions getting a workout, though, as two quarterbacks and one running back were also in town, with one of them actually having a big-name (kinda) and ties to the current head coach.

QBs Rohan Davey and J.T O'Sullivan—as well as RB Manuel White—were put through the paces by the Browns' staff as the organization continues their due diligence of putting together an emergency QB list on the off-chance that Frye is Dahmered during the course of a game.

Davey was a fourth-round pick of the Patriots in the 2002 draft and spent the first three seasons of his career with New England. After leading the Berlin Thunder to the NFL Euro title and being named the league's MVP in 2004, he was released by the Patriots in favor of seventh-round pick Matt Cassell in 2005. He was then picked up by the Cardinals, where he did not see any action in ‘05.

For his NFL career, Davey has played in seven games, completing eight of nineteen passes for 88 yards. Additionally, the 6-2, 245-pounder has zero career TDs, zero career INTs, and zero career oppositions to 24-hour, all-you-can-eat buffets.

During Davey's time in New England, Browns head coach Romeo Crennel was the Patriots' defensive coordinator.

As for White and O'Sullivan—to borrow a quote from Braylon Edwards that was effective in describing the Carolina DBs—they are just guys.

On the defensive side of the ball, two listed tackles, two linebackers and one defensive back were given a look-see.

The defensive tackles were Matthias Askew and LaWaylon Brown.

For fans of both Michigan State football and Hamilton County court reports, Askew's name may ring a bell as, earlier this year, the 6-5, 302-pounder made headlines after being Tasered by Cincinnati police over some sort of parking violation.

On the upside, the three-year veteran was found not guilty of criminal charges of disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and obstruction of official business in August.

On the downside, he was charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and obstruction of official business as training camp was about to begin in July.

For some reason, the Bengals released him during the pre-season.

(As an aside, I'm guessing Phil Savage is quietly lifting his "Christian players" personal man laws.)

Brown, on the other hand, has never been Tasered over a parking violation as far as I can tell. So he's got that going for him. Which is good.

He's also a 6-5, 305-pounder out of Oklahoma State who spent the last two seasons on the Bills' roster and has never appeared in an NFL game.

With the defensive linemen out of the way, we'll shift gears and head toward Lance Mitchell and Markus Steele as the LBs in question, with Steele having the local connection that Savage sought during free agency.

Steele, who was born and raised in Cleveland, spent the last five years with the Broncos and Cowboys after being drafted by Dallas in the fourth round of the 2001 NFL draft.

Mitchell spent his rookie season in Arizona—playing in twelve games—before being released before the start of the regular season.

The above brings us to a total of ten, which means there is one player left to round out the Browns' Elite Eleven. And, oddly enough, the lone remaining player also happens to be the highest-drafted player brought in for a workout.

That player?

Ben Kelly, cornerback out of the University of Colorado.

The 28-year-old was the 84th player selected in the 2000 draft by the Dolphins. Kelly, who was born in Cleveland and graduated from Lake Catholic High School, spent a little over a season with the Dolphins before being released and picked up by the Patriots. After being released by New England in 2003, he has not seen any NFL action and has bounced around the Arena League for the past three years.

One thing to note about Kelly, though: he held the Colorado University record for career kick-return TDs at 5 (three on kickoffs, two via punt returns.)

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