This would be the point in training camp where the pressure of fighting for spots and the physical nature of practice takes its toll. Monday's practice, as Mike McLain reported yesterday afternoon, was cut short because of scuffling between players. That story tops today's newswire, available to Yahoo! surfing dawgs by clicking the Daily Newswire link on the left side menu of http://browns.theinsiders.com. Props to DKDawg for slamming the wire together today, per usual.
Kevin Bentley bore the brunt of yesterday's extracurricular activity, as he was dealing with Joaquin Gonzalez and Roger Chanoine. All of these players are fighthing for spots on the depth chart, and all trying to make an impression on the Browns coaching staff. A couple of pokes or punches later, we've got scuffling and fights prepping to break out.
This isn't to say that our offensive linemen would engage in that sort of underhanded play to discourage a linebacker, but maybe there was an accidental poke in the eye or something. It's all purely unintentional, I'm sure. Our offensive linemen are the epitome of refinement and clean living.
As training camp moves on and the Day of the Turk draws closer, tensions will rise. Players are trying to make an impression and are working at cross-purposes as offense and defense scrimmage. What's impressive to me is that there aren't more fights than we normally get. Davis again made the right move by shutting down practice when emotions got out of control.
In Bentley's case, the situation is made worse by the fact that the Associated Press and Allsport haven't published a photo of him yet with Browns gear on. That sort of thing has to effect a guy.
There are also some stories in the wire about Darren Hambrick's challenging past. Jeff Schudel's article in the Lake County News-Herald is the most complete, although we hear that it was Anthony Riggens, in the Banquet Hall, with a piece of glass.
All that talent and so many incidents - let's hope that the stories from 2002 are about Hambrick's on-field accomplishments and not his off-field endeavours. There's some more about the ups and downs of Hambricks career in the player profile linked above. (NOTE TO YAHOO READERS: The one we use on BerniesInsiders, not the Yahoo one you will get by clicking player links.)
Jamir Miller's surgery was successful, and Kevin Thompson doesn't need any since he just has inflammation in his shoulder. That's as good as the news gets on the injury front today.
Pat McManamon has a follow-up story on the new rules about beer sales and stadium behavior which will become official today. These are, ostensibly, in response to last December's Bottlegate debacle. Remember, folks, don't over-indulge, but if you do make sure it's with an Official NFL Beer Sponsor like Coors, Miller, or Anheuser-Busch. Here, put an Official Miller Lite NFL Beach Towel over your head until the urge to drink beer goes away.
By the way, Thursday's practice is the last one open to the common rabble, i.e., you and me. Get down to Berea if you haven't yet. Berea isn't Disneyland, but if you love Browns football, you learn a lot by watching these guys practice. The players also say that it fires them up. Visiting is highly recommended, if you can.
Happy surfing, and get ready for more news and fan commentary hitting early this afternoon from The Oracle and Aardvark, as well as our practice reports throughout the day.
Art Bietz, Bernie's Insiders webmaster, can be insulted and mocked most efficiently by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.