Tre Johnson and Earl Holmes. Plus, notes galore from this afternoon's practice."> Tre Johnson and Earl Holmes. Plus, notes galore from this afternoon's practice.">

Still on the Sidelines

Mike McLain takes a look at two players who are still missing from the practice field: <A HREF="http://scout.theinsiders.com/a.z?s=149&p=8&c=1&nid=293307&yr=2002">Tre Johnson and <A HREF="http://scout.theinsiders.com/a.z?s=149&p=8&c=1&nid=293300&yr=2002">Earl Holmes</A>. Plus, notes galore from this afternoon's practice.

BEREA - Offensive lineman Tre Johnson and middle linebacker Earl Holmes continue to be no-shows on the practice field.

Johnson has been slowed by a sprained knee. Holmes has seen limited time as he continues to come back from knee surgery.

Coach Butch Davis expressed concern about Johnson's condition. At the same time, he said that he wouldn't hesitate moving Johnson in with the first team if, and when, he's ready to practice.

"It's a concern," Davis said. "You have to talk to the strength coaches and trainers and find out if he's structurally sounder than he was a year ago. How is he moving around? Hopefully he'll return to practice sometime prior to the beginning of the season.

"Any time you sign someone who has an injury history, you have to cross your fingers to some extent. Some guys can deal with it and continue to perform. Some guys might run the risk of breaking down. It's a decision you have to factor in at the final cut. If you have one guy on the bubble, you might keep 10."

Johnson doesn't seem frustrated.

"It's a matter of trying to stay healthy. Anyone in this room can go down," Johnson said. "A lot of guys have, and a lot of guys will.

BAD DECISION: Roger Chanoine admitted that he didn't use common sense when he became involved in a scuffle with rookie linebacker Kevin Bentley. Chanoine's helmet smacked Bentley in the face. Bentley remained on the field for several minutes, at which time coach Butch Davis canceled practice about 30 minutes early.

"When temperatures get escalated and somebody gets a little extra aggressive, fights break out," Chanoine said. "In hindsight of everything that happened, if it had been a game situation it was probably stupid for me to retaliate towards him. It's important for us not to hit our own teammates."

Bentley admittedly missed not having the advice of the injured Jamir Miller.

"I'm sure he could have given me some advice on how to handle it better … maybe even how to avoid it," Bentley said.

NOT BAD: Tim Couch completed a 40-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Johnson on the first play of 11-on-11 drills in the afternoon. Rookie defensive back Kalvin Pearson broke up another Couch pass intended for Johnson in the end zone.

Pearson has shown no signs of slowing down. He also broke up a pass that was intended for Frisman Jackson.

TAKING A BREAK: Lewis Sanders missed Tuesday's practices due to the death of a grandfather, who died during the Browns-Vikings game last Saturday.

MAKING AN IMPRESSION: Recently-acquired linebacker  Darren Hambrick put a hard hit on rookie offensive lineman Qasim Mitchell. Mitchell went flying to the ground. He got up and patted Hambrick on the back.

MOVING IN: With Holmes on the sideline, rookie Andra Davis is getting a lot of work with the first team at middle linebacker. Davis said he wouldn't hesitate starting a rookie at such a critical position.

"There's a learning curve. I don't think the (rookies) have to play lights out every game," Davis said. "We've had rookie linebackers that have jumpd in and thrown into the fire and played."


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