Berea Report: Prepping for the Run

The Browns face the NFL's top rushing offense this weekend, creating a huge challenge for one of the league's worst run defenses. Head coach Romeo Crennel finally admitted to the weaknesses this week, and talked about stopping the Falcons...

Browns coach Romeo Crennel has finally admitted what Browns have known for a long time - the run defense has not been very good this season. It is a worry going into Atlanta Sunday because the Falcons have the top-ranked run offense and the Browns are 29th in run defense.

Adding Ted Washington at nose tackle and Willie McGinest at outside linebacker was supposed to cure the ills of last year. It has not. Rookie inside linebacker D'Qwell Jackson hasn't made anyone forget Ben Taylor yet. Jackson will be better in time. Jackson is second on the team with 66 tackles, but only two have been for negative yardage. Andra Davis has 67 tackles and only one for negative yardage.

"We're disappointed that the run defense hasn't been better than we anticipated it being," Coach Romeo Crennel said. "When we added Ted and Willie, we thought that would make an improvement in the running game. To a degree, I think it has been improved.

"Overall, the numbers don't say that it has improved. Many times, the numbers don't lie. We have to do a better job of being diligent about our leverage and our fits. Sometimes, the problem has moved to another spot. I think that has happened to a degree."

The Browns have to concentrate on Warrick Dunn running inside and Falcons quarterback Michael Vick running outside.

ERRY HAS SETBACK: There was more bad news on the injury front Friday. Cornerback Jereme Perry aggravated his ankle injury in practice Thursday. If he cannot play it would mean Ralph Brown would start at one cornerback spot. Dave Holly has recovered from the illness that prevented from playing against the Chargers last week.

INJURY REPORT: The Browns downgraded CB Leigh Bodden to "Out" on Friday, and have the usual long list of players as "Questionable". Players who are given that status this week are Joe Andruzzi, Cosey Coleman, Daven Holly, Joe Jurevicius, Willie McGinest, Jereme Perry, Orpheus Roye, Matt Stewart, Ryan Tucker, Leon Williams, and Kellen Winslow. Williams, Roye and Perry all missed part of today's practice.

Listed as "Probable" are Kelly Butler, Charlie Frye, Dennis Northcutt, and D'Qwell Jackson. Only Jackson missed any practice time today.

The OBR Top Stories