From Berea: Thomas Optimistic He'll Be Ready

The offensive line took center stage today as rookie LT Joe Thomas said that he hopes to start all sixteen games and C LeCharles Bentley remains a possibility for the 2007 roster. Fred Greetham reports on Tuesday's OTA practices and comments by Phil Savage...

BEREA - If you ask Joe Thomas, he'll be ready come the opening game of the season against the Steelers.

"My goal from the beginning was to start all 16 games as a rookie," Thomas said after Tuesday's OTA practice. "

Thomas might not have been just giving lip service as he said he and his agent are trying to get something done now. Thomas said the Browns' Trip McCracken has been in Denver meeting with Thomas' agent.

"We've been proactive (in contract negotiations)," Thomas said. "More than the other top five picks. My agent has been meeting with the Browns  and I've heard things are going well. I'm encouraged."

Phil Savage said the Browns have made proposals to all of their draft picks and thinks it would be important for Thomas, in particular, to be on time to training camp.

"As an offensive lineman, getting the timing down will be important for him," Savage said. "The OTAs and  minicamps are important, but training camp is when the pads go on."

Thomas knows that talks frequently break down among top picks, but is hoping that won't be the case for him.

"I don't understand how this business works," he said. "But it seems that most of the time the teams or agents wait until the last minute to get things going. My agent and I talked about my goal of starting all 16 games right from the beginning and we've been proactive toward that goal."

Thomas also knows how important it is for rookies to be in camp with coach Romeo Crennel.

 "Everything so far has been great," Thomas said. "We've put in most of the offense and I've learned a lot. I feel we're starting to coalesce as an offensive line.

"We've made huge strides," he said. "It gives us a chance to learn techniques and be ready for minicamp."


GM Phil Savage met with the media and updated the media on several topics:

LeCharles Bentley Update: "I can report there's nothing scheduled for this week and he's opted for no additional surgery," Savage said. "He will continue to rehab for three or four weeks. I think it's a good sign that he's not having the surgery, but at this point we're putting (the decision of him playing in 2007) off for three to four weeks."

Bentley has been in Arizona recovering. Savage said he feels there has been enough recovery to put off another surgery, at least for now.

Gary Baxter Update: "He's had a tremendous rehab and he was out on the field doing some running on Monday."

K2: "He continues to rehab and should be ready for training camp."

On Braylon Edwards being on third team: "He works with all teams whether it's the first, second or third team. You can't read much into the depth charts. I think he's into it and wants to prove he's a good player."

On Bill Rees: "About a month prior to the draft, he said there was a situation with a family member that could impact his status. His new role is with Special Projects which will allow him to stay in Chicago and be with his wife and family."

New Personnel Director: Savage said T.J. McCreight was promoted to take Rees' place. Several other changes have taken place in the personnel area.  Daniel Jeremiah joins the Browns as a national scout coming over from the Ravens.

Go Cavs: Several of the Browns echoed their support of the Cavaliers as they go to the NBA Finals.

"The Browns want to express congratulations to Danny Ferry and the Cavaliers," Savage said. "They should be real proud of what they've accomplished."

"I'm a Cavs fan," Kamerion Wimbley said. "I think they'll win. I don't know in how many games, but I think they'll win."  

"It's great for the city," Crennel said. "We'd like to build on their success."


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