Looking for Revenge

Mike McLain reports from Nashville on the revenge factor on Sunday. The Titans want to answer for the way in which they lost to the Browns last year. With Eddie George and an improved secondary, they are ready for the Browns.

NASHVILLE - Some wounds don't heal easily.

It's taken Cleveland Browns quarterback Tim Couch almost one month to bounce back from an elbow injury. Almost nine months have passed since the Browns' 41-38 win over the Tennessee Titans here, and there are some players that haven't forgotten.

"Revenge will be on the mind of some of the guys in the locker room after losing the way we did," Tennessee defensive tackle Henry Ford said. "We have developed a rivalry with Cleveland ever since we played them when they returned to the league.

"Everybody is trying to get their program off of the ground. We need a win just as bad as Cleveland does. This is going to be one of those games where both teams must fight for every inch."

Both teams are 1-1. The Browns opened with a 40-39 loss to Kansas City but regrouped to dispose of Cincinnati, 20-9. The Titans posted a 27-24 win over Philadelphia in the opener, only to lose to Dallas, 21-13, last Sunday.

The Browns will probably go with Couch at quarterback, his first start since suffering an elbow injury in an exhibition game against Green Bay Aug. 26. Kelly Holcomb played well in Couch's absence, leading to speculation that he might be better suited to get the call.

Titans running back Eddie George went to an emergency room last Sunday because of pain in a foot that apparently was wrapped too tight. Quarterback Steve McNair suffered a concussion when he ran into a sideline bench. Both players were limited in their practice time this week.

"These are thing you have to work through," Fisher said. "All coaches want their players to practice. In a perfect world they should be able to practice."

Browns coach Butch Davis knows to never take George too lightly.

"You could tell the toe situation was bothering him last year, but you could never tell it by the way he ran against us," Davis said. "He looks quicker and more decisive in his cuts. According to our players - although I didn't study him on film the previous couple of years - they said that to them he looks like he's back."

Tennessee's secondary, which was ravaged by injuries last year, is in better shape. Couch completed 20 of 27 passes for 306 yards and three touchdowns as the Browns rallied from a 38-24 deficit in the fourth quarter.

Tennessee signed Lance Schulters to fill a hole at free safety, and Tank Williams was selected in the second round of the draft to move in at strong safety.

"What they went through with their secondary was like what we went through as a football team," Davis said. "They had a whole roster of guys who rotated into the secondary. I'm sure they're thrilled to death to have upgraded the safety situation."


The OBR Top Stories