a letter of support for Couch in the Watercooler."> a letter of support for Couch in the Watercooler.">

Standing His Ground

Tim Couch stands by his comments following the Browns - Ravens debacle on Sunday night. Couch remains upset with fans who appeared to cheer as he lay injured. Meanwhile, over 300 Browns fans have signed <A HREF="http://citadel2.ezboard.com/fbrownsinsiderfrm15.showMessage?topicID=6703.topic">a letter of support</A> for Couch in the <A HREF="http://citadel2.ezboard.com/fbrownsinsiderfrm15">Watercooler</A>.

BEREA - Tim Couch didn't back off of comments he made about the fans following the Browns' 26-21 loss to Baltimore on Monday.

"I still feel the same way," Couch said. "They have a right, if they don't like the way I'm playing or the way the team is playing, to boo us or boo me. But to cheer when I got hurt is a whole other level with me, and I don't agree with that.

"Even if (Baltimore linebacker) Ray Lewis got hurt, the other team's best player, if they cheer that, it's not right. I still stick behind what I said."

Couch has drawn a clear line in the sand in his dealing with the fans. He was angered that some fans cheered when he suffered a mild concussion early in the fouth quarter.

Couch now feels like a visitor in his home stadium.

"I felt it turned pretty quick on me," Couch said. "It was a tough situation to play in. It was a situation I wasn't ready for and wasn't expecting to walk into with my home crowd.

"I can expect what's going to happen every time we walk into that stadium, and I guess I'm going to treat every game like it's a road game for me. Yesterday (Sunday) was like playing on the road and like playing in an away environment."

Couch received support from some of his teammates. Tight end Aaron Shea was angry about the way the fans treated Couch.

"When people do something like that, you want to kick someone's ass. That's how I feel," Shea said. "When someone is booing you, you want to smack them in the face. The people who have jumped off his bandwagon shouldn't jump back on it when he leads us to the Super Bowl."

Browns coach Butch Davis sympathized with Couch. Davis said that as long as Couch has no lasting effects from the concussion, he'll be the starting quarterback when the Browns play Sunday at Tampa Bay.

"Anybody who puts as much time and effort into a game or any kind of profession doesn't like criticism," Davis said. "No one likes being booed. To some extent, fans' reaction whether you drop a pass or have pass interference, it's like the bottle-throwing incident of last year. You understand where the frustrations come from.

"By the same token, when someone gets hurt, I find it somewhat distasteful myself that people would actually cheer about it. I can understand where his frustrations come from."

Couch stressed that he didn't have a problem with fans booing. He admits that he made a mistake by waving his arms at the crowd when he heard boos, which served to further incite segments of the crowd.

"I do regret doing that," Couch said. "They were getting to me, I can't lie about that. It was kind of how I felt at the moment."

Couch is now approaching each week knowing that the reception he receives at home might be a cold one.

"It hasn't always been an easy road for me," Couch said. "A lot has been expected of me, and sometimes I've reached what people expected and sometimes I haven't. You're not going to please everybody. I'm never not going to please everyone in this city.

INJURY REPORT:  Holcomb hurt his ankle and was limping noticeably in the final minutes. Offensive tackle Ross Verba suffered a concussion.

GET IT GOING: Davis is anxious to get the rushing offense cranked up. The Browns were outgained, 201-62, on the ground by the Ravens.

"Obviously, you have to have the pieces of the puzzle to make it work," Davis said. "You have to have an attitude, and you have to have a commitment to it."

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