BEREA - A commonly used term in the NFL these days is a "trap game". Is it possible for the Browns to play in a game they could actually overlook an opponent?
Normally, the phrase refers to looking past this week's opponent for next week's (Seattle). That isn't the case for the Browns.
The 3-3 Browns take on the winless (0-7) Rams on the road Sunday. The Browns are 1-1 when playing teams looking for their first wins this year. They lost at Oakland to the Raiders when they were 0-2. The defeated the Dolphins when Miami was 0-5.
"If you don't respect your opponent, you can get beat any time," Jason Wright said. "That's why you can't look at the records of teams in this league because of the talent level."
Romeo Crennel is preaching that theme all week.
"They have Pro Bowlers all over their roster," he said. "They've only played three games at home and lost by one and three."
Kamerion Wimbley agreed with the assessment.
"They're a dangerous team," he said. "They have been in a lot of close games. They're not going to lay down for us."
Derek Anderson sees some pretty good players on the defensive side.
"They are a very athletic defense," he said. "They make plays and have a front four who provide a good pass rush."
The Rams should receive a big boost as Steven Jackson is expected to return to the Rams' lineup after missing the past several games with a groin injury.
"Steven Jackson is a very good back with a lot of explosion," Wimbley said. "He's very fast and very strong. We have to tackle him."
Jackson rushed for over 1,500 yards in 2006.
Anderson roomed with Jackson at Oregon State and said he's been talking with him the past few days.
"We're going to have to tackle him," Anderson said. "He's a big, strong guy."
Grady Jackson Interest: The Falcons cut starting defensive tackle Grady Jackson and Crennel was asked if the Browns had an interest in bringing in the run stopper.
"Not at the moment," he said.
Crennel said it wasn't out of the possibility he would be brought in.
"Things can always change at this level."
Sorenson Added: To replace DB Gary Baxter, the Browns signed DB Nick Sorenson, a seven year NFL veteran. Sorenson played for the Rams and most recently the Jaguars. Baxter was placed on injured reserve on Tuesday after failing to be able to return to the active roster after tearing both patellar tendons a year ago against.
"He has experience in the league at safety and corner," Crennel said. "We'll see where he is and his conditioning level and if he can help us."
Sorenson said he worked out with the Browns about four to five weeks ago and has been waiting for a call. He said in his previous years in the NFL, he has been almost exclusively a special teams player.
"I usually just focused on special teams," Sorenson said. "I'm here ready to do what they need from me."
On Baxter: Crennel explained the rationale behind placing on Baxter on IR.
"Gary worked extremely hard to get back on the field, but once he got on the field he could never get to the point where he needed to be," Crennel said. "His point all the way long was that he was going to be back. He's going to work and next year we'll give it another shot."
Crennel said that both parties agreed it was the best course of action.
"It was a mutual decision," Crennel said. "There are no timetables on injuries."
Status Quo on LeCharles: Crennel said the Browns still have not made a decision regarding whether to activate LeCharles Bentley or put him on injured reserve. The Browns have until Nov. 6 to activate him for a three-week practice window before they could determine if he could be activated or placed on injured reserve.
"LeCharles really wants to play for the Browns," Crennel said. "He's not totally ready to be out there, yet. The window goes until Nov. 6 and we'll continue to see if he can be ready by then."
Crennel said Bentley has progressed in some areas to the point he could play now, but wouldn't elaborate on what areas. He did say the Browns would not make a hasty decision with him, as evidenced by the length of time it's taken to determine his status.
"We're trying to do the best thing for (LeCharles)," Crennel said.
No Change at Safety: Crennel said the coaching staff decided to make no changes with safeties Brodney Pool and Sean Jones. There was some talk about the pair reversing their roles with Pool becoming the strong safety and Jones the free safety.
"We've talked to Sean about a couple of adjustments that he needs to make," Crennel said. "I think you won't see the same mistakes in coming weeks."