BEREA - Defensive end Courtney Brown ended his silent treatment with the media that goes back almost two months.
Brown spoke at length about several issues Thursday. He was responding to criticism leveled his way by fans and the media about what is perceived as a lack of production.
"I feel a lot of things that have been said weren't out of line but were uncharacteristic," Brown said. "I don't know why some things have been said. I can't focus on that. It's going to happen. That's football."
Brown refused to comment immediately after the game. Asked about the issue Thursday, Brown expressed surprise at Sapp's words.
"I didn't understand why he said the things he said. Obviously, it's not true," Brown said. "That's the kind of person he is. If he felt that way, he has a right to voice his opinion. I can't worry about that or what people have to say."
Brown is known for being quiet and reserved. His personality leads to the belief that he doesn't have a burning desire to play.
"I've had a desire to play this game for a long time," he said. "I've been working hard for a long time to make myself better. That's why I don't say much and let my play speak for itself."
Brown's numbers aren't off the charts this season. Through five games he has 20 tackles and no sacks.
What the statistics don't reveal are the number of times Brown has faced double- and occasionally triple-team blocking. The Bucs lined up a tight end or a running back on Brown's side on almost every down. There were times when two tight ends ganged up on him.
On the only down in which Brown faced one blocker and Bucs quarterback Brad Johnson dropped back five steps, Brown hit Johnson as he threw. The ball fell harmlessly out of bounds.
"That's part of the game," Brown said. "Sometimes you're going to get attention, and sometimes you're not. I just have to prepare every week and take advantage of the situation when it presents itself."
I'M YOUR CAPTAIN: Team captains have finally been selected. Quarterback Tim Couch, running back Jamel White and tackle Ryan Tucker are the offensive selections. End Kenard Lang and strong safety Robert Griffith are the defensive choices, while Brant Boyer and Chris Akins share honors on special teams. White and Tucker received the same amount of votes.
Lang was thankful for being selected, but he downplayed the importance of being a captain.
"It's an honor," Lang said. "I'm not going to take it like I'm President of the United States and go bomb Iraq."
White considered it an honor.
"I've gone from being undrafted to coming here (from Indianapolis) and returning kicks, then having a good last half of last year, then coming in this year and having a good preseason and staying consistent," White said. "It means a lot to me because it shows that I'm getting that much better. I haven't reached my full potential yet."
INJURY UPDATE: Quarterback Kelly Holcomb no longer needs the assistance of crutches. He is wearing a brace to support his left leg and will be sidelined a few more weeks. Cornerback Daylon McCutcheon did some running Thursday but didn't practice. He has an elbow injury and has been listed as questionable.
SOME INTEREST: Davis said that the team might be interested in former Browns defensive end Keith McKenzie, who was waived this week by the Chicago Bears. McKenzie led the Browns in sacks in 2000 with eight. When the Browns signed Lang in the offseason, McKenzie searched for other options.
"We've talked about it a little bit," Davis said. "We'd have to see why Chicago released him. How physically able is he to play?"