Friday Afternoon Report from Berea

David gives us the very latest on the Friday before the now-important contest with the expansion Houston Texans. Who's in, who's out, who's up, who's down, and who's ready to breakout. It's all here in Dave's latest report - the first report of any kind on today's developments.

On Monday, Cleveland Browns coach Butch Davis predicted that Daylon McCutcheon would be just fine despite the fact that the cornerback struggled to move his injured left elbow after last week's loss at Tampa Bay.

It turns out, that was just wishful thinking. McCutcheon did not practice for the third consecutive day Friday, and it looks like he will not play at all Sunday against Houston.

Davis said Anthony Henry would start in McCutcheon's place.

"I have to focus on getting the job done this week with Daylon out," said Henry.

That doesn't necessarily mean Henry is feeling any pressure to come up with his first interception. After breaking into the league with 10 interceptions last year, Henry said he understands that people have high expectations for him.

"I know that a year like that makes people expect a lot out of you, and that's not a bad thing," said Henry. "I'm glad people have high expectations for me."

After struggling at times during the season's first five games, Henry appeared to have his best effort against Tampa Bay.

"I feel like I had a pretty good game last week," said McCutcheon. "I made some plays on special teams, blocking the (field goal) and I came up and made some good tackles on defense … Just because you aren't getting interceptions, that doesn't mean you aren't making plays.

Henry said he has had four legitimate opportunities to make an interception this season.

"Plays are still coming my way," said Henry. "I'm going to get my chances."

BIG GAME …You wouldn't have expected this at the start of the year, but Sunday's game with the expansion Houston Texans is taking on a "big-game feel," according to defensive end Kenard Lang.

"This team needs a win right now," said Lang. "We need a win to get back on track. I think everybody feels that."

Lang stopped short of calling it a must-win game.

"When I was in Washington last year, we started out 0-5," said Lang. "Then we ran off five straight wins and all of a sudden we are back in the playoff hunt. I'm far from ready to start hanging my head. We've played six games and there are still 10 more to go."

LINE FINALLY BACK … With Dave Wohlabaugh returning to start at center and snapping with the right hand he broke in the season's second week, the Browns finally have their opening-day starting offensive line back at full strength.

Wohlabaugh said the line understands why fans are frustrated with the Browns inability to put together an effective running game, but he also said they should expect play of the offensive line to improve in the near future.

"The guys in this room know what is going on," said Wohlabaugh. "We know where we have to improve, and we just have to go out there and keep doing our best."

After starting three different centers in three weeks and three different combinations on the right side of the line in the first six weeks, having the opening-day line back close to full strength should allow the unit to finally get a chance to gel.

"You hate to say it's tough to get used to playing with different guys, but it really is," said right tackle Ryan Tucker, who said he is back to 100-percent after missing two games earlier in the season with a knee sprain. "I'm just starting to get used to playing next to Shaun O'Hara. I had spent most of training camp getting used to (Tre' Johnson at right guard) and working with him. Now that we have Dave back at center and Shaun is back at right guard full time, we have a chance to settle in and get used to playing together."

UNDER FIRE … While Tim Couch has prepared to be under fire from the blitz-happy Texans defense, he hopes he won't be under fire from Browns fans. This will be Couch's first game back at Cleveland Browns Stadium after being booed two weeks ago.

"I think everything is going to be OK," said Couch. "I don't anticipate any problems, especially if we put points on the board."

In the past, Couch has admitted to trying to do too much in an attempt to prove himself and win over the fans. That usually is a recipe for mistakes. He said he won't fall into that trip this weekend.

"I'm more capable to deal with that pressure now," said Couch. "I've learned. I can block out that temptation."

Couch said he doesn't have time to concentrate on what type of reaction he will get from the fans. Not when he will face a team that blitzes more than any he's seen in his NFL career.

"They blitz five on every play and play cover-zero behind it," said Couch. "They leave their corners on an island. They blitz more than Baltimore. Probably more than anyone I've played … Wong seems to be their biggest blitzer. I expect him to come a lot.

GREEN PROGRESSING … William Green's lack of production and his tentative running style have been a disappointment in his first six games as a pro, but according to Couch, the rookie running back is getting close to being ready for his first breakout game.

"You can see it in practice," said Couch. "I think William is beginning to feel more comfortable. I see him setting his blocks up better. He's getting better and better, and I think it is just a matter of time before he has a really big game."

GET TO CARR … After recording a sack in just two of their first six games, the Browns defense knows it has an opportunity to finally have a breakout game against a Texans' offensive line that has allowed 31 sacks this season.

"This is definitely a chance for our defense to shine," said Kenard Lang. "We need to get to the quarterback."

Lang said changes in offensive schemes are a big reason sack numbers are down this year.

"Everything is timing routes and getting rid of the ball," said Lang. "That doesn't bother me, though. I'm still trying to get sacks. I'm not going to sell myself short and change (my goal), no matter what the offense does."

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