Sunday Morning Browns

The team, the roadblocks, the disappointment, and some additional thoughts on Tim Couch.

Heading into the season with high expectations, the Browns have run into every bump in the road during the early portion if the 2002 season.


From losing a gut-wrenching game to the Chiefs to struggling against division rivals, the Steelers and Ravens, the Browns have put themselves in a precarious position. They must find the means of consistency and do so in rather quick order.


The 2002 schedule once thought of as fairly favorable is quickly becoming increasingly difficult and the Browns are not playing well. From what we've been told, the Browns personnel evaluators may have missed the boat on a number of players.


"The Browns have not done a very good job in previous drafts. The talent on their roster is much improved, but many of the high draft selections the Browns have had, haven't produced much," a league source tells this column. "They selected Tim Couch with the first selection in 1999, what has he really done. Granted, his supporting cast has been far less than desirable and it has stunted his growth process. This is his fourth season, there comes a time when the excuses run out. Courtney Brown could be the best run stopping defensive end in the league, but he was drafted to supply the team with a pass rushing threat coming off the corner. Additionally, he has been hampered with numerous injuries. He doesn't look like the same player he was in college. His first step has slowed, that initial burst that made him look special is gone."


"Selecting Gerard Warren may have been the best selection by this team in the first-round. He is a stout defender, which really does not get the recognition that he deserves. But, he is a player that can and will achieve at a high level in this league. Lastly, the William Green selection was questioned on draft day and it is even more a question today. Green has done absolutely nothing and is not showing any signs of picking up his game."


More Green: Attempting to nurse Green along, the Browns have come to the realization that Green and the team would be best served by playing the rookie running back in spot situations. Hoping to improve his confidence, the Browns want to give him every opportunity to become the player they believe he is.


According to a source close to the team, Green is having some issues with his confidence as well as trying to deal with not being productive on the field for the first time in his career.


"Green is a very bright kid that has faced adversity throughout his life, this isn't going to be a big deal for him to overcome. He is seeing things materialize on the field, but he hasn't really gotten the speed of the game down yet," the source said. "In practice he showing some good instincts, now he has to carry that into the game. We're pretty confident that he will help us soon."


Weekly Couch Medical Report: In what appears to have become a consistent piece of this column, some additional information on the health of Tim Couch has been provided to this column from separate, independent sources in the league.


As we all know, Couch has suffered from the tearing of scar tissue in his throwing elbow, as well as battling tendentious. According to one league source, Couch is suffering from far more than some torn scar tissue and tendentious.


"When the Browns stated that Couch's MRI was negative, that wasn't necessarily an accurate assessment," the source said. "There are indications that Couch had partially torn a tendon from the bone in his elbow, which was causing some of his troubles. From the reports, the elbow is healing and he really can't cause any further damage to the region. Watching him throw the ball within the past week to ten days, he has regained some of the velocity on the ball that was lost originally."


Another source within the scouting ranks offers a somewhat different approach to the Couch situation.


"The reports that we have, some from observation and talk within the league is that Couch is still having some problems with the elbow, but none that will prohibit him from playing," the source stated. "It will be interesting to see what transpires once the season concludes, many believe that he (Couch) will have surgery to cleanup the elbow."


"Despite all the talk in Cleveland about their quarterback position, Couch is the man to lead that team to the promised land. He has the intangibles required for the position, the real problem in Cleveland is that they do not have enough talent around him yet. Once the younger players develop, this team could be very good."

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