Wednesday Notes from Berea

Will benched starters keep their jobs? Are the Browns ready for Famous Amos? Will Jamel White be able to reproduce his 100+ yard game against Pittsburgh? David Carducci brings you the very latest from Berea!

STILL STARTING ... Despite the fact that both were benched during the Browns' second-half comeback against the Jets, Quincy Morgan will be back in the starting lineup at wide receiver and Shaun O'Hara will return at right guard.

Tim Couch said he will make a point to show Morgan his confidence in him has not wavered.

"I think Quincy knows I have a lot of confidence in him," said Couch. "He is a guy I like getting the ball to a lot because he is so good after the catch. I think he is very aware of how confident I am in him."

Kevin Johnson said Morgan is a player the Browns need to have on the field.

"I know he can play," said Johnson. "I know I have a lot of confidence in No. 81. I know we need him to make plays for us on Sundays."

Paul Zukauskas replaced O'Hara at right guard in the second half against the Jets.

"I think I played all right," said Zukauskas. "I played well enough for us to win. That's what is important."

That may be, but the Browns have decided that O'Hara will be back as the starter at right guard against the Steelers.

"I'm not sure what the deal was (last week) ... but Shaun is the starter," said Zukauskas. "He took it well (last week). He's all right with everything."

READY FOR ZEREOUE ... In the 16-13 overtime loss Sept. 29, the Browns held the Steelers running game to just 2.7 yards per carry. According to defensive tackle Alvin McKinley, a lot of the Browns' defensive success was a result of the 5-man front they used.

"We went to the 5-man front, and that kind of confused them," said McKinley. "They kept trying to use the A and B gaps and it wasn't working."

With Jerome Bettis out with a knee injury, the Steelers have turned to Amos Zereoue to carry the load. That doesn't mean the Browns will change their focus on defense

"We have to continue to do what we were doing," McKinley said. "They have a scat back in Zereoue who wants to get the sideline, but he will still use the A and B gap. We still have to be disciplined in what we are doing to come away with a victory.

COUCH: BIGGEST GAME YET ... Tim Couch called playing the Steelers Sunday with first place on the line the biggest game of his pro career.

"This is the most meaningful game," said Couch. "We are playing for first place. We are right in the thick of the playoff hunt right now. We are right where we wanted to be, and we have every chance to accomplish the goals we have since the beginning of the year."

Couch admitted that the Browns missed a great opportunity to put some distance between themselves and the Steelers in their previous meeting.

"I watched that film this morning, and there were a lot of plays we left on the field," said Couch. "I can remember two chances down in the red zone (in the first half) to score touchdowns instead of field goals. Those are the plays that if we are going to win on Sunday, we have to convert."

According to Couch, those early mistakes way more on his mind than the team's inability to pull out the win in overtime.

"I look at what happened throughout the course of the game and try to figure out what we could have done and how we can get it done this Sunday," said Couch.

WHITE READY AGAIN ... Jamel White rushed for 105 yards on 16 carries against the Steelers earlier this year. Even with that big game, the Browns are ranked dead last in the NFL in rushing.

"That is bad," said White. "You don't ever want to be there. But if you win, you win, regardless of how many yards you have rushing. People don't remember how many yards rushing you have if you win the Super Bowl. We think the (ranking) is bad, but winning is the only stat we care about."

With the running game consistently struggling this season, what was the difference in Pittsburgh?

"I think it was gameplan and then the fact that we were executing plays," said White. "They had to look for a lot of things in our passing game that opened up the run."

White said it will be a whole lot harder to run for 100 yards Sunday. The big reason, Kendrell Bell was not in the Steelers' lineup for the first meeting. Now he's back from injury, and "he is making a big difference," said White. "He goes in there and hits guards down to the ground. You have to know where he is on the field when the game starts."


The OBR Top Stories