Line Signings Look Prescient

The Browns returned a number of offensive linemen, and added one more. Good thing...

Four starters on the offensive line started all 16 games for the Browns in 2007. The only exception was right guard Seth McKinney. McKinney separated his shoulder in the eighth game. Ryan Tucker took over and the Browns went 5-3.

Heading into organized team activities, Tucker was the starting right guard, but on the second day of practice his hip fractured when he took a misstep and a teammate stumbled into him. He might not be ready to play until the start of the regular season. August is an optimistic return date.

"Ryan is at home resting and he's doing well," coach Romeo Crennel said. "We expect him to be come back and help us. The biggest challenge for him is being comfortable. The doctors say sitting down is not a good position for recovery. We're going to have to see how we can keep that hip straight so it can recover and he can still get some things done."

Rex Hadnot, one of two players the Browns signed as unrestricted free agents, is replacing Tucker in OTAs.

The Browns, after years of adding players to the injured reserve list almost on a weekly basis, were remarkably fortunate last year. Only five players went on I.R. from injuries suffered in the regular season. McKinney was one of them.

McKinney's contract expired at the end of last season. He is back with the Browns after signing a new contract, but this time instead of projecting him as a starter the Browns signed him for depth.

Ironically, during an interview before the injury, Tucker talked about how important it was to re-sign McKinney and Lennie Friedman to keep the offensive line together from last season. Hadnot was a starting guard and center in his days in Miami.

"That was awesome," Tucker said at the time, referring to McKinney and Friedman. "Those guys are very important pieces of our success.

"Whether I'm a backup or Seth's a backup or Lennie's a backup -- it doesn't matter. We've all played and we all have great experience. There isn't a drop-off. I don't know much about Hadnot, but I know we have some hellaciously good players here."

Tucker, 33, is in his 12th NFL season and seventh with the Browns. He has started 70 games with the Browns (62 at right tackle), more than any other offensive lineman since the Browns returned to the NFL in 1999.

The OBR Top Stories