High Powered Offense Ready to Re-Unite

Fred Greetham reports from Berea, where the Cleveland Browns ready themselves in a hurry for the Dallas Cowboys. With key players just getting back onto the field today, the team doesn't have long to find its' groove...

BEREA - The Browns and their fans have high expectations for their offense.

So far, it has not been unveiled.

With Joe Jurevicius on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, the Browns are still missing one of their main weapons from a year ago.

However, Donte Stallworth was added to replace Jurevicius as a starter. The problem has been that the players they were counting upon to be the playmakers haven't been able to even practice together for most of the preseason as a unit.

Braylon Edwards had stitches in his foot after getting stepped on by Stallworth. Derek Anderson suffered a concussion against the Giants in the second preseason game. Jamal Lewis injured his hamstring in the Giants' game.

All are expected to be back and on the field against the Cowboys in the season opener come Sunday. Lewis was limited on Wednesday, but was optimistic he would be ready.

All three players practiced and Crennel said if there were not setbacks, he was ready to name Anderson the starting quarterback for this Sunday.

Anderson, Edwards and Lewis haven't played since the second preseason game, but Edwards doesn't think it will take long for the offense to come together.

"I'm not concerned about DA and I not being in rhythm," he said. "We've spent a lot of time together in the off-season as a group."

Kellen Winslow agreed.

"I don't think it will take long," he said. "There's been minicamp and the off-season."

The players are looking forward to the season.

"I think we can be tremendous," Edwards said. "Each guy brings something to the team. We have a good line and players who can make plays."

"We have high expectations for the team," Winslow said. "It's not just for the offense."

Lewis said fans shouldn't be concerned about the Browns poor preseason.

"This is where it starts," Lewis said. "We've worked hard and we know what we have to do."

Romeo Crennel feels good with the players coming back from injury.

"I feel good about this team, but we've have some guys banged up," Crennel said. "You never know how guys will respond coming back."


Injury Update: Crennel said all of the injured players will be on the field doing something. However, he didn't say what they would be doing. The only two players he said were not going to practice were OL Rex Hadnot (knee) and LB Kris Griffin (elbow), although Griffin was on the field without pads.

In the first 30 minutes open to the media QB Derek Anderson, RB Jamal Lewis, DB Brodney Pool, DB Sean Jones, WR Braylon Edwards, KR Joshua Cribbs, LB Antwan Peek, LB Willie McGinest and OL Ryan Tucker were on the field. Cribbs was in the locker room walking without a limp.

Crennel said Anderson would start against the Cowboys, with one condition.

"If he makes it through the day, I'll make that announcement," Crennel said.

Anderson said he'll play.

"I'll be fine," Anderson said. "This is a good opportunity for us. We're excited."

Lewis was limited by the hamstring, but said he would know how he felt on Thursday. Pool and Tucker were in full pads, but it was unclear how much they did in practice. When Crennel was asked about Pool, he said.

"We don't want to put him the meat grinder right away."

Captain, Captain: Crennel said the team voted on captains and they were announced: For special teams, K Phil Dawson and KR Joshua Cribbs. For offense: OL Hank Fraley and QB Derek Anderson. For the defense: LB Andra Davis and LB Willie McGinest.

"I think these are a good group of captains that will represent us very well," Crennel said.

Anderson was happy to be a captain.

"It's a great honor to be named captain," he said.

TO Test: There is no question that the Browns are starting a pair of young corners who will be tested by one of the best wide receivers in the NFL.

Crennel expects both Eric Wright and Brandon McDonald to be tested.

"With two young corners they're going to get tested anyway," Crennel said. "You look at TO, if you play off, he can make plays. If you press him, he makes plays. He's a force you have to account for."

Owens said he has watched a lot of film of the Browns corners.

"They play fundamentally sound technique," Owens said in a conference call. "We have to go out and take advantage of the opportunity.

"Whether there are any mismatches or not," he said. "If they are young or inexperienced, they can play at this level or they wouldn't be here."

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