The Berea Report: JJ Vows To Return

Fred Greetham reports from Berea on a passionate Jurevicius promising injury setbacks will not end his career, plus Crennel talks about coaching decisions and, yes, what may or may not happen at the QB position.

Berea—He wants to end his career on his own terms.

Who can blame him?

Joe Jurevicius planned to help lead the Browns to a possible Super Bowl this season and then retire as a Cleveland Brown. He now must wait another year.

Jurevicius met with the media and discussed his situation that has resulted in him missing the rest of the season on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.

"My first thing is the rest of this year I won't be playing," he said.

"The decision has been made and I won't be playing in the '08 season.

"I'm not retiring," he continued. "I'm going to play for my beloved Browns, my beloved city. I know I have a lot of gas in the tank."

Romeo Crennel knows the Browns have missed his production from a year ago.

"We know what Joe brought to the team last year," Crennel said. "He was a third down guy, a possession guy. When you don't have him you have to adapt and work around that."

Crennel hopes Jurevicius can return.

"Joe is a professional, a team player," he said. "He wants to go out on a good note and when he finishes his career, he wants to go out in a Browns uniform. That's why he's working so hard, so he can top off his career his way."

Jurevicius said he has been motivated to come back by seeing Browns fans tailgating in the Muni Lot prior to home games.

"It really hurts to pull in and see my jersey being worn," he said. "A lot of things have added fuel to my fire and I look forward to walking off with a helmet on my head and not with jeans on."

Jurevicius revealed that he has had six operations on his knee since undergoing an arthroscopic procedure to repair his knee. He contracted staph after the original surgery at the Cleveland Clinic and had five more procedures since.

"The answer I'm giving is that my knee hasn't fallen off yet," he said. "I will need another procedure to propel me to get me to where I need to be.

"The staph is gone, but there's been so much trauma to the knee that I need to have the scar tissue taken off."

Jurevicius said he will have the next procedure done in Vail, Colorado—not at the Cleveland Clinic. He said he contracted the staph infection after his first surgery.

"My goal is to have the surgery and be out there about a week and then come back and rehab here with my teammates."

He admitted it has been tough.

"I've been through hell and high water both mentally and physically the past 10 months," he said.

"But, there are many worse things that can happen to you. When you see a kid go by in a wheelchair, I said 'I'll be fine.' "

Jurevicius is motivated to come back.

"I want to walk off the field wearing the orange helmet, with a daughter in each arm.

"The biggest thing is the Muni Parking Lot and when I see fans out there cheering me on," he said. "I don't want my daughters to see me give up. I could take the easy way and give up, but I don't want my kids to see me give up.

"When I told my wife I was playing, she said 'I knew it.' For me to step away on my terms is what I want to do."

Jurevicius is truly a native son.

"That's not a Clevelander's mindset to give up," he said. "I'm going to play next year."


Why?: Crennel was asked why he chose to not take the penalty that would've taken the Ravens potentially out of field goal range on the Ravens' first drive.

"We thought about pushing them back, but we have been struggling defensively," he said. "We felt that to decline the penalty and make them make a decision.

"If you take the penalty they have a chance to have another play."

The Ravens kicked a 41-yard field goal and took a 3-0 lead after the declined penalty.

Later on, with the Browns leading by 14 points, they chose to drop back in coverage, rather than blitz rookie QB Joe Flacco. The result was a first down completion to WR Derrick Mason and the Ravens went on to score a touchdown.

"The odds are on your side because it's third-and-16," Crennel said. "Sometimes, you come close, but don't get it done."

Any regrets?

"You could change the call and blitz them," he said. "I wish that if he had blitzed, we had gotten him."

What Now?: The Browns limp into the midway point of the season at 3-5.

What happens now?

"We're going to still work because we have eight more games to play,"

Crennel said. "We don't know what is going to happen."

Crennel admitted the Browns blew Sunday's game.

"The coaching wasn't good enough and the playing wasn't good enough, that's why we're 3-5," he said. "We couldn't finish."

Looks like Status Quo: Crennel said he most likely won't make any changes in the lineup with the Broncos game just three days away.

"I haven't had a chance to talk to the coaches," he said. "Right now, (Derek) Anderson is the quarterback.

"The short week is always tough, but I don't know how much you can change," he said. "You only have two practices before the game, so that condenses everything down."

Braylon's Drop: Crennel said that there is not much you can do when a player like WR Braylon Edwards continues to be plagued with drops.

"That's what we do is practice and practice," he said. "He stays after practice and works on the Jugs machine."

Edwards has dropped 14 passes through eight games, including a big potential touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.

"We all wanted him to make that catch," he said. "That would've lifted everyone up, but you have to put that behind you and make the next one."

Edwards didn't speak to reporters after the game, which has been a trend when he or other players have a bad game—most notably he and Kellen Winslow.

"Does everyone run and hide?" Crennel said. "With Winslow, that's a little different situation, because he talked to you and he got in trouble. I think what everyone wants to see is the player perform on the field. If he's not performing you want to talk to him and see why he's not performing.

"I think the guy knows he made a mistake and he doesn't want to talk about it."

Steinbach for MRI: OL Eric Steinbach injured his ribs and did not return to the game against the Ravens. He will undergo an MRI to see the extent of the injury. OL Seth McKinney replaced Steinbach and will likely replace him in the lineup if Steinbach is unable to play with the short week.

The OBR Top Stories