Thursday Browns Notes

The Browns special teams have struggled of late, with usually reliable kickers Chris Gardocki and Phil Dawson having less-than-memorable games last Sunday. Butch Davis is trying to build their confidence again, so he decided it was time for a little change in routine.

BEREA - Phil Dawson and Chris Gardocki spent Thursday afternoon kicking at Cleveland Browns Stadium.

Coach Butch Davis felt a change of routine was necessary in light of recent poor performances by the two.

"They did the normal routine they would have done here, except they could get a feel for the wind. It was just getting into a new environment," Davis said.

Dawson said the wind on Dec. 1, when the Browns hosted Carolina, was the worst he could recall it being during his four seasons in Cleveland. He made two field goals that day but missed a 30-yard attempt.

"It's just trying to build some confidence and getting them back into a routine for when they kick this Sunday," Davis said.

FEELING BETTER: Offensive tackle Ross Verba returned to the practice field Thursday after sitting out Wednesday's session with a virus. Verba lost 10 pounds, but he said he was feeling better after a day of rest.

The feeling now is that flu might have been the culprit that hit several players this week. Davis thinks it might have been food poisoning from what they ate in the locker room after last Sunday's game in Jacksonville.

"Some of the guys, after they threw up and had diarrhea, actually felt better," Davis said. "The only thing the players had in common is that they ate the food in the locker room."

WINNER AGAIN: For the second time in three weeks running back William Green has been selected by voters as the Pepsi Rookie of the Week. Green had 119 yards on 26 carries in the Browns' 21-20 win over Jacksonville. He also won the award for his performance against New Orleans.

LOOKING AHEAD: One of the Browns starting offensive linemen next season could be Qasim Mitchell, who was placed on injured reserve in training camp with a lung problem.

Mitchell said the injury wasn't serious. Doctors said he had a minor hole in the lung that healed quickly. He said that he could have been ready to play in the season opener against Kansas City. Mitchell, a undrafted rookie out of North Carolina A&T, is mammoth at 6-foot-6 and 335 pounds. He's being counted on to play right guard.

INJURY UPDATE: The only change on the injury report by either team was the addition of offensive tackle Waverly Jackson to the Colts' list as probable with an elbow problem.

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