Berea—Some eyebrows were raised when linebacker D'Qwell Jackson was listed as an alternate for the Pro Bowl, particularly, because the Browns defense has been so porous for much of the season. The Browns currently rank 28th in the NFL against the rush.
Romeo Crennel feels Jackson deserves some the recognition he's been getting.
"He's having a good season and he did do enough to get some notice and see that he has done a lot of positive things," Crennel said.
"Any time you get the recognition to be an alternate, people are noticing you," he said. "If he can continue to make the tackles he's making and get his hands on some balls, that's how you get noticed."
Jackson has 162 tackles on the Browns statistical charts to lead the team in tackles. He has two sacks, three tackles for loss, two pressures and three interceptions. He also has broken up five passes. The nearest to him in tackles is Andra Davis, who has 113 tackles.
Using the NFL's number of tackles he would be first in the NFL, but using the coach's numbers he would be second. Either way, he's averaging double-digit numbers each week.
Crennel said the number of tackles a player makes is relevant.
"Defensively, if a guy is making tackles, he's around the football," he said. "If you don't have guys getting to the football, you have guys running for touchdowns."
Big Battle?: Crennel said the Browns have a lot to play for in their final two games. He was asked what a win over the Bengals will do for the Browns—besides costing them a higher draft pick.
"The fact that you win a game helps your record," he said. "It's a home game and that helps your home record. There's a lot of value to that.
"It gives you a better attitude going into the off-season because that can impact you going into the off-season. Every win is a good win."
QB Ken Dorsey said he thinks the fans will back the Browns.
"(The fans) will back us," he said. "They want to see us win, just like we as players do."
Hubbard, Madsen Signed: The Browns signed TE John Madsen to the active roster and signed WR Paul Hubbard to the active roster. They also placed TE Steve Heiden and LB Beau Bell on injured reserve.
Bell said that he was trying to play last week but the knee kept swelling up and he decided to get it taken care of now.
The Browns also added LB David Holloway to the practice squad. Holloway (6-2, 234) played at Maryland and was signed by the Cardinals as an undrafted free agent in 2007. After spending a year on the Cardinals' practice squad, he was with the Redskins in their 2008 training camp.
Heiden finished the season with 23 receptions for 249 yards after tearing his ACL on Monday. Bell had two special team tackles in four games and a caused fumble against Jacksonville.
Madsen (6-5, 240) played in four games this season with the Raiders. In 35 career games, including five starts, Madsen has 19 receptions for 248 yards and two touchdowns. He played college football at Utah. His career best marks were three receptions for 69 yards against the Browns on Sept. 23, 2007.
Hubbard (6-2, 225) was the Browns' sixth-round draft choice in 2008. He has been on the practice squad all season.
"The whole season has been a learning experience," Hubbard said. "I'm excited for the opportunity."
Other Pro Bowl Candidates: Besides OL Joe Thomas and DL Shaun Rogers being named to the Pro Bowl, KR Josh Cribbs was a first alternate and K Phil Dawson was a second alternate. Also, Jackson and OL Eric Steinbach were named third alternates. Last year, QB Derek Anderson, LS Ryan Pontbriand, WR Braylon Edwards and TE Kellen Winslow went to the Pro Bowl besides KR Josh Cribbs and OL Joe Thomas.
Winslow Out: Crennel all but ruled TE Kellen Winslow out for this week's game with a high ankle sprain. He said he is out of the boot and working the pool, but he's not back on the field yet. With Winslow and Heiden out, rookie TE Martin Rucker should finally receive some playing time.
TE Martin Rucker is also hoping to get some playing time this week.
"I've been studying more film, practicing harder and doing everything I can to do what it takes to be ready to play in an NFL game," he said. "I'm going to try and pick up the slack for the guys (Heiden and Kellen Winslow) who are out."
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