Monday Evening Browns Notes

Mike McLain brings you notes from a busy Monday in Berea. The Browns ponder a third quarterback in case Holcomb calls and the Booty Call can't be answered. Plus, player agents with long planning horizons can start angling for the third generation of McCutcheon at any moment...

BEREA - Don't expect any surprises when the Browns sign a third quarterback to back up Kelly Holcomb and Josh Booty.

Coach Butch Davis indicated that it's likely that Kevin Thompson will be signed. Thompson has had several trials with the Browns since originally signing as a rookie free agent out of Penn State in 2000.

Thompson was in training camp this year. He was let go after being given an injury settlement.

"We've discussed three or four different guys," Davis said. "Kevin knows the offense as well as anybody. We have a lot of confidence and faith in the two guys we've got.

"To bring in somebody in a span of two-and-half days of practice, you can absolutely give zero attention to that person as far as what to learn and to get ready to play."

Booty now becomes a major player in the plans. If Holcomb suffers an injury, Davis is confident that Booty will be a capable replacement.

"He's learning a lot, although he's not getting much playing experience," Davis said. "As the third quarterback, you learn through the eyes of the first- and second-team quarterbacks. He's a talented kid. He has a strong arm and is athletic. I think he can come in and execute the game."

GRATEFUL COACH: Davis admittedly was on pins and needles when he watched the New York Jets' win over Green Bay that gave the Browns a wild-card playoff spot. Davis thanked Jets coach Herman Edwards by sending him a bottle of champagne.

LABOR PAINS: Cornerback Daylon McCutcheon and his wife Shawna were awaiting the arrival of their first child, a boy, on Monday. Shawna went into labor Sunday, one day before she was scheduled to have labor induced.

GAME BALLS: Running back William Green, receiver Kevin Johnson, guard Barry Stokes and tackle Ryan Tucker were honored on offense. Lewis Sanders was given a ball on special teams. Safeties Earl Little and Robert Griffith, linebacker Earl Holmes and cornerback Corey Fuller were singled out on defense.

Somewhat surprisingly, linebacker Dwayne Rudd, who made a key third-down stop on the goal-line stand, wasn't among the defensive selections. Asked if Rudd's helmet toss that cost the Browns a win over Kansas City in the season has been forgotten, Davis said, "I wish he hadn't done it. We might be playing at home this week."

THE ENVELOPE: Green was named the Browns 2002 Player of the Year by the Cleveland Chapter of the Professional Football Writers of America. Fuller was selected as the winner of the Dino Lucarelli Good Guy Award.

Green, the Browns' 2002 first-round draft choice, had just 161 rushing yards through the first nine games. Following the bye week, Green rushed for 887 yards and had three games of more than 100 yards.

UP NEXT: Browns' opponents for the 2003 season are in place. In addition to home-and-home games against AFC North Division rivals Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Baltimore, the Browns will host Arizona, St. Louis, Indianapolis, San Diego and Oakland. Cleveland will go on the road to play New England, Denver, Kansas City, San Francisco and Seattle.


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