Browns Mid-Week Wrap

Practice notes and team news heading into week three of the 2003 NFL season.

Suddenly there are concerns about quarterback Kelly Holcomb. Holcomb has not looked like the same player who moved the team aggressively in preseason and in the playoff loss to Pittsburgh.
   Holcomb has one touchdown and four interceptions, and a rating lower than 50. It's not what the Browns envisioned when they named him the starter over Tim Couch.
   "I stunk," Holcomb said.
   Davis quickly dismissed the idea of going to Couch, but the possibility exists if Holcomb continues to struggle.
   Holcomb's problem seems to be that opposing teams are taking away what he likes best -- the down-the-field throw. Indianapolis played a solid cover two against him, and Baltimore did the same. That forces the Browns to run the ball or to throw short, and that's not Holcomb's forte.
   It also could be that things are different for Holcomb now that he's the starter.
   "It's different when you get game-planned," running back Jamel White said. "They know Kelly can play. He's not a mystery to people."
   Ex-Browns cornerback Corey Fuller theorizes that Holcomb is feeling different pressure as the starter. To Fuller, the difference between being a backup and starting is huge, and brings a different expectation and pressure.
   --Barry Stokes has a high ankle sprain and might not be able to face the 49ers. Stokes was walking in a boot on Wednesday before he tried to practice. If Stokes can't play, Butch Davis said Joaquin Gonzalez will start.
   --RB William Green would seem to be the perfect player to bring defenses out of cover two, but he has yet to have the big game that would do that. Green has run hard; he just lacks the breakout game.
   --LB Andra Davis has been very active. His 15 tackles against Baltimore led the team. He shows signs of developing into a good player.
   --RB Jamel White was a very effective player for the Browns as a receiver out of the backfield in 2002, but he has yet to find his groove in 2003. White struggled with a hamstring problem in preseason and simply has not been a factor in the team's offense. He could help, as White always has the potential to turn a shot pass into a big gain.

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