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Browns Notebook - 7/30/03

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Browns Notebook - 7/30/03

Postby slowkidz » Thu Jul 31, 2003 12:57 pm

BEREA -- The Browns' tight end pool is too
crowded. Someone will have to do a backstroke out
of Berea.

It seems certain Steve Heiden will make the team.
He has looked strong in practice and drew raves
from Head Coach Butch Davis for his off-season
work.

Darnell Sanders isn't going anywhere. The former
Ohio State player was a Davis draft pick last
year.

Aaron Shea, a No. 110 overall in 2000 (Sanders
went at No. 122 in '02) seems safe.

The presence of these three is why the Browns
didn't think twice about trading Mark Campbell
(16 starts in 2002) to Buffalo.

Yet, the position remains crowded in part because
intriguing 295-pound blocking machine Chad
Mustard is making a bid.

The real surprise, though, could be forgotten man
Rod Monroe. The former University of Cincinnati
basketball player (he helped Bob Huggins'
Bearcats to a 28-5 finish in 1996) has bounced
around Berea for four years, without ever
catching a pass in a game.

Just when Davis sensed a breakthrough last year,
Monroe suffered a season-ending injury.

"In the Buffalo scrimmage a year ago," Davis
said, "he played extremely well. Had he not
broken his leg, he would have made a legitimate
bid to make the team."

Monroe is healthy now, and looking forward to
another big scrimmage against the Bills on
Saturday.

Monroe has seemed assertive and strong after
catching the ball in training camp. He still has
the element that has kept him around this long:
speed.

"If you can develop the threat of getting the
ball to the tight ends,'' Davis said, "it will
make the receivers and the running back that much
better."

Shea said a reasonable goal for the tight end
group is to total 75 to 80 catches.

"Opponents are going to be doubling K.J. (Kevin
Johnson) or Quincy Morgan or whomever is the hot
receiver," Shea said of the Browns' strong wide
receiver group. "That will make some
opportunities for us.''

At this time last year, Heiden was in his fourth
training camp with the Chargers, having been
drafted by San Diego in the third round in 1999.
Heiden was a bit stunned when he was traded to
Cleveland last Aug. 31.

"I look back, and it's probably the best thing
that happened to me," he said.

Heiden figures to improve his 2002 totals with
the Browns - 17 catches, 105 yards.

"I don't think people paid much attention to what
a valuable pickup Steve Heiden was," Davis said.
"He's a pass-receiving threat. He's got good run
after catch skills. I love what Steve said in the
off-season, 'You haven't seen the best of Steve
Heiden.' ''

But keep an eye on Rod Monroe.



WORKMANLIKE WEDNESDAY: To some, the Browns -
especially the center-stage quarterbacks, Tim
Couch and Kelly Holcomb - seemed flat in
Wednesday afternoon's practice. It was the only
full practice of the day, with the morning having
been devoted to special teams. Davis, though,
said the mark of a good team is stringing two
good days of practice together, and he insisted
that his team had done so. There was no tackling,
but the quarterbacks spent a lot of time handing
off to running backs. Davis came away from the
session revealing his general plan for the
season. The Browns will run 40 to 45 percent of
the time, and pass 55 to 60 percent of the time.
He promised the ball will be spread around, even
with potential stars at wide receiver. "As much
as I'd like to get one of these guys to the Hall
of Fame by catching 100 balls a year," he said,
"I'd much rather see four or five guys catching
60 to 75 balls a year."

CAMP LOG: Wide receiver André Davis (knee) missed
practice again but might practice today, Davis
said. There is a chance the receiver will play
against Buffalo on Saturday. ... Davis said he
wouldn't reveal until today how he will divide
playing time against Buffalo. Davis said the
loose goal is to get every man at least 20 plays
during live action Saturday.

ADDING HELP: With their two drafted cornerbacks
still not at training camp because of contract
holdouts, the Browns signed free-agent defensive
back Jermaine Jones. The 5-foot-9, 185-pound
Jones gives the Browns some insurance in case
they can't sign either cornerback Chris Crocker
(third round) or Michael Lehan (fifth round).
Jones, who played at Northwestern State, was
originally selected in the fifth round of the
1999 draft by the New York Jets. After being
released, he spent part of '99 with the Chicago
Bears and was with the Dallas Cowboys in 2001.
Last year, he played for Dallas of the Arena
League.

Camper of the day
C.J. Jones

Wide receiver, No. 3

Analyst Trev Alberts became public enemy No. 1 in
Columbus last November when he sneered that Ohio
State was no match for Iowa. Jones was one of the
guys Alberts really liked. The strong, swift wide
receiver (he ran a 47.1 400-meter dash in high
school) was part of a balanced attack that had
the Hawkeyes in the national championship hunt
until a bowl loss to Southern Cal. Even then,
Jones returned a kickoff for a touchdown. Lacking
great overall statistics, the 5-foot-11 Florida
native wasn't drafted, but he is making a serious
bid to make the Browns as a sixth wide receiver.
He caught more passes than anyone during
Wednesday afternoon's practice, including a
spectacular grab of a Nate Hybl pass deep over
the middle that drew a big cheer. Jones reached
across his body, raked the ball in with one hand,
and charged ahead. "He's been a very pleasant
surprise,'' Head Coach Butch Davis said. "He's
been hungry to learn. When his number has been
called, he's developed a habit of making plays."
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Postby Homeless » Thu Jul 31, 2003 1:15 pm

They must be about out of note books by now :-o :-)
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