BEREA, Ohio—Can he keep it going?
That’s the main question Browns fans are wondering as the team embarks on the 2010 season.
Jake Delhomme did everything asked of him in the preseason, as he posted a 110.5 QB Rating. He was 38-for-48 passing for 345 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. One of the most positive statistics was Delhomme's completion percentage was a whopping 79.2 percent.
“I think the biggest thing is my approach since I’ve been here this spring is just to come out and play football and let the offense work itself,” Delhomme said. “You don’t change who you are, what you are. Things have gone somewhat smoothly thus far and we want to keep the same approach.”
Eric Mangini's research on Delhomme, before the Browns decided to signed him, was all good.
“Everything that people said about him was positive,” he said. “You couldn’t find a disparaging word. Person after person, no matter who you talked to, players he played with, he’s a guy that has had a lot of success and it hasn’t changed him. It’s a lot like Tom Brady, no matter how much success he had, he was the same guy and that’s hard to do.”
Mangini said Delhomme’s poor 2009 season wasn’t entirely his to blame.
“Not everything on tape was his fault,” Mangini said. “There are 10 other guys out there. If you look over the course of his career, he has been a winner.”
In Carolina, Delhomme has been very successful playing against the Browns' opening opponent this week, Tampa Bay. Delhomme has won nine of 11 starts against the Buccaneers. He said there was nothing magic about his play in those games.
“I think we’ve played some decent games against them,” Delhomme said. “Every game was hard fought, but it’s an extremely tough matchup.”
So what is the new captain’s challenge to the Browns?
“I don’t think I need to challenge the team to do anything,” he said. “We want to be a winner and help the Browns be a winner. We play this game for one reason and one reason only and that is to win.”
Mangini said he likes having the quarterback position settled.
“It’s a lot better coming down (to talk to the media) because there are not 10,000 quarterback questions.”
Rogers to Play: Shaun Rogers had his first practices on Wednesday and Thursday since coming off of the PUP list, but he feels he will be getting ready sooner than later.
“There’s a still process for me in trying to get the best me out there,” Rogers said. “I haven’t been out there, so besides sucking wind, you don’t win games in meetings. You have to be out there with the other guys. Whatever I have to do (to be ready), I’ll do.”
Last season, Rogers suffered a broken leg and missed the final five games.
“It definitely feels good to get out and play the game,” he said. “There’s always a learning curve learning new defenses. I’m happy to be back and am working to improve on those things and be out there.”
Rogers said on his first day at practice he took all his reps at nose tackle. He says he’s fine with playing defensive end.
“I’m an athlete for sure, but I stay in my zone,” he said. “End is on the defensive line and I’m a better defensive lineman than a wide receiver. This game builds character and whatever they ask me to do, I’ll do. As long as they don’t have me play wide out, I’ll be all right.”
In Rogers’ absence last year and throughout the preseason, Ahtyba Rubin has played extremely well and drawn the praise of the coaches, as well as Rogers.
“He’s tremendous,” Rogers said. “He’s a solid nose tackle. He looks like he’s going to play this game for a long time. I’m trying to help him as much as I can and I’m really proud of him.”
Rogers has spent the majority of his career playing on losing teams with the Lions and the Browns.
“Every year I want to be on a winner, but individually, you have to do your part and being the best me will help us win,” he said. “All I do is play hard and try to win.”
Mangini knows what the presence of Rogers on the field does for the defense.
“He’s a big man so he ties up a lot of blockers,” Mangini said. “Rubin does a good job of that, too.”
Lauvao Doubtful: Rookie OL Shaun Lauvao twisted his ankle Wednesday at practice and is listed as doubtful for this week’s game with Tampa Bay. Doubtful means there is a 25 percent chance the player will play. He missed practice Thursday and Mangini said he will miss Friday’s practice, as well.
“Shawn will not practice Friday,” Mangini said. “He’s doing a little better than Thursday and we’ll see how he progresses.”
OL Billy Yates was re-signed and could start if neither Lauvao or Floyd Womack can play. Womack was back at practice on Wednesday and is listed as questionable.
“It was Floyd’s first day back and Shawn twisted his ankle and won’t practice,” Mangini said. “(Billy) is capable since he’s been here.
“The biggest difference between (Floyd and Shawn) is the experience factor,” Mangini said. “Floyd has seen things whereas there are things that Shawn hasn’t seen.”
Yates said his job is to be ready.
“It all amounts to just playing football,” he said. “You have to play consistently whenever you’re out there.”
Besides the right guard spot, there still is some uncertainty at right tackle with Tony Pashos and John St. Clair.
“Floyd will work in there (at guard) and both Tony and John are working (at right tackle)and we’ll see at the end of the week,” Mangini said.
St. Clair is listed as the starter, but he missed the past week with personal issues.
Mangini said he’s not concerned with the right side of the line.
“I’m encouraged by the way they’ve all played because I think they can all play,” Mangini said.
Sorenson Back: Defensive back Nick Sorenson will practice Friday for the first time since being involved in a scary collision against the Lions on a kick return two weeks ago. He is questionable for the game.