BEREA – Enoch Demar confirmed Wednesday that he will start at left guard Sunday when the Browns host the Cincinnati Bengals.
Coach Butch Davis didn’t come out and say that will be the case, but expect to see the change. Davis did say that Zukauksas has had trouble dealing with a sore knee.
“Paul has been struggling,” Davis said. “He’s probablly been at about 70 percent healthy. You should give him a Purple Heart.”
Left guard has been a sore spot since training camp opened. Chad Beasley was given the first crack at starting, but he played his way out of the picture with a poor showing in practices against the Buffalo Bills. DeMar started against Tennessee in the preseason opener, but he admittedly struggled picking up the assignments. Zukauskas has started every game since then.
The feeling is that DeMar is quicker and stronger. Zuakusas has the advantage of feeling more comfortable with his assignments.
“I’m feeling so much better (with assignments),” DeMar said. “I feel confident I can pick up something new they (the Bengals) might throw at us.”
ICY RECEPTION: Jeff Garcia didn’t appear to be pleased when told that Davis said he needs to be less skittish when in the pocket.
“I don’t have a reaction to that,” Garcia said. “Until he (Davis) plays the quarterback position, then he can’t understand where I’m coming from.”
At his press conference after Wednesday’s practice, Davis said that his “skittish” comment was taken out of context by the media. He said that he shared a laugh about the topic with Garcia.
“When the protection doesn’t hold up and you get hit, you will get skittish,” Davis said. “That’s no reflection on him. That’s a reflection on every single quarterback.”
Garcia was also asked what he thought Davis meant when he said the offense needs to chill out.
“Go sit in the freezer? I don’t know,” Garcia said. “I think he’s saying we need to relax and play our game. Don’t get overly excited about what we’re not doing on the field and take care of our own business.
TUCKER GETTING CLOSE: Offensive tackle Ryan Tucker thinks that he’ll play Sunday. Tucker missed the last three games with a quadriceps injury.
“I’m practicing, and hopefully going into the game I’ll be starting,” Tucker said. “It’s feeling strong. We took our time with it and mad sure it healed.”
THOMPSON EARNS PRAISE: Davis said that outside linebacker Chaun Thompson had his best game of his short career against Pittsburgh.
“Every week he’s gaining in confidence and is really starting to play well,” Davis said. “Missing that month after cracking his wrist really hurt him.”
INJURY REPORT: Doubtful on the Browns’ injury list is linebacker Barry Gardner (groin). Tucker and defensive tackle Gerard Warren (pectoralis) are questionable.
Out for the Bengals are cornerback Rashad Bauman (Achilles) and safety Rogers Beckett (concussion). Receiver Peter Warrick (shin) is doubtful. Listed as questionable are center Rich Braham (knee), safety Kim Herring (foot), safety Kevin Kaesviharn (back) and defensive end Carl Powell (knee). Probables are Matthias Askew (knee), defensive end Duane Clemons (chest) and cornerback Reggie Myles (probable).