BEREA – The Browns will go with a tackle at right guard Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Coach Butch Davis announced Wednesday that Joaquin Gonzalez will replace Kelvin Garmon, who tore ligaments in his right knee against Baltimore. Gonzalez started
three games at left tackle last season and three games at right tackle this season.
Davis said early this week that Gonzalez, Paul Zukauskas, Melvin Fowler and rookie Kirk Chambers would be considered for the role. Fowler was inserted after Garmon was injured. Zukauskas started the first five games at left guard but was benched in favor of Enoch DeMar.
Gonzalez doesn’t have much experience as a guard, with the exception of work on the scout team in recent weeks.
“He did more than a credible job (of replacing tackle Ryan Tucker),” Davis said. “He drew some tough assignments. Throughout the course of the first half of the season, we toyed with idea of him taking some snaps at center. He’s done well at tackle, and he did well at center. Let’s see what he can do at guard.”
GETTING THE PLAYS IN: Quarterback Jeff Garcia expressed disappointment at the length of time it has taken to get some plays called.
“I don’t want to make excuses, but I feel there are situations during games when I don’t feel there’s adequate time to get a play called and have the motions and shifts take place,” Garcia said. “I believe when we’re in a situation like Baltimore where it is a loud crowd, you have to start to limit your movement on offense. Just get lined up, get on the ball and make the play happen.
“At times we put ourselves into difficult situations where I had to call a timeout to avoid a penalty because we weren’t getting lined up on time, and we weren’t getting our motions going on time. Part of that is by the time the play comes in and the play is called in the huddle, we’re left with 15 seconds left on the clock, and it creates a difficult situation to overcome.”
Garcia was also critical of the false-start calls against the guards last Sunday. Garmon was whistled twice, and Fowler was called once. Running back William Green was also penalized for a false start.
“It’s about discipline. It really is,” Garcia said. “It’s about attention to detail. All week long we work on a silent snap count that is utilized in situations where the crowd noise has an effect. For the guard, there’s no excuse. They can hear whatever word I have to say to start the silent snap count.
“That starts in training camp. That starts when you start playing football at the elementary school level. It comes down to being accountable to yourself and doing the right thing. That’s something that’s worked on every day in practice so you don’t have those types of mistakes on game day.”
PUNTER ON THE MEND: Punter Derrick Frost missed Wednesday’s practice, but he plans to practice today and play Sunday. Frost sprained his right ankle and right knee on coverage after his first punt against Baltimore.
The Browns have signed Ryan Dutton as insurance in case Frost isn’t able to play Sunday. Dutton was in training camp this year.
“I played the entire game last week with it,” Frost said. “I fully anticipate playing this game.”
TRIAGE UNIT: Receiver Andre Davis has another toe injury to rehabilitate. Davis missed the Philadelphia game after injuring his right big toe against Cincinnati. He hurt his left big toe when he hit the ground hard trying unsuccessfully to catch a pass against the Ravens.
Davis is listed as doubtful on the injury report along with receiver Andre King, who has a sprained ankle.
CAN'T COPE: Legendary Steelers radio analyst Myron Cope won’t make the trip to Cleveland for the game. Cope, whose unique broadcasting style has endeared him to Steelers’ fans for decades, suffered a concussion last week. He did work Pittsburgh’s win over Philadelphia last Sunday.