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Although it may seem like it, not all of the news coming out of Berea is negative these days. No, some
of it is downright bizarre, in a shaking-your-head, gotta-laugh kind of way.
With that in mind, stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Phil Savage
walks into a bar, and immediately crushes another center to death with the
swinging of the door.
(We’ll pause to let the laughter slowly die down.)
The Browns’ Training Camp Tourgasm
’06 continued yesterday with news that center Alonzo Ephraim
will be suspended for the first four games of the 2006 regular season.
And the punch line? The suspension stems from a violation of the NFL’s
drug policy that occurred last year while Ephraim was with another team.
You get it? With another team!
Now that’s funny, I don’t care who you are.
Ephraim was signed following the season-ending injury to LeCharles Bentley,
and was thrust into the starting role after the unexpected retirement of
Bentley’s replacement, Bob Hallen.
Apparently, at the time of Ephraim’s signing, the Browns were unaware of a
pending suspension. There is no word yet as to what portion of the drug
policy Ephraim violated, and neither the club nor the NFL is permitted to
comment in any way on a player’s involvement in the drug program.
While Ephraim is expected to miss the first four games of the season, he will
still be allowed to practice with the club and play in preseason games until his
appeal has been heard.
During that time, the Browns will continue their search to add yet another
center to their roster.
Speaking of which, let’s take a quick look at the centers that have trotted in
and limped/snuck out of Berea
since the beginning of training camp:
LeCharles Bentley - suffered
a season-ending injury on the first play of 11-on-11 drills during the first day
of camp. Let me repeat that: first play of the first day of
Bob Hallen - retired
due to “back” issues. Sources say it was actually a “sac” issue.
Rob Smith - suffered
a high-ankle sprain, apparently after slipping in a Lake Erie-sized puddle of
his own sweat.
Todd Washington - retired
shortly after signing with the club, apparently out of fear for his own life.
Alonzo Ephraim - suspended
for a drug violation while with another club.
That leaves the Browns with Ross Tucker and… well… Ross Tucker as
the only center currently on the roster with any type of NFL experience.
Memo to Tucker: If it were me, I would be dressed head-to-toe in Kevlar
and firmly entrenched in a concrete-reinforced bunker until further notice.
Additionally, I would hire a rapper’s security detail on a lease-to-own basis.
And not Tupac’s Vegas crew, either. Go for his New York crew at the very least. At
least he survived getting shot with the latter group in charge.
OK, enough with the depressing news. It’s time to get on to something more
positive, a story that contains a slight ray of sunshine peeking through the
Offensive tackle Nat Dorsey suffered a sprained ankle during practice
yesterday and did not return. It’s not known the extent of the injury or
when he will return to action.
(Hey, if you saw him in action against the Eagles, where it looked like he
belonged in a bullring in Spain as opposed to a football field in Philly, you’d
have to agree on the whole “ray of sunshine” thing.)
We will continue with the good news-portion of the Daily News and World Report
with word that Braylon Edwards continues to seemingly defy both modern
medicine and the most optimistic of optimists.
Edwards, coming off surgery to repair a torn ACL,
practiced in pads yet again yesterday and seems to be on track to
potentially start the regular season on the field and not the PUP list.
far, so good,” Edwards said. “We're still on target with where we want to be.”
Just a couple of months ago, that target was sometime in October. Now,
there is debate amongst the Browns as to whether he should be allowed to play in
a pre-season game.
“It’s been tossed back and forth,”
Edwards said of playing in the preseason finale.
“I can’t say that much.
We just don’t know if it’s worth it. We’re battling back and forth, the four
of us. You can imagine who the other three are.”
What is known is that he is definitely out for this Friday’s game against the
Lions as the Browns medical staff continues to cautiously monitor his
In the wake of the trade for Derrick Strait
being called off, the Browns went out and added another yet another cornerback
to the roster, this time in the form of ex-Michigan star Jeremy LeSueur.
LeSueur and Strait are, for all intents and purposes, the same player, with the
exception of their first and last names being spelled differently. Both
were first-day draft picks who have failed to live up to expectations.
The signing comes at an opportune time for both LeSueur and the Browns as the
secondary has lost yet another corner to injury.
Antonio Perkins, who has impressed the coaching staff thus far in camp, is suffering from a groin
injury and was limited to riding an exercise bike on the practice field
Perkins is in line to be at least the nickel corner this year due to the
numerous injuries that have decimated the cornerback position. The extent
of the injury will determine whether or not Perkins will continue to have the
inside track for the third corner slot.
Just a thought: You are telling me that Suggs is so snake-bitten and
injury-prone that even when he’s healthy, he’s injured?
Amazing. Only in Cleveland
and only with the 2006 edition of the Cleveland Browns.
QUOTE OF THE DAY:“Anybody who's going to play in the regular season, you want to see him play at some
point before the regular season. We as an organization decided to work him in
slowly. We're going to err on the side of caution.”—head
coach Romeo Crennel, on the return of wide receiver Braylon Edwards.