BEREA - Throughout the dark and dreary 2006 season, there has been one star shining brightly every Sunday for the Browns on the defensive side of the ball.
That is first-round draft choice Kamerion Wimbley. He has a chance to win Defensive Rookie-of-the-Year honors in the AFC.
As the Browns close out their regular season against the Texans, Wimbley has a chance to be the top rookie in sacks in the NFL. Currently, Chicago Bears rookie Mark Anderson has 12 sacks to Wimbley’s 10. Aaron Kampman and Shawn Merriman lead the NFL with 15.5 sacks apiece.
“Hopefully, if (Anderson) gets another sack, I could get four,” Wimbley said with a smile.
Wimbley had two sacks last week to give him double-digits and has produced the most sacks by a Browns player since Jamir Miller went to the Pro Bowl after posting 13 sacks in 2001.
“His pass rushing ability has been evident,” Romeo Crennel said.
Wimbley has 64 tackles, 17 pressures, one fumble forced and three fumble recoveries to go with his sacks. Contrast his numbers to Mario Williams, who was selected first overall by this week’s opponent the Texans. He currently has 4.5 sacks.
Crennel is obviously pleased with the 13th selection in this year’s draft.
“He helps in the running game,” he said. “Is he perfect in the running game, no, but he doesn’t hurt you in the running game, either.
“I wish I had more players like him.”
That’s an understatement.
Wimbley is by no means satisfied with his progress, but he’s happy with his production as a rookie.
“I feel I still have a long way to go,” he said. “I don’t think there’s ever a perfect game played, but that’s what I’m trying to strive for.”
Wimbley has made a successful transition from playing defensive end in college to outside linebacker in the NFL. He hopes to make his mark in the NFL as one of the best at his position.
“Coming in initially, I think every player wants to be the best at his position,” he said. “There have been a lot of great linebackers in the NFL. When it’s all said and done, hopefully, I will have been one of them.”
Wimbley said he had high expectations of himself as he prepared for his rookie season. Even though, he might fall short of 16 sacks, he’s pleased with his accomplishments.
“When I came in I had a goal of getting a sack a game,” Wimbley said. “I didn’t know if that was attainable or not, but I knew if I set a high standard I would be alright.”
“I’m pretty happy where I am,” he said. “I think that it was pretty exceptional as a rookie.”
Wimbley has quietly went about his business and has not drawn attention to himself by his actions or words off the field which has been refreshing with other players on the team constantly being a target of controversy.
“I just think it’s important for me to know that I represent more than myself,” he said. “If I do something to embarrass myself, it will embarrass my family, my team, my college and my hometown, as well. I try to keep that in mind in all that I do.”
Crennel on Davidson: Crennel was asked to evaluate the job of offensive coordinator Jeff Davidson, who took over for Maurice Carthon after he resigned.
“It’s pretty tough to come in the middle year and to juggle things without having a full training camp or a full season to show what you’re capable of,” Crennel said. “When we made the move, we said it was a tough situation. I think Jeff has made a good showing.
“He’s made the most of it working with three different quarterbacks,” he said. “I think the players have felt good about the plans going into the game. I think it wasn’t always executed properly, but I think the players had a good mindset.”
On Chaun Thompson: LB Chaun Thompson was credited with 17 tackles as he replaced the injured Andra Davis last week. He’s expected to start again this week.
“We changed positions with him and that was the biggest thing with him,” Crennel said. “You look at what he did last week and he had a good showing. The young kid (D’Qwell Jackson) beat him out (in training camp). We’ll evaluate the team and see where he would help us the most.”
On Edwards: Crennel was asked if he had made up his mind on whether WR Braylon Edwards would start Sunday.
“Braylon worked pretty well yesterday and we’ll see how it goes on Sunday,” Crennel said.
Edwards again, refused to speak to reporters in a brief appearance in the locker room.
Injury Update: Crennel said OL Joe Andruzzi (knee), CB Leigh Bodden (ankle), OL Cosey Coleman (knee), LB Andra Davis (concussion) and WR Joe Jurevicius (concussion) didn’t practice Wednesday. The rest of the injury list practiced some on Wednesday and are hopeful of playing.
“If they don’t practice today, they probably won’t be able to play on Sunday,” Crennel said.