Berea—The Browns envision Donte Stallworth as the speed receiver to stretch the field opposite of Braylon Edwards and Edwards is all for it.
“Donte is a high energy, playmaker,” Edwards said. “He creates mismatches for other teams with Kellen, myself and the other players we have.
“We had one of the better offenses in the league last year and we have Donte now.”
Stallworth was signed as an unrestricted free agent after playing for the Patriots in 2007. He is expected to be the speed receiver the Browns hoped Tim Carter would be last season.
“On paper, we have guys who can make plays,” Stallworth said. “It’s early, but I’m just trying to mesh and get to know the other players.”
Derek Anderson could be one of the prime benefactors of the presence of Stallworth to the offense.
“He will help us a lot,” Anderson said. “I’ve been throwing to him for four or five weeks and he can run. He brings a lot of quickness to the offense.”
Stallworth likes the talent of the players on offense, but knows they have to play as a unit to be effective.
“We have some guys with talent,” Stallworth said. “But, that doesn’t win you games. We have a chance to be pretty good, but we’re going to have to do it.”
Stallworth (6-0, 200) is in his seventh NFL season after playing for the Saints, Eagles and Patriots.
Edwards and Stallworth have been friends for many years and look forward to playing together.
“Braylon’s a good, young talent and we can push each other to be better,” Stallworth said.
“We’re starting from scratch,” he said. “Last year, was last year for me personally, and this team.”
Absentees: Several players were missing from OTAs, including OL LeCharles Bentley, TE Kellen Winslow, DB Kenny Wright.
Bentley has yet to pass the Browns physical and Crennel said he might not be in until the June minicamp.
“He has one or two things to work through,” Crennel said. “He might not be here until minicamp.”
In Winslow’s case, Crennel was asked if it was medical related or contractual related.
“When he gets here, we’ll see,” Crennel said. “It’s part of football.”
Winslow is coming off knee surgery, but is expected to be healthy for minicamp in June.
Wright is still on the roster, but is involved in legal issues in Texas. Crennel said his absence was for personal reasons.
“He is under contract,” Crennel said.
LB D’Qwell Jackson was excused for personal reasons as he was on his honeymoon after getting married.
Rookies aren’t able to join the team until May 16th.
Injury Update: WR Joe Jurevicius (knee), TE Steve Heiden (back) and DB Gary Baxter (knees) were in Berea but were rehabbing. OL Ryan Tucker walked off during practice with a hip injury.
Willie’s Farewell: LB Willie McGinest has announced his retirement after this season, but Crennel isn’t ready for him to be retired just yet.
“Willie has said he’s going to retire after this year, but we’ll talk about his retirement after this year is over,” Crennel said. “We expect him to perform at a high level this season for us.”