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(Opening statement) – “Good afternoon everybody. Just in watching the tape it felt like a lot of really positive things in all three phases and a lot of good examples of complimentary football and a lot of good examples of how we want to play. I thought offensively, our ability to run the ball, especially in that the crucial situation in the end was really an impressive group effort. Peyton (Hillis) did a really good job with his opportunities, but Lawrence Vickers again was just outstanding. The offensive line collectively those guys made that happen. Talked a little bit after the game about how there was a will there, a resolve there to get those first downs and we went with that and they got it done. I thought a lot of good drives, a lot of good situational football by the offense and I like the fact that we were able to come out at the start of the second half and go down and score. I thought that was important, being able to score at the end of the first half, get the field goal there. With all that being said, there are a lot of things that we need to still address. Being more efficient in the red zone, being able to convert all of those opportunities into touchdowns as opposed to just field goals. The same thing after the sudden change getting a touchdown there as opposed to a field goal. But a lot of things to teach off of both ways and we will do that and not gloss over any of the errors we had in that area. Defensively, good in the running game we were able to generate some pressure on the quarterback in the four sacks, creating two turnovers that led to points, I think were all good things. Not giving up the amount of yards that we give up in the passing game is going to be important. We just keep going in terms of quarterbacks. It’s Matt Ryan this week, then (Ben) Roethlisberger and then Drew Brees and then Tom Brady so it’s right on down the line. Each week we are going to get challenged and its good groups of receivers each week and there wasn’t one guy that is responsible for those yards, it was collective. There are a lot of things that we can improve and a lot of things that we need to improve. That being said, I like the amount of pressure they were able to generate on the quarterback in combination. Some were zone blitzes, some were three man rushes, and some were four man rushes. I thought Matt Roth had a really outstanding game. On (special) teams, (we are) getting closer to playing the way that I expect us to play on special teams. I think the coverage units were outstanding, got some production out of the return game, we were able to block the field goal, we’re moving forward there and to me that should be a week in and week out strength of this team."
(On if he thinks T.J. Ward’s hit was a cheap shot) – “Well he got penalized for it and it cost us a touchdown so I think don’t think he got away with anything. I want us to be tough, I want us to be physical, but I want us to play within the framework of the rules and that penalty gave them a new set of downs, end up scoring a touchdown instead of kicking a field goal and they call those penalties tight and they should call those penalties tight against defenseless receivers. It cost Cincinnati too when they hit Ben Watson at the end of the half and that led to a field goal. In talking to T.J., one of the things I’m going to stress is, I don’t want him to change his aggressiveness, but we’re going to operate within the boundary of the rules. That’s my expectation, you like physical play, but you can’t put the team in that situation where you’re giving them a new set of downs. It’s not good and I don’t want to see our guys hitting guys in the head when they’re defenseless. We can be just as tough and do it in the framework of how it’s supposed to be.”
(On how T.J. Ward should have played differently instead of that hit) – “That’s part of it, that’s tough in that whole situation. I can’t remember who hit Ben, but he was coming in to make the play, the receiver lowered his head sometimes that contact is going to happen. The ball was already out when he hit him, but T.J. was already going towards the receiver. He didn’t really launch at him but he lowered his shoulder. It’s a gray area. It’s kind of like roughing the passer. There’s some gray area there. Kenyon’s (Coleman) penalty a few weeks ago, he was already in the air when the ball was released but you do the best job that you can to try to get it the right way and we’ll keep trying to fix it. I don’t have a great answer is the long short of it.”
(On if he has ever noticed T.J. Ward crossing the line on his hitting before) – “No, that’s not what I’m saying at all. T.J. is an aggressive, physical guy that’s a big hitter. It’s one of the things that is really attractive about him. It’s one of the things that you love about him and there are ways that you can do that and not lose anything with your game and still be within the framework of what expectations are and what the rules are.”
(On if players with big hitting reputations get looked at closer by refs) – “If you talk to Rodney (Harrison) he got a lot of penalties that he didn’t deserve. It’s very rare that you get a guy that saying ‘Wow I really deserved that penalty.’ Most times they’re saying it’s crazy, why you doing that to me.”
(On T.J. Ward’s penalty) – “T.J. isn’t a dirty guy. He’s not a dirty guy. He’s a young guy. He’s an aggressive guy and he’s an inexperienced guy, but he’s not a dirty guy. He’s a good person, he’s a good kid. I’m not going to try to take anything off of the way that he plays because I think it’s a real strength, but there are things he will learn to do it even better within the framework of what we all have to play with.”
(On what the repercussions are going to be from the league for T.J. Ward) – “That’s really out of my hands. I would imagine he’ll get some kind of fine letter, I would imagine.”
(On how it’s hard for big hitters to always hit correctly) – “Yes, I think that any time you are trying to regulate aggressiveness there is that line and what we have to do as coaches and as players is to walk the line, on the right side of it and that’s the way that we’re going to coach and play it. It is a fine line because you don’t want to take away anything that a player does really well in that area, but you want them to be safe and you want them to do it within the rule. I think the heightened awareness of concussions and the protection of defenseless receivers and quarterbacks and all the different things that have been done to try to help prevent longer term injuries are real positives. Hopefully everybody continues to get better at playing it the way that we’re all hoping to play it and more people are able to finish their career and not have longer term affects.”
(On the secondary) – “I thought there were times they did really well but when someone puts up numbers like they put up its hard to say they played real well. The flipside of that Terry (Pluto) is that it cuts both ways. It’s the same as the running game or the passing game, the front has to do what they need to do and the back end needs to do what they need to do. If either ones out of joint because there was a couple times where if we held up a second or two longer in protection we would have had another sack opportunity. There were a couple times where the rush should of gotten there quicker than it did and there is going to be an opening after a certain amount of time. It wasn’t one player and it wasn’t one area, it’s a group effort, and when you get to numbers like the numbers we got to its more so. I think Cincinnati is a very good passing team and when Carson Palmer gets hot, he usually gets red hot and he’s got a lot of places to go with the ball. It’s not like he’s limited to one or two guys. Jordan Shipley is a young guy who has emerged as a weapon for them and he made some plays, Terrell Owens made a bunch of plays. He’s got a lot of options. The other thing that he does well is he buys some time. There were two or three times yesterday where he bought some extra time and made some plays down the field. We are going to face that. Matt Ryan can make some plays with his feet, he did in college and he has done it in pro football. Ben Roethlisberger, same thing, he makes plays with his feet and you give them the extra time with the type of arm that they have, it’s going to be a problem. It’s going to be a problem for everybody.”
(On Jake Delhomme’s status) – “He should practice on Wednesday. I felt like we had a really good chance this week, I think those odds just go up. Wednesday, I want to see with a bigger load how it responds. That’s where we are on Monday and hopefully we will be saying the same thing on Thursday.”
(On if Jake Delhomme was healthy if he would start against Atlanta) – “Yes he would.”
(On if their blitzing hurt them as much as the week before) – “One time we were. It also helped us create four sacks and helped us create some other plays so, I’d say that we got more out of it this week and we gave up about the same amount as we have in the past. Now I’m looking for that arrow of giving up the same amount to go down and the yield to increase.”
(On how important it was for the team to see their work pay off) – “It was really important and it was important to me because they deserve to win. I really believe that. Over the first three weeks there was no sense of woe is me. There was none of that, there was just an ‘alright let’s get back in here, let’s get this fixed, let’s keep moving forward.’ At half times of games there’s never a sense of momentum change, there’s none of that, that group doesn’t have that its more, ‘let’s go do this, let’s go finish this’ and you want to see that rewarded. It should be rewarded, and you know that if you do that and you consistently improve it will be rewarded. Last year it took us longer, and my expectation is that we continue to improve, continue to work and continue to learn how to win. There are steps involved in this whole thing. You learn how to practice, you learn how to study, you learn how to compete and then you learn how to win. That next step sometimes takes a little bit longer and once you get it and you go in with that expectation a lot of really good things can and will happen. I like this group of guys a lot. It’s a positive group, it’s a determined group and it’s how I envision the team to be.”
(On if guys were getting nervous when Cincinnati was only down by three points) – “I got the sense that guys were getting angry like, ‘We are not going to let this happen again, it is not happening again.’ There was an absolute sense across the sidelines of no, no, it’s done. You can look in people’s eyes and know what the mind set is. I was looking across at a bunch of guys that were determined, and that’s not to say they weren’t prior to that, but that’s how these guys are built. When you go to that whole core characteristic, when I talk about those things, the competitive concept that’s it. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing you want to win and let the other guy go have a lousy Sunday.”
(On players communicating about in-play adjustments during a game) – “That’s huge. It’s huge and what’s really important about that too is what’s being communicated is good information. The same thing happens when guys come off on the sideline, we sit there with the pictures and we’ll talk through what happened. You don’t know if it’s going to happen on your side or the other side of the ball, but you want to share what happened and what the problem was. It’s really important that what’s being shared is accurate. We all have tape and are going to see what the truth is. I know that’s seems silly to share what’s accurate, but sometimes guys will share stuff that doesn’t make them look as bad in the moment, but it doesn’t really help the next moment. When you’re giving good information, whether it’s player-to-player or player-to-coach or coaches-to-coaches, then you can go and say, ‘Okay, this didn’t work, this is the reason it didn’t work. If we do it this way, it should.’ Or, ‘This didn’t work and it’s probably not going to work the next time. Let’s do something else.’ That’s some of the stuff that’s talked about on the sideline. You want to know whether a play didn’t work because the technique wasn’t executed correctly or something they did or it’s just not a good play against what they’re doing and move on to the next play. All of that stuff helps and the more accurate it is and the more guys get into a pattern of doing that, the better you’re able to move forward quickly as opposed to a series later or two series later or the next week."
(On if Evan Moore could play at wide receiver) – “He has. That touchdown pass that he had, he was lined up in the one spot. He’s been out there throughout the course of these four games. Some of the things with Evan is how is he being treated? Are they treating him as a wide receiver or are they treating him as a tight end? That really affects the coverage. Does a corner go out with him or does a linebacker go out with him or does a safety go out with him? That’s the nice thing about him being a tight end is they have to figure out what they want to do with him. As you put him out there, then you get to figure out what you want to do against that guy who is covering him. I think the one that he caught the touchdown on; they were covering him with a safety, which was a good thing.”
(On how he competes with teams where that are considered to have more talent) – “We get better. We consistently improve and we work. We outwork our opponent. We are tough and consistent and play smart. I think we have a lot of talented players on our team and I think that they’ve made plays and they can make more plays. To me, it’s not about a collection of guys with talent, it’s about a team. The more that we play team complementary football that’s smart and tough and it’s built on a foundation of hard work and consistency, the wins are going to come. That’s just the way I think team sports work.”
(On if it was a tough decision to accept an offensive pass interference penalty on third down to not allow Mike Nugent a field goal attempt in the fourth quarter) – “Mike has got a big leg and I felt pretty strongly about pushing them back and giving us another chance. I felt like we were due, we were due for a play and we got it. I did that one time in New York. I took the penalty and they ended up getting the first down. You’re thinking, ‘Oh God, why did I do that?’ The next play, Abe (Elam) picked it off and went 90 for a touchdown. Just like you draw it up (joking).”
(On Seneca Wallace’s progress in his three starts this season) – “He’s gotten, to me, more and more comfortable running the offense. I don’t want anybody to think that by putting Jake in, this is some knock on Seneca. I think Seneca has done a great job. He’s gone out and he’s played well, and he’s played well against really tough defenses. I have no problem with him starting or playing. The way that he’s played, we have been able to decrease the amount of turnovers the last couple of games. He’s done a really outstanding job in a pretty tough situation, coming in after game one and having a three-game run, potentially a three-game run.”
(On if Seneca calling two timeouts yesterday were examples of how Jake would be able to get you out of a bad situation) – “I don’t know how much time he had when the play came in, so what’s important from our perspective is to get the plays in as quickly as you can. Sometimes, a timeout comes when you’ve got the play called and it’s a crucial situation and you look over and there’s really not a good answer. That will happen sometimes when we play people where you’ve got something called where you don’t really have a good answer to and you take a timeout. It’s not just Seneca; I didn’t think that we had the same volume as the week before where we took some that we really shouldn’t have taken.”
(On Matt Roth making good plays late in the game yesterday as opposed to his penalty late in the game against Baltimore) – “We worked on the hard count with Matt quite a bit this week. He got tired of hearing me. Every time it came up he got quizzed. He had a great game. He had eight tackles, two sacks, three tackles for a loss, three quarterback hurries. He’s just a relentless, tough guy. We play him in a lot of different sports and Matt has a short memory. The one thing you know about Matt is he may mess up a play, but someone is getting hit. He is one of those guys. It may be completely messed up, in the wrong spot, but at the end of the play, there’s going to be a collision. The next play, he’s going to go as hard as he went before. His mistakes, they’re going to get fixed. They need to get fixed and he fixed them, in terms of not jumping offsides. Even when he does them, he does them at such a tempo that you appreciate that.”
(On Scott Fujita’s attitude of never being satisfied with just one win) – “I think it’s honest. It’s honest in a sense that he is happy about the win, but the win is in perspective. Scott expects to win each week, that’s his expectation. When you come on an experience like he’s come off of, I’m sure that’s how that team was. They went into each week expecting to win as opposed to it being a unique thing. What I like about that is the mentality of this should be a consistent expectation. That’s what I would expect from him based on what he’s experienced. It is a mindset and it’s an important mindset to have going into every game expecting to win regardless of who the opponent is, regardless of what the challenges are. That’s what the outcome should be.”
(On who else really stood out when he was watching the film from yesterday’s game) – “I thought Scott Fujita had a very good game. Really, I thought that whole group of linebackers, at different points, made some very important plays for us. The defensive line, a lot of guys played and a lot of guys contributed in different packages. It was probably the most even distribution of reps for the defensive line that we’ve had so far just based on the personnel that they had. I know Kenyon had a sack and the two fumble recoveries and made a couple of other nice plays. I’m sure everybody is going to be lobbying now for no practice all week after that. Those were a few guys that I thought did a nice job and so many people contributed, but it wasn’t a huge volume of reps for any one guy in that d-line group and really, the linebacker group. (David) Bowens probably played more this gamer than he has in games past and he had the batted ball on third down, but he contributed in some ways that weren’t numerically noted. Some of the other stuff that he allowed us to do in the packages that he was in, I think, were meaningful.”
(On how different his Sunday night was than the previous three after a win) – “God, it was a lot better. It was so much more fun. My mom was at the house and she comes in for most games, so we were able to visit with her. We watched a Jim Henson movie about dogs, Dogtown. It was a good one (joking).”
(On if it was football night in his house) – “Not in my house it wasn’t. The Muppets were on last night. We watched that, and then we put Zack to bed and put the other boys to bed. It just feels a lot nicer. Sam (Rutigliano), you can relate to that.”
Wallace completed 18-of-30 passes and was picked off once in his third straight start for the Browns (1-3), who had lost their first three games by a combined 12 points. Peyton Hillis carried the ball 27 times for 102 yards and a score, while Ben Watson caught six passes for 60 yards.
The Browns, who were mired in a 1-9 skid against divisional opponents, snapped the Bengals’ eight-game win streak versus the AFC North.
Carson Palmer threw for 371 yards and two scores on 25-of-36 efficiency for the Bengals (2-2), who had won their previous two contests. Terrell Owens was the primary receiver for Palmer on the day, catching 10 balls for 222 yards and a touchdown.
It was the second-highest single-game yardage total for Owens and the third 200-yard game of his career.
Delhomme was able to practice late this week but word is the ankle is still bothering him quite a bit.
"Good morning everybody. Today's practice, the only guy that won't be practicing will be John St. Clair. (Jason) Trusnik will be back today, the three defensive linemen should be back today. Another question mark I would say would be (Derrick) Roberson. That's still up in the air but everybody else should be. I thought Jake (Delhomme) had a pretty good first day back. Moved around pretty well considering and he'll get a little more work today and we'll see where he is and how he responds tomorrow morning. We're working on red zone, working on goal line, short yardage review, so nothing out of the ordinary in terms of our typical week of preparation."
(On if he is optimistic about Jake Delhomme playing on Sunday)
"Just having him out there and throwing and going through the plays, yes it's good to see. It was the next step for us. Now it's a function of seeing how he does today and how he responds tomorrow."
(On how Delhomme didn't look like the same player on his first day back)
"I think that's going to be natural the first day back. You go through some of those movements. You simulate them and that sort of thing during the rehab process but doing them in conjunction with a play and all the things that go into it. It's going to look a little different initially. As time goes on that will get better and better."
(On what number quarterback Delhomme would be Sunday)
"I think any combination is really possible two, three, one. It's just really how he does today, how it responds tomorrow and then we do have another 24 hours between Saturday and Sunday to see what it's like. I don't know what the combination will be just because it's only day two of him actually working on the field."
(On St. Clair's injury and if Tony Pashos would start if he can't play)
"I think it's going to be tough for him. I'm hopeful, but it's going to be tough for him right now. Tony would start in that case."
(On if Delhomme would be prepared enough to play this week)
"Yes, his overall knowledge is really solid and he didn't miss a beat in terms of his preparation. He's got a pretty consistent routine that he has developed over years so that's stayed the same while he's been off the field."
(On when he will decide which quarterback will start)
"Probably Saturday night. You want to give it as much time as you can. I'll talk to Jake (Delhomme). I'll talk to Joe (Sheehan), the doc, (Brian) Daboll, just go through the whole process gather as much information and make the best decision and give it as much time as you can to see where it is."
(On if Jason Trusnik has a concussion in the game)
(On if Eric Wright has been more focused this week at practice)
"I didn't really see a significant lack of focus in the previous week. Eric's played a lot of games, and a lot of games well. My expectation is that he'll come back and play at the same level. We all go through this in different ways and different positions, coaches, players and you go back and attack the next challenge."
(On if he would come at a cornerback who was coming off a bad week)
"I can go either way. Maybe you catch him when he's still slumping or maybe you get him when he's back on fire. You got to take that chance I guess."
(On if Joe Haden is closer to getting a starting position)
"He's working and he's done good things with his opportunities. I don't think it's any different than it was last week."
(On how often they are in the nickel package)
"It really depends, Jeff (Schudel), based on what their personnel group is. Some games you get a ton of a personnel group where you play nickel and it's first down, it's second down, it's third down so those reps are really high. I'd say any given year half the snaps end up being with extra defensive backs."
(On how T.J. Ward has been able to start right away but it has taken Haden longer for him to get there)
"I think they both have both done well. I think there's some more opportunity at the safety spot, that always helps. As you insert yourself, what you do with those chances and T.J. has done a really nice job."
(On how T.J. Ward's pass coverage has been the first few weeks)
"He's done well. I thought he made a really nice play last week, it ended up being like a middle read going to the tunnel side where he came over and broke it up. I thought that was a good deep part of the field play. I think he's sick about the chance he had on the sideline, but he's made I think quite a few plays in coverage that show his ability there whether it be man to man or zone he's done them both."
(On if Peyton Hillis" running style reminds him of any other running backs)
"Not one that just jumps off the chart for me. I hadn't really thought of it that way to tell you the truth."
(On if Peyton Hillis is in line for a short career because of his position with collisions)
"How long did (John) Riggins play? Did he get 12? I don't really think he is an upright runner. I think a lot of times one of the things he does really well is lower his shoulder on contact and drive forward. Often times he is the guy that's delivering the blow. You see some upright runners where they just get tattooed because they don't ever lower their shoulders, they don't get that leverage going forward and those hits tend to add up more quickly. Where with Peyton I think it's different because a lot of times he is the one applying force, applying leverage. He does have pretty good short area quickness for a guy his size where he can makes some people miss. I think it's more apparent in the passing game where your catching some of those balls out in the flat makes the guy miss. He's got that as well which is a little deceptive based on his size."
(On if Hillis will last more than five years)
"I don't know what the numbers will be but it's only been three games so he's got a ways to go to get there."
(On what happened with Hillis last year in Denver)
"I wasn't there and they drafted a guy number one and they either traded for a guy or signed for a free agent. Sometimes you just get numbers and it just happens that way. Sometimes guys get pegged as being a fullback instead of a tailback and that's where you end up getting your work so you don't end up carrying the ball that much. In the year prior to that I think when he was getting a lot of carries he ended up getting hurt so he didn't really get the volume of carries that maybe he would have gotten which could have solidified his role as a tailback."
(On Cincinnati's run defense compared to Baltimore's)
"I think they're both very good in that area. It's a different style, it's more of a true 4-3. There's more penetration, there's more line stunts as opposed to Baltimore, which is not the traditional 3-4, but it's the 3-4 that builds over and under schemes. One, they're both very good. Style-wise, they're different because one's a 4-3 penetrating and one's a 3-4. Not that Baltimore doesn't penetrate, but it's not the same volume of penetration."
(On how much Marcus Benard and Shaun Rogers being out last week affected the pass rush)
"It helps having them. How much more we would have gotten, I'm not really sure. You always like to go to the game with your full complement of guys, but every team is dealing with it in one way or the other. When someone goes down, the next person that goes in has to fill that void. When we have the opportunities to zone blitz, full blitz or a four man rush, we have got to take advantage of those."
(On Carson Palmer having a quick release and getting rid of the ball quickly)
"He has both of those things and then he runs, which is a pain in the neck. He understands the defenses, so if you make it clean, he is going to go to the right place. He does have a quick release and a strong arm. He feels pressure well and then he has the ability to hurt you with his feet like he did last year against us in overtime and he hurt us one other time in the red zone that set up a field goal. He does that where it's enough that you better be sound in your pass rush. You can't just tee off and lose contain or not have the lane integrity inside because if you do that and you're covered downfield, he just takes off and picks up 15-20 yards."
(On what grade he would give his fourth quarter defense)
"I don't know, I haven't assigned a grade to it. I think there have been spots where we have been really good and things we can improve on. I really liked what we did in Tampa Bay at the end where we had to get the ball back. We stopped them on the goal line, forced the fumble, had to get the ball back again and did a good job there. I was disappointed last week that we didn't have a chance on third down to see whether or not we could have stopped the play. You get in that opportunity, you've got to give yourself a chance to play it out. We jumped offside and I thought that was, obviously, not acceptable. I'm disappointed that we didn't have that chance."
(On if Cincinnati's defense is more susceptible to shorter passes than Baltimore's)
"The numbers are the same in terms of how many guys you have in coverage. Whether it's a 4-3 or a 3-4, usually in a 3-4 you just rush one of the linebackers and that becomes the fourth player. Numbers-wise, it's pretty consistent. In terms of what they play, we are going to face different coverages from both groups, but both defenses have the full complement of coverages and they mix in pressure. I don't think the amount of defensive linemen necessarily dictates the shorter passing game would be better."
(On Carlton Mitchell's progress)
"I think he's made some progress but I think he's got some more progress to make. I've been happy with the jumps that he's made but it needs to keep going. Part of that too is if he goes to the game what's his role going to be on special teams because he's not going to be a starter if he goes, so there's another area we have to define a role. We have Sam Aiken right now who is an outstanding special teams player and can do some things offensively and has done things offensively over the course of years. He's got to establish a role."
(On if the three defensive linemen who are returning to practice today will play on Sunday)
"That's my expectation, but we'll see how it is."
(On what Shaun Rogers does that doesn't show up in a box score)
"It just depends on how offenses treat him. Sometimes with that if they give him extra attention that frees up some people but each team we face kind of looks at the players a different way. I'd say that'd be the main thing with any play, how are they going to deal with him. What's their plan? Does it change, if it doesn't change then you would like to see that player make some explosive plays. If it does change what does it open up for someone else."
(On which of his players he would want to watch the most on a reality TV show)
"Robert Royal would be pretty funny if he had a reality TV show. I'd probably want to group them together like get four or five guys together and put them in a house sort of like the Cleveland Shore, something like that, the Lakefront. I'd have to do the full casting to see what the theme is but Robert is definitely one of them, (Lawrence) Vickers he'd be fun to have in that mix. (Blake) Costanzo, throw him in that house. I don't know give me another day or two but I could get a good cast. You throw Rob (Ryan) in there, he could be the house mother or something. What do they call that in college, an RA? He'd walk down every night make sure everyone's asleep. I think we've got something. Sports Time Ohio, you'll see it."
Transcript courtesy of the Cleveland Browns
Out: Jonathan Fanene (hamstring)
Terrell Owens comes to town with the Bengals this weekend, the fifth time Owens will face the Browns – it’s his fifth different team as well. Cleveland.com looks at the four previous matchups, including a memorable one when Owens was with the Philadelphia Eagles:
A year later, Owens and Garcia were on opposite sides. Owens came to Cleveland to oppose Garcia, then the Browns’ QB, after making unkind remarks about Garcia in a national magazine article in the off-season.
Owens was greeted with jeers and taunting banners, and he responded with four catches for 109 yards and two TDs in a 34-31 Philly victory in overtime. After scoring touchdowns in the first quarter, he drilled the football at one banner and ripped another (“T.O. has B.O.”) from a railing
Overall, the Browns are 2-2 against Owens’ teams.
There were some changes to the injury report on Thursday for the Browns/Bengals.
Did Not Participate: Jonathan Fanene (hamstring)
The big news is that Delhomme returned to practice for the first time, but according to the Plain Dealer, Delhomme didn’t look good doing it.
Physically, Delhomme also looked limited. In the locker room, he limped slightly without the walking boot immobilizing his right ankle.
If he is having trouble making it through practice, I doubt he will be able to go on Sunday. Keep checking in for updates all the way up until kickoff.
Here is a quick look at the Browns-Bengals injury report (Wednesday):
Did Not Practice: Kenyon Coleman (knee), Jake Delhomme (ankle), Derrick Roberson (hip), Shaun Rogers (hip, ankle), Robaire Smith (back), John St. Clair (Ankle), Jason Trusnik (head), Lawrence Vickers (Groin)
Stay tuned for more injury and game updates.
The AFC North Division Champs from a year ago, the Cincinnati Bengals, are again in a push for the NFL playoffs. They returned almost everyone from their 2009 campaign, and made only one major move in the offseason: The signing of future Hall of Fame wide receiver Terrell Owens.
How he performs will determine how far the Bengals go. No, it's not his team; it's Chad Ochocinco's. But the Bengals only went so far with one decent playmaker in the flats and Carson Palmer, who is no longer a prolific quarterback ever since the departure of ex-Bengal T.J. Houshmandzadeh (yes I spelled it right!), needed a second option in the passing game. Chad needed a guy on his opposite end too. He posted the second lowest amount of catches in a healthy season in his career last year, and was double teamed on occasion by opposing defenses. The threat of a deep route on the other sideline will help them open up the secondary.
Comeback player of the decade Cedric Benson will be manning a pretty deep backfield but will get the bulk of the workload. Cincinnati has never had the presence of a pass catching tight end, but may have found one in first-round draft pick Jermaine Gresham. He has 13 catches for 99 yards and a touchdown through the front three.
I am not sure if I like their defense or not. Although one of the better defenses last year in the NFL, they could end up being third best in the AFC as compared to Baltimore and Pittsburgh. Leon Hall and Jonathan Joseph were never known as shutdown cover corners, but both managed to have a breakout season last year. They recorded six interceptions apiece in 2009, but have combined for only two this year. Rey Maualuga is their rising star at the linebacker position. A potential draft pick for the Browns that got away, Maualuga was a second-round pick in last year's draft. His numbers thus far have not been pretty, but scouts like him. They like Keith Rivers also at the other outside linebacker spot. Teams have had an easier time with defensive end Antwan Odom, coming off of a sore wrist injury, that has affected his play significantly. He has just three tackles with no sacks.
Its hard to tell if this Bengals defense is a one-year wonder, or will post back-to-back division title winning seasons. They do have balance, but they don't have an All-Pro to pick up the slack in times of adversity. There is no Ray Lewis, Troy Polumalu or Darrell Revis on this roster.
This season, the Bengals go from predator to prey. This could turn them back into kittens as compared to last year's cats. They will need to defend their AFC title well, because the Ravens and Steelers are looking right in their rearview mirror.
According to Cleveland.com, the Browns are hoping that Delhomme gets back on the field "Thursday or Friday."
“I anticipate Jake coming back (to practice)," said Mangini. "We’ll see where he is. I want Jake to be healthy. That’s not a knock on Seneca. But Jake does some good things for us offensively (too).’’
In reality, it doesn’t seem like Delhomme or the Browns have any idea when he will be ready to go, leaving Seneca Wallace as the starting QB. For now.
According to FoxSports.com’s Adam Caplan, the Browns came to terms with RB Martell Mallett (5-foot-11, 200 lbs.). An undrafted free agent from Arkansas Pine-Bluff, Mallett went north of the border in 2009, where he played for the CFL’s BC Lions where he broke the franchise record with 213 yards against the Montreal Alouettes and was given the CFL’s equivalent of the rookie-of-the-year award.
This year, Mallett signed with the Philadelphia Eagles where he lasted until the final cuts on September 3. The Eagles placed him on their practice squad, but he was released on September 21.
Mallett is 24 years old.
For the third straight season the Browns are 0-3 to start a season. To make matter worse, the home team has held a lead in the 4th quarter of each loss, showing just how close the team is to getting over the hump.
Just how many more losses can the psyche of a team take? Especially one that is trying to rebuild.
This week it is the 2-1 Cincinnati Bengals coming to town. Sure, the Bengals offense seems to be struggling, but the Browns have been a tonic for Carson Palmer and Co. in the past. The Bengals are 5-2 under Marvin Lewis at Cleveland Browns Stadium, winning four of their past five in Cleveland.
Carson Palmer, who has struggled a bit this season, is 8-2 against Cleveland, completing 210 of 337 passes for 2,255 yards passing, 23 touchdowns and 14 interceptions for an 87.3 passer rating. Those 23 touchdowns are the most against any opponent.
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