News and Notes as the Browns head to Baltimore

Injury Report

Cleveland: Limited Participation in Practice: DB Leigh Bodden (back); LB D’Qwell Jackson (ankle), LB Willie McGinest (hamstring), LB Antwan Peek (knee) and DE Shaun Smith (knee).

Baltimore: Out: QB Steve McNair (shoulder), CB Samari Rolle (illness), WR Demetrius Williams (ankle); Did Not Participate in Practice: TE Todd Heap (thigh), S Gerome Sapp (thigh), TE Daniel Wilcox (foot); Limited Participation in Practice: CB Chris McAlister (knee), S Ed Reed (back); Full Participation in Practice: RS Yamon Figurs (knee), FB Le’Ron McClain (shoulder), LB Gary Stills (knee).

Something Special

Browns WR/KR Joshua Cribbs had a record setting afternoon against the Steelers in Week 10. Cribbs began the day in the first quarter with a 90-yard kickoff return down to the Pittsburgh three-yard line to set up the Browns second touchdown of the day, and followed it with a career-best 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter (tied for the fourth longest return in franchise history). Cribbs finished the day with a career-high 204 kickoff return yards, the second-highest single-game total in franchise history. The 100-yard return also marked his fourth career kickoff return for a touchdown, setting a Browns franchise record surpassing Hall of Famer Bobby Mitchell (3).

In addition, Cribbs’ 1,230 kickoff return yards on the season rank first in the NFL. Cribbs, already the Browns record holder for most kickoff return yards in a season, needs 265 kickoff return yards to break the franchise record of 1,494 kickoff return yards in a single season, which he set last year.

Kickoff Return Yards 

Joshua Cribbs – Cle 1,230 yards
Glenn Holt-Cin 938 yards
Leon Washington – NYJ 837 yards

Cribbs’ 32.4 yards per return average currently ranks second in the NFL.

Winning the battle for field position: The Browns, thanks in large part to the efforts of Cribbs, have the highest average starting field position in the NFL.

CLEVELAND                        33.9
New York Jets                       32.7
New England Patriots          32.0

The Wrigth Stuff

Browns DB Eric Wright leads the team with seven PBU on the season and has recorded a PBU in each of the last five games. Wright is also fourth on the team with 59 tackles (45 solo, 14 assists) and has contributed six special teams tackles. He recorded his first career interception in the Browns Week Six victory over the Dolphins before getting his first career sack last week against the Steelers.

The Century Club

Browns RB Jamal Lewis will play in his 100th career game this Sunday when the Browns travel to Baltimore. Lewis was originally drafted by the Ravens in 2000. In his seven seasons in Baltimore he rushed for 8,052 yards on 1,860 carries and 46 touchdowns. This will mark the first time Lewis returns to Baltimore donning another team’s colors.

Browns add Eslinger

The Cleveland Browns signed OL Greg Eslinger, the club announced Tuesday. Eslinger, 6-3 and 290 lbs., was signed off the Denver Broncos practice squad.  Eslinger spent the first ten weeks of the regular season on the Broncos practice squad.  Eslinger was a sixth-round draft choice by Denver in 2006 out of Minnesota and spent last season on Injured Reserve.

In the Community

On Monday, Nov. 19th from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m., Browns TE Darnell Dinkins will be distributing Thanksgiving baskets, complete with a turkey and all the fixings for a Thanksgiving meal, to 87 families that are a part of the University Settlement, a neighborhood center serving families in the Broadway/Slavic Village neighborhood.

Several Browns players will be on hand on Tuesday, Nov. 20th from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. to distribute turkeys to families in need at the Empowerment Zone at East 93rd and Cedar Avenue.

From the Locker Room

Head Coach Romeo Crennel:

(On whether he is confident the team will bounce back and have put last week behind them)- “Well, I hope they have. That’s what we have to do. We have to put it aside because if you don’t put it aside, then we’re going to lose to Baltimore. We need to win that game.”

(On what KR/WR Joshua Cribbs has meant to the team this year)- “The thing is that he has gotten to the point where the opponent is concerned about him and they don’t want him to have the ball in his hands. They’re beginning not to kick the ball to him. We’re gaining field position that way. He’s still helping the team, even though he doesn’t have the ball in his hands. When he does get it in his hands he has the opportunity to help the team more because he gets it to mid-field, he gets it on the plus side or into the end zone. That’s a big swing. That really does help your team. Even though they’re not kicking to him he is still helping the team.”

QB Derek Anderson

(On what makes them confident that they can bounce back)- “We’ve done it before, done it all year. We’ll just keep plugging away. Obviously, we did some good things last week, but we’ll just keep moving along, coming in and do the things we’ve been doing.”

(On facing a tough defense)- “It’s a great defense. They’ve been making plays all season and that front seven – they’re beasts. They’ve got [S] Ed Reed – in the back end – who can make plays and roams the field. It’s a good challenge for us.”

WR Braylon Edwards

(On whether he’ll get more opportunities with the Ravens starting corners injured) – “I think so.  I think I’ll get some more looks and things like that.  But I think this whole team is salivating.  After coming off last week, I think we’re ready for this one.  I wish we could have played again on Sunday.  To come against Baltimore we’re ready.  We’re happy it’s another big game, in the sense of a conference game and a rivalry game.  It’s a game the city can get up about.  We’re excited and eager to play.”

RB Jamal Lewis

(On what it will be like to go back to Baltimore after spending seven seasons there) – “I look at it like any other team.  We need to win on the road.  This is a game that we really need.  It’s in our division and that’s all I really look at.  I’m not caught up in the Baltimore thing and it’s my old team.  We’ve played them one time and we’ve dealt with that.  Now I think it’s all about trying to put together a package and try to win the game.”

WR/KR Joshua Cribbs

(On whether it’s frustrating when opposing teams kick away from him) – “It’s very frustrating.  We’re forced to revamp our game plan on special teams.  We’re no longer expecting deep kicks.  We have to prepare for sky kicks and squib kicks all the time now.  (Teams) are sacrificing field position just to stop me.  That just lets us know that our kick return unit is doing a great job.”

(On whether he feels that every time he touches the ball he can score) – “Yes. I feel that every runner, every guy should feel that way about their self.  A winner wants the ball in their hand.  Everybody feels that they can bring something to the table and I feel that way.”

News and Notes as the Browns prep for the Steelers

Chewing up some clock: During their three-game winning streak, the Browns offense has put together drives of six minutes or longer in all three triumphs. Against the Dolphins in Week Six, the offense had two six-plus minute scoring drives, both resulting in TDs. Against the Rams in Week Eight the offense had two drives of six-plus minutes, resulting in a field goal and TD. In the victory over the Rams, the Browns had their most time-consuming drive of the season, taking 7:51 off the clock on a crucial second half drive that resulted in a field goal that provided the final 27-20 outcome. The offense provided another six-plus minute drive in the Week Nine win over Seattle when they went on a 14-play, 89-yard TD drive that provided the Browns their first lead late in the game. The 14-play drive against the Seahawks also marked the most plays the offense has had on a drive this season.

Time of Possession; Opponent; (# plays, yards, result)

6:53 vs. Miami 10/14 (12-play, 66-yard, result: TD)
6:08 vs. Miami 10/14 (10-play, 67-yard, result: TD)
7:51 at St. Louis 10/28 (12-play, 45-yard, result: FG)
6:16 at St. Louis 10/28 (12-play, 80-yard, result: TD)
6:03 vs. Seattle 11/4 (11-play, 69-yard, result: TD)
5:38 vs. Seattle 11/4 (14-play, 89-yard, result: TD)

Under the century mark: The Browns defense has had back-to-back games in which they have not allowed a 100-yard rusher. In their Week Nine victory over the Seahawks, the Browns defense limited Seahawks RB Shaun Alexander to 32 yards rushing on 14 carries.

D.A. leads the way: Browns QB Derek Anderson made the first start of his NFL career at Pittsburgh last season, throwing for 276 yards, including a 45-yard TD to WR Braylon Edwards. Heading to Pittsburgh again, Anderson enters the game 2-0 against the AFC North as a starter this season. Against the AFC North this year, Anderson has 8 TDs (3 INTs) and a 103.1 passer rating. In the Browns five wins he has completed 95 of 149 passes (63.8 pct.) for 1,389 yards with 13 TDs (3 INTs) and a 114.8 passer rating.

Anderson enters Week 10 with the fourth most passing TDs (17), fourth highest yards per completion average (8.2), sixth most passing yards (2,108) and the ninth highest QB rating (91.7) in the NFL. In addition, Anderson is on pace to surpass 4,000 yards passing for the season.

Make-A-Wish: Through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, 13 year-old Nick Wagner was granted his wish of meeting his hero Brady Quinn. Additionally, Wagner was able to visit the Training Facility to catch practice November 2nd, and afterwards, he played catch with Quinn and also received a special surprise from his hero – a locker custom made for Wagner, complete with a game jersey and more clothes than he knew what to do with. Wagner and his family finished their visit to Cleveland by attending the Browns vs. Seahawks game November 4th – a game the Browns won in overtime, 33-30.

Shaun Smith school visit:
Defensive lineman Shaun Smith will visit AJ Rickoff School in Cleveland November 13th as part of his “Lining Up with Shaun Smith” program. Smith donates tickets each home game to students at AJ Rickoff who do well in school. Additionally, Smith provides each of his guests with custom shirts and food vouchers for the game. This was the second of three visits to the school this year as part of his “Lining Up with Shaun Smith” program.

From the Locker Room:

Head Coach Romeo Crennel

(On how QB Derek Anderson handled the Steelers blitzes in Pittsburgh last year and how he handled the Ravens blitz packages earlier this year)- “I thought that early on last year that he did okay. He was putting the ball where it needed to be and we didn’t catch it. Then the game got out of hand. Against Baltimore he seemed to handle that pretty good. We won the game. If he can handle the Pittsburgh blitz this time as well as we did the Baltimore game, then we might be able to win.”

(On being slated to have CBS’ number one game and number one announcing crew for the game and the excitement surrounding the game)- “Well, I didn’t know we had the number one broadcasting crew. It’s no different. We still have to go down and play and we have to play good football. I think, as I mentioned before, that because of where we are – and we haven’t been here in several years here in Cleveland – that people are excited about the possibilities. With that being said, we still have eight games to play. We have to play them one at a time and if we don’t play good, then it won’t be good. If we play good, I think that we’ve shown that we have enough ability that we can make some plays and get some things done if we play good.”

QB Derek Anderson

(On why he didn’t appear to be intimidated when he started at Pittsburgh last season)- “They put on their pants just like we do. Obviously, they’ve been playing well, but you just have to go in there with confidence and continue to do the same things that you’ve been doing. If you go out there intimidated then you’re in for a long day.”

(On whether he feels the offense is gaining confidence each week)- “Yes, I do. We go out on the field and I feel guys are confident in not only what we’re doing, but what we have been doing, knowing that if it doesn’t happen right away not to panic.”

(On whether there is a sense of how big this game is in the locker room)- “Everybody is excited about the things that we’ve been doing and we’re just going to keep working. I don’t think we’re over anxious and we’re just going to keep preparing the way we have.”

(On the perception that people have that he is the biggest difference on the team from game one until now)- “I think we’ve done some good things. We’ve moved on and continued to improve. I don’t think it’s me by myself. I think it’s the whole deal.”

Browns News and Notes: Washington on IR, Recieving Duo, and Locker Room Quotes

Washington on IR: The Cleveland Browns claimed DB Ricardo Colclough (COKE-lee) via waivers from Pittsburgh and have placed NT Ted Washington (left knee) on Injured Reserve, the club announced on Wednesday.

Colclough was originally a second-round draft choice by Pittsburgh, 38th overall, in the 2004 NFL Draft. He played in three games this season for Pittsburgh and added one special teams tackle before being waived by the Steelers on Oct. 30, 2007.

“Ted (Washington) has been working through some knee issues that finally have caught up to him,” said Head Coach Romeo Crennel. “We appreciate his effort to this point and know he will continue to help us anyway he can going forward.”

Washington appeared in five games this season, including one start, and totaled nine tackles, including seven solo. Washington was inactive for two contests this season, at New England on Oct. 7, and at St. Louis on Oct. 28.

Dynamic Duo: Six receiving duos are on pace for each player to reach 1,000 yards, which would tie for the second most in NFL history (seven in 1999).

Among those six duos are Browns WR Braylon Edwards and TE Kellen Winslow. Edwards and Winslow are on pace to become the first duo in Browns history to each record 1,000 yards receiving.

“The opposing defense has to pick their poison, double either myself or Braylon,” said Winslow. “Braylon is good to have as a catalyst on this offense because he is getting open and beating his man. Opposing defenses have to account for both of us on the field and then it creates opportunities for other players.”

The Browns duo has the third-most combined total receiving yards on the season.

NE: Randy Moss (779), Wes Welker (613) = 1,392 yards
CIN: Chad Johnson (731), T.J.Houshmandzadeh (629) = 1,360 yards
CLE: Braylon Edwards (669), Kellen Winslow (532) = 1,201 yards
DAL: Terrell Owens (556), Jason Witten (540) = 1,098 yards
SD: Antonio Gates (639), Chris Chambers (450) = 1,089 yards
KC: Tony Gonzalez (506), Dwayne Bowe (499) = 1,005 yards

From the Locker Room:

Head Coach Romeo Crennel

(On the importance of this game and whether it could be a ‘signature’ win for the franchise if they were to win)- “Like I told you about these games, you don’t know until after the season is over. This is the next game. That’s why it’s the most important one, because it’s the next one. It would help us to win this game, so we’re going to do everything we can to win it. The impact that winning this game will have is that it would put us two games above .500, if that’s the case. It doesn’t put us into the playoffs. It doesn’t make us world-beaters or anything like that. But it would be a good game to win. So far guys have been playing good at home. It’s a home game and I know our fans are going to be excited. I know we’re going to be excited and we’re going to try and do everything we can to try and win it.”

(On whether QB Derek Anderson isn’t forcing as many passes) – “I think he’s taking what the defense gives him. He knows he has guys who can make plays. If they are covered, he doesn’t try to get it to them. He’ll get it to the guy who is open or the guy who has a single on him. Those guys have been making plays and that’s how we can get the chains moving.”

QB Derek Anderson

(On what it means to have receivers like WR Braylon Edwards, TE Kellen Winslow and WR Joe Jurevicius)- “It’s good. Obviously, Joe made some huge plays for us. [WR] Tim [Carter] has been stepping up, making some big plays for us. Those other two guys [Edwards and Winslow], we know what they can do. It makes it so that teams understand that we’re not just going to throw it to Braylon every play. We’re not going to throw it to Kellen every play and it makes them defend the entire field.”

(On whether he is getting more respect from opponents because of the way he has been playing)- “This team is. The more games we win and the more we go out there every week and prove to everybody that we’re a better football team, then the team as a whole will gain respect.”

(On whether it has been a point of emphasis to not force balls the last couple weeks)- “It has been the whole season. I just have kind of had time, haven’t had to be rushed in the reads and, like I said, guys have been making plays.”

RB Jamal Lewis

(On whether he has to take it a little easy after coming back from the foot injury) – “I think (the coaches) are taking extra precaution. I’m feeling good and I’m healthy. Everything is good. The foot is great. It feels good. I’m sure they are going to manage everything the way they feel will keep me fresh and ready to go.”

(On whether he could get the ball a little bit more) – “I’m not complaining at all. As long as we keep putting up points, winning football games, the quarterback is playing well and the wide receivers are catching the ball then I can’t complain. We’re doing our job as running backs just getting those yards. We’re doing pretty good.”

– from Browns Backers ‘Brownie Bits’ Newsletter

Browns sign DB, place Baxter on IR

Cleveland signed defensive back Nick Sorensen to take the roster spot of Gary Baxter on Wednesday. Baxter was placed on IR Tuesday.

Sorensen played previously for the St. Louis Rams and Jacksonville Jaguars. Mostly a special teams participant, Sorensen has played in 75 career NFL games.  Sorensen graduated from Virginia Tech.

Another possible defensive move would be to look into signing the recently released Grady Jackson. Jackson, an 11-year veteran, was let go by the Atlanta Falcons on Wednesday. While the Browns could use some youth upfront on the defensive line, they could also use some bodies. Cleveland has allowed six consecutive 100-yard rushers so far this season.

Browns enter bye week at 3-3

Who would have thought that at this point in the season the Cleveland Browns would be 3-3 and 2-1 in the AFC North? How many would have made the argument that Derek Anderson should be given the opportunity to see out the season and keep Brady Quinn on the bench? Or that the Browns would have one of the AFC’s top offenses? I’m keeping my hand down.

But on the same note, who would have thought the Browns defense would be one of the worst in recent memory, on pace to  break the team record for most yards surrendered in a season? Again, not me.

Check out this story from Marla Ridenour outlining Romeo Crennel’s plans to address the defense.

Quotes from the Browns Locker Room

Head Coach Romeo Crennel

(On what it would mean for the development of the team to go into the bye week with a 3-3 overall record and 3-1 at home) – “We’ve emphasized trying to win at home and trying to win period.  If we can win this game, it will be a small step in the direction that we want to go.  We’ll be 3-3, we’ll be .500.  I think that would say that we’re making some progress.  If you look at the schedule when it first came out, a lot of people wouldn’t have thought we would even be close to that.  If we can win this game, we’ll look toward the next game and the rest of season to see what we can do from then on.”

(On what QB Derek Anderson has done differently from the beginning of the season to now) – “He’s made some tremendous plays.  There’s been one or two decisions that I think he would take back and would like to have again.  But overall, he’s played well enough for us to win those two division games, in particular.  He’s made some good throws and he’s led this team.  He’s made progress and he has room to improve.  We’ll continue to work with him to improve.”

QB Derek Anderson

(On whether they feel like they are starting to build a home field advantage)? “Our home crowd is good. We go in there and get a lot of energy. We’ve been playing pretty well at home and hopefully we can continue that.”

(On ‘whether beating teams they are supposed to beat’ would be a big step for them)- “I think just winning in general. Like I said, this is a big week. Going into our bye week we feel we can get back to 3-3. If we come out and have a good week of practice and execute on Sunday it could be huge for us.”

RB Jason Wright

(On whether he mentally approaches the week thinking that he is the starter)- “Yeah, but I do that every week because you never know. Last week is a case in point example of how you never know what can happen. One play and you’re in for every snap for the rest of the game. I prepare that way every week.”

(On whether facing a 0-5 team is worrisome because people will say it’s a game the Browns can win)- “Maybe you guys [the media] look at it like that, but we’re certainly not looking at it like that. I’m not just doing coach speak – if you take an honest look at their defense, they’ve been a top defense for many years. Zach Thomas has been an emotional leader of a top defense for many years. They’ve had a lot of injuries for the past few games. Really, what’s on film is not indicative of what they are. When you watch them – at their top, with their top players in there – they are a mean, nasty defense and that’s what we’re going to face. We don’t have that mentality at all.”

WR Braylon Edwards

(On whether they feel like they are starting to build a home field advantage)- “Definitely.  I believe we play a lot better at home, obviously because of the fans. We’re a lot more comfortable. We just need to come out and do things that we have previously done at home against Cincinnati and Baltimore. If we come out and do some of those things, then we’ll definitely have a chance.”

(On how they prevent against over-looking their opponent)- “We’re no 5-0 team. We’re not the Colts, or the Patriots in terms of record wise. We’re not 5-0, so who are we to say that we really don’t have to focus on this team. Our record is just the same as theirs. If anything, this is a good match-up in terms of the records. From our stand point, our mentality is we’re approaching this just like we did last week – obviously we’re trying to win this one, though. We’re going to come out, give them everything we have and try and go into the bye week at 3-3.”

– from Browns Backers ‘Brownie Bits’ Newsletter

Thanks for partying with us!

Thanks to all of the Cincinnati Browns Backers that made it out to Willie’s for the Browns-Patriots game on Sunday afternoon. We hope you enjoyed the free wings, beer, and other 1/2 price appetizers brought to you by the club. We’re still deciding on the next party date, but in the meantime, come on out and enjoy the specials and the Browns.

While we didn’t get to see a Browns upset, we did hear Dan Dierdorf belch into the mike early in the first quarter. Perhaps that was better sounding than listening to him heap praise all over Tom Brady and the Patriots as if they were the only team on the field. No wonder people stopped watching Monday Night Football when he was in the booth.

From the Sporting News: Dan Dierdorf pulls a Bryant Gumbel

From Awful Announcing: What’s With the Gumbels and Belching

Club Party: Browns at Patriots 1pm Sunday

Come join us at Willie’s in Hidden Valley for our first club party of the season!

Beer, pop, and snacks are on the club as we root for the Brownies to stun the Patriots and end the cheaters’ reign as NFL poster boys. We’ll also be raffling off Browns merchandise and selling club t-shirts.

Come on out to Willie’s on Sunday afternoon for food, fun, and a Browns upset victory. Or at least, a damn good time.

Welcome to

Welcome to the revised – the online home of the Greater Cincinnati Browns Backers and the Dawg Pound South. We’ve set up a redirect from the previous NetFirms site, so all the information is still saved and online. We just thought we’d give this new site a spin and see how it takes.

As an introduction, we’ve worked to enhance some of the great information available on the original site. This site will remain a work in progress as we move forward (and no fear, the NetFirms pages can be brought back if needed).

Some of the changes:

  • Additional photographs in the photo gallery. The hope is to create a forum for club members to post images of their visits to Browns games.
  • Updated links and Browns news. The hope is the site format accommodates frequent postings and conversation.
  • The ability to comment on specific pages. By providing an email address to the site, you can post your thoughts and opinions on some of the topics posted. Keep it clean, though, or we’ll have to revoke your privileges. We are a family-friendly club.

We’re always looking for feedback, so please feel free to tell us what you think.

Matt Booher – Greater Cincinnati Browns Backers Webmaster