With training camp closed to the fans and the media on Wednesday, I am forced to skip a "Day 12" report on training camp, and move right along to Day 13. But first, another issue has developed with the loss of two veteran linebackers: Willie McGinest and Matt Stewart.
McGinest was scheduled to undergo surgery this afternoon to repair a bulging disk in his back. McGinest will be out of action for at least six weeks before having to be re-evaluated. The Browns are not going to place him on the injured reserve, in hopes that they will get him back around the mid-way point of the season. However, I would expect him to be placed on the physically unable to perform list very soon.
For Stewart, the news was much worse. Stewart had surgery this morning to repair a torn labrum. He will be placed on the injured reserve, and will miss the entire season. While the Browns lost two veterans, this is the perfect opportunity for two players to step their games up: Antwaan Peek and Chaun Thompson. Peek will be inserted into the starting lineup, taking McGinest's spot. Head coach Romeo Crennel stated that Thompson will move back to the outside linebacker position.
Besides those two men receiving extended playing time, this theoretically opens up two extra spots on the final roster for reserve linebackers. Where as guys like Mason Unck or David McMillan may have been cut before, now they will be looked at closer in camp and throughout the preseason games. Either way, the losses of McGinest and Stewart are negatives, but not major downers. I felt that Peek should have been our starting outside linebacker over McGinest anyway, and Stewart would've simply been on the sidelines in case one of the youngsters got injured.
Now then: back to today's camp. Rain again canceled the outdoor practice, which has seemingly become a common occurrence as of late. The troops were indoors though, and the media had their first chance to get a look at Brady Quinn in action at training camp:
- Starting QB: Remember when Romeo Crennel stated that he would flip a coin to determine which quarterback would start on Saturday? Apparently, he may actually be doing that. Crennel stated that the decision would come at random, and both quarterbacks would operate in an unusual fashion for a preseason game: alternating. For example, if the coin flip says that Derek Anderson will start the game, then he'll get one series with the first unit. In the second series, Charlie Frye would operate the first unit. In the third series, Anderson would operate the second unit. Finally, Frye would operate the second unit with the fourth drive. That will all take place in the first half. If there are excess series or not enough series, the alternating process will probably go on still.
- Other Men: Crennel also stated that Ken Dorsey would see most of the action in the second half, and that Brady Quinn "might" see two plays (probably handoffs).
- Game ON: Wouldn't it only be fitting that during Quinn's first day in camp that the media could see, that Anderson and Frye would play at their best? That's exactly what happened, as both quarterbacks faced the "scout" defense, simulating what the Kansas City Chiefs would do. Both quarterbacks had big gains and quality passes. Both quarterbacks were solid, but neither was leaps and bounds better than the other. Anderson did have one great streak where he threw a strike to Joshua Cribbs in the back of the end zone, and then a tight spiral to Braylon Edwards a little later.
- Rookie Blunders: Now that Quinn's in camp, it's time to report on the kid. Quinn was acting as the scout quarterback for the Chiefs against the Browns defense. One of his better plays came on a pass to receiver Mike Mason in the end zone. After that though, Quinn missed one pass to Kendrick Mosley and another one to Darnell Dinkins. On the Dinkins play, there was tight coverage and Quinn threw it out of the back of the end zone.