Boy, are the Browns great when it comes to plotting public relations or what? The LeCharles Bentley situation was handled in a fairly calm manner -- despite the initial shock from the fans, I don't think anyone puts the organization at fault. On top of that, two stories can overshadow Bentley's departure: the official return of Gary Baxter, and positive statements from Joe Jurevicius himself.
Reports came out a few days ago that hinted towards the fact that Jurevicius' season could be over due to the several surgeries he had during the offseason. And, a staph infection didn't help. For the first time at mini-camp yesterday, Jurevicius made it clear that he'll be ready for not only the first game of the season, but for training camp too:
"The problem that I did have is now gone, and my rehab has probably gone better than expected. I have exceeded what the trainers had planned for me. I'm ready to get ready for training camp."
On top of Jurevicius' optimism heading into this season, he also provided some positive light for the future, referring to the fact that he could actually stick around for two more seasons instead of one:
"The biggest thing is I want to be part of something exciting here," he said. "Physically, if the wear and tear of an NFL season really takes its toll on me, then I'll have to sit down and make a decision. If I feel good, then I'll make a decision on that route."
The OBR also had some really nice details regarding Jurevicius. Their story focuses more so on the additional rest that skipping OTAs provides him with as he continues to get older.
And then, there was Baxter. For the first time since suffering a double pateller tendon injury against the Denver Broncos in 2006, the veteran defensive back participated in team drills, rather than individual drills. That is a major sign of progression for a guy who has persisted in his efforts to become the first player in NFL history to return from such an injury.
"Now that this day has come, it's a great joy," Baxter said. We've got seven to eight weeks before training camp, and when I come in, I'm going to be full tilt and ready to go."
After the Bentley situation settles down a little more, I expect there to be a lot of media coverage surrounding Baxter's comeback, and deservedly so. I think everyone will be more than appreciative on opening day if they see he's able to take a step on the field again.
Here are some other tidbits regarding Wednesday's minicamp from around the web:
- Undrafted rookie offensive lineman Nate Bennett got a name mention -- not for outstanding efforts, but for throwing punches in a minicamp fight against Antwan Peek. None of the punches actually landed, according to reports.
- No negatives for Travis Wilson, who continues to see extensive playing time with Jurevicius and Donte Stallworth being absent.
- While Brandon McDonald was away, veteran Terry Cousin filled in for him. It's already clear that Cousin is our third cornerback -- and I'm fairly certain that he'll be better than Ralph Brown and Kenny Wright.
- The OBR reports that Braylon Edwards and Jerome Harrison each had nifty catches from quarterback Derek Anderson.
Here is a big link collection for you today:
Charlie Frye believes he'll start again (Canadian Press)
Jones still growing, aiming high (Official Site)
Bentley: "Browns weren't the right fit anymore" (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
Entire LeCharles Bentley Timeline (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
Bentley's decision is just business (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
Browns Team Report [note: nice tidbits here] (Sporting News)
Be sure to stay tuned to Dawgs By Nature soon. I know some of my SB Nation colleagues like to do their position previews months in advance to training camp, but I like to do mine towards the end of June. If I would've previewed the offensive line awhile ago, it wouldn't have been as current with Ryan Tucker's injury and Bentley's departure.