With all of the injuries hitting the Steelers' and Ravens' camps thus far, the Browns were scathing by pretty good, much like they did last year in camp. The streak ended today though, as it was announced that linebacker Antwan Peek had an arthroscopic procedure on his right knee.
Peek is expected to miss the remainder of training camp and all of the preseason games, but he could return by Week 1 for the game against the Dallas Cowboys. I saw Peek as a pure pass rusher, so if he needs to play without much practice, it's not an assignment that he would've missed too much on.
TRAINING CAMP REPORT - DAY 9 (7/31/08)
- Baxter Retiring: Umm...I don't think so, but you never know. WKYC reported during their news broadcast today that because Gary Baxter missed his second straight practice, he could be contemplating retirement. Baxter is not recovering as quick as he would like to from soreness according to the OBR, and Romeo Crennel stated that he could be back on the field in a day or two. My final guess here is that WKYC simply dropped an unmerited rumor as a news item.
- Peek's Replacement: Not that this was specifically related to today's session, but for the rest of camp, all eyes will be on former Texans linebacker Shantee Orr. We know what Willie McGinest can and can't provide at this stage of his career, so Orr is the guy that should be seeing more reps in camp. Alex Hall is a candidate too, but if I'm not mistaken, hasn't he been practicing on the same side as Kamerion Wimbley?
- For the Record: For the first week of camp, Orr had been seeing all of his reps at inside linebacker. During Thursday's practice, he started working on the outside -- a position he did play at when he was with the Texans. Also, keeping all doors open, David McMillan will also get a crack at outside linebacker.
- Highlight Play: Since Donte Stallworth is healthy now, the chemistry between him and Derek Anderson seems to be building. On a highlight play of the day, the two connected on a deep ball in which Stallworth had to dive all out to make the catch.
- Positive Corners: According to Ohio.com, besides the play above, the cornerbacks, specifically Eric Wright and Brandon McDonald. On the day, they consistently swatted down passes and caused turnovers. McDonald reportedly had an interception and dropped another.
- Fourth Corner: If the Browns don't go out and acquire anybody, "veteran" Jereme Perry could make the final roster. If anybody beyond the three locks (Wright, McDonald, Cousin) has stood out, it might just be him. Today, practice closed out with him breaking up a lob pass intended for Travis Wilson on a pass from Brady Quinn, according to the Plain Dealer.
Pluto Comments: Terry Pluto attended camp today (check the link collection below), and made some nice observations as always. I have to quote him for the full effect:
I hope it's more than a summer mirage, but cornerbacks Eric Wright and Brandon McDonald have been two of the best players in camp. These guys are optimistically listed at 5-foot-10, but they are quick and tough. I remember a couple of small CBs named Dixon and Minnifield who made fans cheer. Wright seems very savvy, switching coverages in the zone defense and just knowing how to be in the right place when it matters most.Stay healthy guys, because after you, when don't have much.
- Cribbs Maturing: From training camp notes in general, Joshua Cribbs seems to actually be making quite an impression at wide receiver, at least in certain packages. Pluto commented that he made a great sideline catch on a pass from Quinn during goal-line drills.
- Zebras in Attendance: Like yesterday, the referees were again in attendance to make sure the league's new rules were clarified. The most significant new rule is that the forceout no longer exists: if a receiver doesn't get two feet down in bounds, it's incomplete. The official site has a nice article reminding Browns fans of all the new rules.
- Players Missing Tomorrow: The following players are confirmed to miss Friday's Family Fun Night at Cleveland Browns Stadium: TE Steve Heiden (knee), DE Corey Williams (shoulder), WR Kevin Kasper (hamstring), FB Lawrence Vickers (hamstring) and OG Seth McKinney (ankle).
- Start Time and Procedure: Family Fun Night starts at 7:00 PM, and tickets are available for purchase for just $5. The event is scheduled to last two hours long, with the first hour being dedicated to some various drills and the second hour kicking in the "scrimmage" type of gameplay. Because the Browns do not have a full third-team offensive line, only the first- and second-teams will get reps.
Here is your link collection of sources for much of the information above:
Scribbles on the Browns (Cleveland Plain Dealer, Pluto)
Wait a sec on Brady Quinn (Ohio.com, Thomas)
Training camp log: Day 9 (Cleveland Plain Dealer, Grossi)
I am not sure if I will be attending the Family Fun Night tomorrow -- it may come down to a last minute decision. If I go, I will be sure to make as many observations as possible. I don't have a digital camera, so if anyone does go and takes pictures, feel free to contact me via email so that we can collaborate a recap together if need be.