The Browns had their final public two-a-day session on Tuesday, but some concerning news came in the morning session when one of our tight ends wasn't on the field. It wasn't Kellen Winslow. Or Steve Heiden. It was Martin Rucker. The rookie fourth-round draft choice had an MRI done on his knee after he twisted it recently.
While Romeo Crennel stated in an interview that the MRI was merely precautionary, we all know what happened to rookie LB Beau Bell when he suddenly missed a day or two of action. To simplify things today, I'm going to put both the morning and evening practice notes under the same subheading:
TRAINING CAMP REPORT - DAY 21 [MORNING / EVENING] (8/12/08)
- Hall Rises: I thought this was a very important note to start off with, as reported by the Plain Dealer's Tony Grossi: for the first time since Antwan Peek's injury, rookie LB Alex Hall took reps at his position instead of being exclusive to Kamerion Wimbley's side. Whether that's keeping all options open or a telltale sign, it'll be something to watch for this Monday against the Giants.
- Sanders Opening Eyes: After being given the opportunity to run with the starting unit yesterday, WR Steve Sanders continued to take advantage of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity by catching nearly everything thrown his way again. Without being at camp everyday, this sudden rise for Sanders seems unprecedented; nonetheless, I am really pulling for him.
- Key to Victory: Ohio.com is reporting that recently-signed safety Travis Key is at least making some noise in practice. He broke up a pass intended for Steve Heiden from Derek Anderson in the morning, and then recovered a fumble in the nightcap. Sounds like a decent second day, eh?
- Similar Sounding: When you think about it, saying "Andra Davis" and "A.J. Davis" quickly makes them sound like the same name. That's not the point though; the point is that A.J. Davis had a good nightcap according to Mary Kay Cabot -- he broke up a deep pass to Joshua Cribbs from Ken Dorsey, and then intercepted a Brady Quinn pass intended for Lance Leggett. Davis needed to step up after seeing the recently-beat-for-a-touchdown Steve Cargile get cut after last Thursday's game.
- Rogers Sits: Big nose tackle Shaun Rogers had the morning practice off with a sore knee, but was a full go come the nightcap. Kevin Kasper continues to miss practices though, and is not showing any signs of returning in the immediate future.
Trick Play: I'll just quote Grossi on this one; no sense in paraphrasing a play that he saw:
"New play of the day -- a reverse off an end-around, featuring an Anderson handoff to Josh Cribbs, who hands to Donte Stallworth coming from the other side. Nice. The possibilities with Cribbs are endless."
- Daily Wilson: Being the final two-a-day of the year, it's time to bring back the "Daily Wilson" one more time. Ohio.com reports that he made a nice diving catch in practice on a pass from Ken Dorsey, with Brandon McDonald having solid coverage on the play. There has been no word of Wilson letting up since Sanders was promoted, so I still fail to believe that there is a hidden agenda to give up on him.
- Something to Consider: Besides the Hall note I mentioned to kick things off, I found this nugget interesting from Grossi: LB Kris Griffin has been having a tremendous camp at ILB, and is looking to challenge Leon Williams for playing time. His roster spot seems secure (Griffin's).
- Dawson Clutch: To end the morning practice, Crennel asked the team if they'd put their faith in kicker Phil Dawson. If Dawson could nail a 54-yarder, their afternoon team meeting would be canceled, and the players would have spare time to do whatever they wanted. If he missed, they'd have to run laps. The team accepted the challenge, and Dawson drilled it. More than anything, that serves as a great pressure situation for Dawson -- not that he needs it.
- No Pads: The team hasn't been in pads since Thursday's game against the Jets so that everyone can heal up. I'm sure the pads will be on some time soon -- possibly Wednesday -- to start prepping for the Monday Nighter.
Here is your link collection for much of the information above:
Rogers, Rucker dealing with knee issues (Cleveland Plain Dealer, Grossi)
A.J. Davis steps up (Ohio.com, Ridenour)
Training camp log: Day 21 (Cleveland Plain Dealer, Cabot)
Day 21 of camp practice (WTAM, Knott)
As always, check out the playoff-contending Cleveland Indians over at Let's Go Tribe (ok, maybe I'm getting my hopes up too much after a mere five-game winning streak). The Browns' next preseason game is still a ways away, but it's getting here. Remember, if you're a Clevelander without cable, Monday's game can be caught on FOX 8.