BROWNS Players thankful for break



Cleveland has fewer injuries this preseason thanks to lighter practices.
BEREA (AP) -- With the exception of Kellen Winslow Jr.'s vicious hit on a teammate, the Browns had a less physical training camp this year.
As camp wrapped up Thursday, linebacker Andra Davis said the health of the team is the biggest difference from last season.
"Everybody's healthy right now. Coach [Butch] Davis, he's really taken care of this year," the third-year linebacker said. "He asked us how everybody was feeling at times, and he adjusted his schedule to that, showing that he trusts us."
Except for injuries to linebackers Brant Boyer and Chaun Thompson, the Browns are relatively healthy going into their second preseason game. Boyer (broken foot) expects to return by the third game of the season and Thompson (broken wrist) hopes to be ready for the opener.
Davis said the Browns have been fortunate to avoid the rash of injuries affecting other teams this summer.
"How do you balance trying to make sure that your team gets enough quality work to be prepared for the start of the season and stay as healthy as you possibly can? ... If you have to sacrifice a little bit of contact and stuff in practice, so be it," he said.
Practice conditions
Just how aggressive practices should be became a topic after Winslow leveled defensive back Roosevelt Williams during a non-contact drill. Williams called the rookie tight end "unprofessional."
Winslow said the next day that the entire team should have more intensity.
His teammates had a mixed response to his actions and comments.
Safety Earl Little said Winslow is young and fiery, but must learn how to practice.
If the tables were turned, it would not be right for another player to hurt Winslow, Little said.
"You could hurt someone," he said.
"If I mess up his shoulder, we lose Kellen for eight to 12 weeks and what good does that do for our football team?"
The biggest question coming into training camp was how long Winslow would hold out. He agreed to a $40 million contract 12 days into camp.
Question marks
But the Browns still leave training camp with plenty of questions:
*Will quarterback Jeff Garcia get comfortable with the offense before the opener Sept. 12 against Baltimore? Garcia ended camp taking more repetitions in an effort to catch up.
*Who will Davis settle on as starter at left guard? Paul Zukauskas will start at left guard Saturday, the third player given a shot at the position.
*Who will start at running back? Lee Suggs and William Green ran well in the first preseason game and could end up sharing carries throughout the season.
*Will the defense be able to stop the run? Titans running back Chris Brown averaged 7.7 yards a carry against the Browns in his first start.
*Who will punt? Derrick Frost made a strong case in the Tennessee game with three punts inside the 20-yard line.
Davis said the team has improved greatly over its three weeks in camp. He said they were more "cohesive" Thursday than even three days earlier.
"There are so many things that we are doing better today than at any time over the last three seasons," he said.
The Browns ended last season with 13 players on injured reserve. After avoiding any disastrous injuries in camp, Davis is hoping for better fortune this season.
"Maybe this is our year," he said.

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