From Browns Headquarters in Berea -
Browns Quarterback Derek Anderson is thrilled to be off the injured reserve list in time or the teams season opener. Anderson returned to the practice field after a concussion suffered in the teams exhibition game against the defending NFL Champion New York Giants, who they will face again on Monday Night Football October 13th.
"Obviously it has been a while, I kind of missed being at practice and being around the guys. Getting out there for individuals last week was fin, but it was kind of no fun at the same point." Anderson said on his return.
"We have still been working out maintaining the things we had and just trying to put it all together getting everyone out there this week."
Anderson's return heading into game one of the regular season was dampened by the loss of a Linebacker Antwan Peek, officially on the Injured Reserve but gone for the season with a tear of the patellar tendon in his right knee. That is a setback for the browns who will need help to cover Terrell Owens, Marion Barber and a healthy Dallas Cowboys offense.
The team has re-signed Shantee Orr, who was waived last week. He is expected to be in the rotation at linebacker and play special teams on Sunday.
Others on the teams official injury report as of Thursday September 4th:
Those who did not participate in practice include: Linebacker Kris Griffin (elbow) Guard Rex Hadnot (Knee), Safety B Brodney Pool (concussion) and Tight End Martin Rucker (knee).
Limited Partication in practice: Linebacker Beau Bell (knee), Wide Receiver Jushua Cribbs (ankle), Running Back Jamal Lewis (hamstring), Guard Ryan Tucker (hip)
Full Participation in practice: Safety Sean Jones (knee)
On his injury Wide Receiver Braylon Edwards says "I knew it was going to take a little time to heal up. It wasn't a big deal. I knew that everything was going to be okay. Nothing negative when the injury happened it was just a gash - a laceration. Once I was sutured up i knew I would be alright,"
Joshua Cribbs is still healing. Of his injury Cribbs says "It doesn't matter what I think at this point, I feel I am making a lot of progress, I am doing everything I need to do to get back out there on the field to be able to play for this game, but that's not up to me. They are going to do what's best for me and the program and we will go from there."
Cribbs says he wants to play "I want to be out there with my team. It was so hard in pre-season sitting down and watching my team play. Where they come from is we have 15 other games after this if you are not ready you are not ready, if you are you are. That's why they are going to make an assessment as the week progresses."
On how he has changed since he last faced Dallas during his rookie season, Kellen Winslow Jr. says "I'd say i am a smarter player. I know more about the game, back then I was probably running around wild. I didnt have training camp to go through when I was a rookie. I am just a better player."
Of his expectations for the Browns offense, Winslow says "We have got high expectations for this team, not just the offense. The chemistry is going to come, it doesn't really come in the first game. It is going to take a while. We are very explosive, we have got a lot of weapons. We just need to execute"
On the defensive side of the ball Kamerion Wimbley says "I think we have to bring our 'A' game. We are studying them, doing the things we need to do to be prepared when we play them, give a lot of effort. We know this is going to be a tough game. They have got some good matchups all the way along the line so we will see how it works out on Sunday."
Wimbly says inside the locker room the team has high expectations for the season. "They never change, we still have higher expectations. I feel that we are confident in our players that are lining up next to us and we are confident in our coaches so we have to take that into the game and bring our effort and execute and we will be fine."
Romeo Crennel's 2008 squad features 39 players from last years team and 14 new players to round out the 53 man roster.
Only kicker Phil Dawson remains from the Browns original 1999 roster.
For the game on Sunday the Ohio State marching band will perform the National Anthem and will also entertain fans during halftime.
The Browns will have many special guests coming to the home opener as nearly 65 alumni will enjoy the game and 12 Browns Backers Groups, including visits from six different states. The Browns welcome the Blue Ridge (Roanoke, Va.), Central Illinois (Bloomington, Ill.), Charleston Dunbar (Charleston W.V.), Erie (Erie, Pa.), Southeast Michigan (Plymouth Mich.) and Pensacola Florida Browns Backers to name a few.
The Browns and Cowboys ahve played 25 times in the regular season and the Browns lead the series 15-10, Including a 9-3 record at home. Cleveland's longest winning streak in the series was 7 games from 1963 - 1966.