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Cleveland Browns

Mack makes progress

By Marla Ridenour Published: August 14, 2009

Center Alex Mack, the 21st overall pick, may have led the Browns in penalty laps during the first week of camp. But Mack was pleased that his offenses dwindled last week.

To his credit, Mack sprints around the field at a much faster pace than his teammates.

''I hate running laps. I hate messing up,'' Mack said Thursday. ''I'm trying to get it over with, get back in there and get it right. Lately I think I've been doing better, I'm getting more comfortable with the offense and with new snap counts. I look forward to completely eliminating that.''

Even when 6-4, 350-pound Pro Bowl nose tackle Shaun Rogers gets a break, Mack gets none. He's also been pushed around by second-year man Ahtyba Rubin, who is 6-2, 330.

''He's a big boy, too,'' Browns coach Eric Mangini said of Rubin. ''It's not like you're going to Shaun Rogers and then mini-Shaun Rogers.''

Mack said both are a test.

''All the guys are big, all the guys are good,'' Mack said. ''Now you need that hand in the right spot, you need to do everything right, or they expose those things.''

When he makes his NFL debut Saturday in the preseason opener in Green Bay, Mack will not have to face Packers rookie nose tackle B.J. Raji, the ninth overall pick who signed late Thursday. Raji missed 13 practices and is not slated to play.

Mack and Raji were teammates at the Senior Bowl.


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