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Monday AM Aug. 3: Heiden cleared

By Marla Ridenour Published: August 3, 2009

Steve Heiden wouldn't call it a success story.

''I haven't done anything, I've practiced once. I'm keeping it at that,'' he said.

But it seemed like an amazingly quick return for the tight end starting his 11th year, cleared for contact Monday after tearing the ACL and MCL in his right knee on Dec. 15.

Heiden was so fired up that he took down linebacker Kamerion Wimbley in one-on-one tackling drills early in the practice. He also caught a pass over the middle in team drills.

''Getting the first smack with no leg pain made me feel great,'' Heiden said.

Starting his eighth year with the Browns under his third coach, Heiden said he never believed his career was finished after he went down on on a Monday night in Philadelphia. Now it appears he could be ready to fill the void of tight end Kellen Winslow, who was traded to Tampa Bay.

''Being done playing was never in my thought process,'' Heiden said. ''I met with the doctor the day after the injury and I told him I wanted the surgery as quick as possible so I could get back on the field. I got hurt on Monday, I had the surgery on Thursday and we started going.''

Davis flashes again: Coach Eric Mangini admitted rookie running back James Davis, a sixth-round pick from Clemson, has been standing out on film. Davis burst through a hole for a long touchdown run, then later slashed through the middle for a good gain, prompting a fan to remark, ''This kid is sharp.''

Davis is showing why he broke all of Browns' teammate Jamal Lewis' records at Frederick Douglass High School in Atlanta.

"I see something real special in him,'' Lewis said.

Who's not practicing: Cornerback Eric Wright appeared to hurt his right hamstring midway through practice, having it iced by the trainers. Shaun Rogers and Braylon Edwards again rode the exercise bikes, Rogers in pads, Edwards without pads. Fullback Charles Ali was also missing, along with rookie cornerback Don Carey (shoulder).

QB update: Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn both had their moments, but neither were as sharp so call it a draw. In early work, Quinn's pass to rookie Mohamed Massaquoi was high as rookie defensive back Bret Lockett nailed the receiver. Then defensive back Hamza Abdullah picked off Anderson and returned it for a TD.

Later in team drills, Anderson threw high to running back Jerome Harrison, behind Massaquoi and had one over the middle batted down by Wimbley. But Anderson did scramble for a TD. Quinn toss a low ball to receiver Syndric Steptoe and overthrew receiver Lance Leggett.

Practice ended with the two-minute drill. On 4th and 17 for Anderson, his pass to receiver Mike Furrey wasn't close and Anderson asked the official why he didn't call holding. Anderson had also looked for Furrey on third down. On Quinn's series, his pass over the middle to receiver Syndric Steptoe on fourth and 15 was broken up by Nick Sorensen.

Good catches: Receiver Lance Leggett pulled in a long bomb from Quinn for a touchdown as cornerback Corey Ivy slipped, although Leggett juggled it at first. Receiver Paul Hubbard, a sixth-round pick in 2008 from Wisconsin, made perhaps his first memorable play of his Browns career, snatching a Quinn ball out of the air on a crossing route. On the next play, rookie receiver Brian Robiskie managed to get separation from rookie cornerback Coye Francies and pulled in a Quinn ball on the sideline.

Defensive stars: Ivy had two good breakups. Wimbley and Kenyon Coleman batted down passes.

Watch out! Kicker Phil Dawson almost nailed the video man on a field goal, hitting the playclock on the riser behind the goal post.

Quote of the day: ''Why don't they put some rookies in?'' -- A member of the kickoff coverage team. ''Watch your mouth.'' -- a teammate's response.


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