BEREA - No one could blame cornerback Brandon McDonald if he wanted to erase all memories of the Denver Broncos from his mental hard drive – especially that game from last year.
In a 34-30 loss, the Broncos victimized McDonald and McDonald proved to be his own worst enemy as well as the Browns snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
McDonald personally gave up two scores one 93-yard touchdown to then rookie receiver Eddie Royal and the game-winning touchdown to wideout Brandon Marshall. The Browns defensive back also dropped two potential interceptions in the game. McDonald’s partner at the corner – Eric Wright – said that it’s best that last year’s game is left in the past.
‘’It’s a brand new day, a brand new season and that’s something – especially for a cornerback – we have short-term memory anyway, so it’s something that’s far beyond you. We’re far, far beyond last year’s Broncos’ game,’’ he said.
History is past
The Browns and Broncos have battled with intensity going back to the three meetings in AFC Championship Games more than 20 years ago. Coach Eric Mangini said, however, that that history won't be the focus of what the team does this weekend.
''I always start with us. That’s always my starting point. What is it we’re doing to control the things that we can control. And if we take care of those things, we feel like regardless of who we’re playing we’re going to give ourselves a chance to win.''
Fountain of Youth?
Mangini didn't hesitate when asked whether he thought running back Jamal Lewis, who averaged more than five yards per carry last week against the Vikings, could handle rush the ball more than 20 yards a game.
He looked like a young buck, I thought. James Davis could have looked at him and said ‘Oh, OK. That’s how he looks.’ He looks spry. I think he could handle whatever it is.
Eyes on Cribbs
While the Browns will have to focus on the Broncos receivers, Denver Coach Josh McDaniel knows that his team won’t have an easy afternoon if his players don’t contain kick returner and offensive specialist Josh Cribbs. Cribbs showed that he was back to form last week when he ran a punt back 64 yards against the Minnesota Vikings for a score.
‘’He’s the best in the league in my opinion,’’ McDaniel said. ‘’He’s one of the most dangerous players we’ll play all year.’’
Cribbs said that the praise was humbling. ‘’I appreciate it, but it’s not because of me; it’s because of my blockers. They deserve the credit.’’
Offensive lineman Rex Hadnot (knee) is out for Sunday's game; linebacker David Bowens (knee), running back James Davis (shoulder), wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi (shoulder) and running back Cedric Peerman (thigh) are questionable. Running back Jerome Harrison (knee), tight end Steve Heiden (knee), running back Jamal Lewis, defensive lineman Shaun Rogers (foot) and punter Dave Zastudil (right knee) are probable.