Browns rookie linebacker David Veikune was placed on injured reserve and running back Thomas Brown was promoted from the practice squad Saturday.
Veikune, the 52nd overall pick from Hawaii, found the transition slow from college defensive end to inside linebacker and spent five games on the inactive list, including the last three. He did not record a tackle on defense or special teams.
Asked Friday what Veikune has to do to get on the field next year, Browns coach Eric Mangini said, ''He’s made strides. I know it’s hard to see that because he hasn’t played very much. It’s a really difficult transition to go from where he came from and the position that he played to not just moving to linebacker, to moving to inside linebacker.
"You have to give the call in the huddle, then you have to break the huddle, then you are responsible for adjustments and you have to read what’s going on. There’s a lot going on there.''
Mangini praised Veikune, 6-foot-2 and 257 pounds, but said he must
''He’s athletic. He’s strong. He’s willing. He’s got a good motor. Those things will serve him well,'' Mangini said. ''He’s got to continue to get stronger. I think the transition to pro football and not going through all the learning that happens your rookie season, and now just being able to concentrate on your job with help him a lot. Being in the offseason program where he can works on strengths and weaknesses and mature physically some more, that will help as well.''
Mangini continued to reward young players for hard work with the signing of Brown, who was the practice squad player of the week last week.
Brown was signed on Nov. 10 after being waived by Atlanta. In 2008, he was the Falcons' sixth-round pick out of Georgia, where he finished fifth on the Bulldogs all-time rushing list with 2,646 yards.