BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – The Browns passed on quarterback E.J. Manuel in the draft.
Thursday night they’ll get to see first hand what they may or may not have missed out on.
Prior to the draft, the Browns brought Manuel to Berea for an interview with head coach Rob Chudzinski, offensive coordinator Norv Turner and the rest of the front office.
“I thought they may have been interested in taking a quarterback,” Manuel said on a conference call with reporters Tuesday. “Obviously they didn’t this past draft, though.”
Chudzinski was asked Tuesday about passing on Manuel last April.
“It was tough,” Chudzinski said. “He was very impressive on his visit. There was a chance, a couple times, to spend time with him. We went down and worked him out in Florida State. He’s a guy who has a bright future; you knew it then. Those are always tough decisions. We just felt like where we were at, picking (LB) Barkevious (Mingo) was our best choice at that time.”
Manuel isn’t wearing a chip on his shoulder because the Browns went with Barkevious Mingo instead. He’s just looking to come away with a win.
“I don’t have any sense of that,” Manuel responded when asked about the revenge factor. “The draft is over with and every team doesn’t always need a quarterback, every team’s not always gonna need your position. I don’t think it was anything personal. It was a business thing. I don’t look at it like that.”
Manuel has completed 56.9 percent of his passes for 856 yards, 5 touchdowns and 3 interceptions as the Bills come to town at 2-2 and riding the high of knocking off the defending Super Bowl Champion Ravens.
“He’s extremely dangerous,” Chudzinski said of Manuel after watching the tape. “Obviously, he can run and make plays, extend plays. He’s accurate. He really was intriguing and impressive guy coming out, and all of the things off the field from a leadership standpoint, the type of person he is were very impressive.”
Trying To Take It To The House – Joe Haden is off to a great start in 2013 and coming off his best game of the season Sunday against A.J. Green.
He’s done a lot since moving to cornerback as a freshman at Florida and then eventually being drafted No. 7 overall in the 2010 draft by the Browns. Except 1 thing – a pick-6.
“I’ve been a corner now for seven years and I still haven’t had a pick-6,” Haden said. “Florida, I got down to the 1-yard line and got tackled by Mohamed Massaquoi. He tackled me at the 1, Florida-Georgia. So I still haven’t had a pick-six in my career. I have had plenty of picks, but no 6’s. Return yards and all, just never got in the end zone.”
Haden, who has broken up 5 passes this year and amassed 9 interceptions since being drafted, is still waiting for his first interception of 2013. A pick-6 would be a nice way to get it too and he’s ready to dance.
“It’s seven years in the making,” Haden said of his planned celebration. “The dance has changed with the new music coming out, so I’ve been waiting on it.”
Backing Up Hoyer – Chudzinski hasn’t decided if Brandon Weeden or Jason Campbell will be Brian Hoyer’s backup on Thursday.
Weeden missed the last 2 games with a sprained right thumb sustained Sept. 15 at Baltimore.
Chudzinski said that he wanted to see Weeden throw the ball in practice before making any decisions on Hoyer’s No. 2. Weeden wore gloves on both hands during the portion of practice open to reporters Tuesday.
New Guy – Running back and kick returner Fozzy Whittaker was on the field Tuesday for practice. The Browns claimed him off waivers from the San Diego Chargers on Monday and receiver Josh Cooper was waived to make room.
“We felt like we would bring him in and see what he could do and (we’re) excited about having him,” Chudzinski said.
Whittaker played in 3 games with the Chargers this season before he was waived on Saturday. He returned 6 kickoffs for 156 yards (26.0 average) and his longest return was 42 yards. He also fumbled once.
Out Of The Boot – Linebacker Quentin Groves, who sustained a high-ankle sprain Sept. 15 at Baltimore, is out of the walking boot. Groves was on the bike during a portion of practice that was open to reporters Tuesday.
Injury Report – DNP: OLB Jabaal Sheard (knee), OLB Quentin Groves (ankle), DE Billy Winn (quad); LIMTED: K Billy Cundiff (quad), RG Shawn Lauvao (ankle), DL John Hughes (knee); FULL PARTICIPATION: QB Brandon Weeden (thumb), WR Josh Gordon (ankle), RG Oniel Cousins (chest), RB Chris Ogbonnaya (thigh)
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