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Running back duo trying to make names for themselves

The Associated Press

Tuesday, August 07, 2001

EDINBORO, Pa. – Running backs Jamel White and Ben Gay could be getting a longer look after productive efforts in a scrimmage against the Buffalo Bills.

White accounted for 51 yards on one series, taking Tim Couch receptions for 18- and 17-yard gains, and running 15 yards with a handoff. He completed the series by squeezing over the goal line from 1 yard.

”Jamel White came in and made things happen,” Couch said.

The next series, the pro-Browns crowd chanted, ”We want Ben,” and then stood and cheered as Gay finally was inserted into the action. The man now being called ”Legend” by teammates responded with a 14-yard run on his first carry.

Gay also had runs of 5 and 1 yard, and gained 13 and 10 on short passes from Spergon Wynn. Each time Gay was hit, he lunged forward for positive yards.

”Jamel, Ben and James dialed it up,” coach Butch Davis said, throwing Jackson into the mix. ”There was definitely some electricity when those guys were carrying the ball.”

Couch was sharp, completing 10-of-14 passing for 119 yards, including a 25-yarder to Darrin Chiaverini. He was denied a touchdown when his throw eluded the grasp of Lenzie Jackson in the end zone.

”I thought we showed we’re an improved football team today,” Couch said.

Mike Sellers, the 275-pound halfback, was a factor blocking and receiving. He had three catches for 23 yards, including one for a touchdown in a goal-line drill. Sellers dropped one Couch pass on which he could have gone the distance of 51 yards.

Based on the scrimmage format, the Browns won by scoring five unconverted touchdowns – four of them coming during goal-line drills – to Buffalo’s two.

The Bills offense as a whole, behind quarterback Rob Johnson, appeared more ready than the Browns to start the scrimmage, needing only 10 plays to score a touchdown.

That wasn’t the case when the first unit took the field again in the fourth of five series, as Johnson was sacked five times in 12 plays.

Bills coach Gregg Williams blamed himself, saying he shouldn’t have sent Johnson back out after spending an hour standing on the sideline.

The Browns saw things differently.

Lineman Keith McKenzie said he and his Cleveland teammates were geared up for their second time out, kicking themselves over their sluggish initial performance.

”That wasn’t typical Browns defense that we play,” McKenzie said. ”We went out there for the second go and turned it up a notch. We showed that this is a different team, different defense and that we’ve got a different style about ourselves.”

Tempers flared only once when Bills guard Ruben Brown and Browns rookie defensive tackle Gerard Warren were ejected following a shoving match, sparked after Brown and Cleveland cornerback Daylon McCutcheon exchanged words.