Delhomme liking time as a Brown
CLEVELAND (AP) — Jake Delhomme took an immediate liking to Cleveland Browns Stadium while playing for the Carolina Panthers five years ago in a preseason game.
While Saturday’s encounter was only an intrasquad scrimmage, Delhomme enjoyed his first experience at the stadium as a member of the Browns.
“It’s great,” he said. “You can feel the energy and passion of the fans. We’re trying to win. I think it’s building. There’s a nice feel.”
Delhomme, slated to be Cleveland’s starting quarterback, threw a 5-yard scoring pass to tight end Ben Watson in the fourth quarter for the Brown team, which defeated the White team, 14-6. He completed 10 of 15 passes for 78 yards and no interceptions.
Cornerback Brandon McDonald, also playing for the Brown team, returned an interception for another score.
All eyes in Cleveland are on the 35-year-old Delhomme, a 12-year veteran signed by the Browns after being released by the Panthers. The scrimmage, in which there was no tackling, came at the end of the first week of training camp.
“You have to be realistic about what happened out there,” Delhomme said. “For the most part, we did some decent things. I’m sure there’s a lot to work on.”
The Browns play their first preseason game next Saturday at Green Bay, something Delhomme is looking forward to, although not for the reason people would think.
“You need to get hit,” he said. “You don’t like quarterbacks saying that, but you need to get hit. You need to have that feel. You need to have that pass rush coming at you and that blitz because we’re not live in practice. We’re the only ones. That has to get you sharp.”
Browns coach Eric Mangini wanted to simulate actual game conditions as much as possible. The teams dressed in separate locker rooms, there was a halftime, and NFL referees officiated the game, which was played with 10-minute quarters. Although there were 15 penalties, Mangini was pleased with what he saw.
“It was really good work,” he said. “It was a nice opportunity for us to do it in a game setting before we have to go do it next week.”
McDonald, also playing for the Brown team, intercepted Colt McCoy’s pass in the second quarter and returned it 40 yards for the only touchdown of the first half.
McCoy, drafted in the third round after a standout college career at Texas, completed 7 of 12 passes for 31 yards and threw two interceptions. His sideline pass to Syndric Steptoe in the second quarter was underthrown and picked off by McDonald, who weaved his way across the field and into the end zone.
McCoy’s other interception came on a Hail Mary pass into the end zone on the last play of the half. McCoy, who is behind Delhomme and Seneca Wallace on the depth chart, was sacked twice and had two passes knocked down.
Kicker Phil Dawson, who played for both teams, connected on field goals of 48 and 35 yards for the White team’s only scores.
The scrimmage was interrupted in the fourth quarter when a fight broke out between guard Scott Kooistra of the White team and linebacker Marcus Bernard of the Brown team. Both players were ejected.
“We’re not going to fight at practice,” Mangini said. “We’ll have plenty of chances to show how tough were are.”
Josh Cribbs, one of the league’s top return men, appeared at several positions. He lined up at quarterback in the Wildcat formation and was used at wide receiver and running back. Cribbs even lined up at safety on one play and had Wallace in his sights on a blitz.
While the final results aren’t significant, there was something at stake in the scrimmage. Members of the Brown team had no curfew Saturday night and are allowed to report late for the team’s next practice, which will be on Monday. Members of the White team had curfew Saturday and have to report early on Monday.
Notes: P Reggie Hodges, subbing for the injured Dave Zastudill (knee), also kicked for both teams. … Delhomme and Brett Ratliff shared quarterback duties for the Brown team while Wallace and McCoy played for the White team. … LB Blake Costanzo made a leaping interception of Ratliff’s pass in the second quarter. … RB Peyton Hillis (leg) didn’t play … No. 1 draft pick Joe Haden dropped the opening kickoff in the end zone and didn’t attempt a return. He later had a 27-yard return. … DB Chris Roberson (leg) was placed on injured reserve. John Bowie, also a defensive back, was signed.