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Baltimore Ravens Team Store Pressbox

By Rachael Brandon,

INTRODUCING... Offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael. Chris Palmer oversaw the offense last season, so Carmichael is the new Browns' first-ever offensive coordinator. But Palmer and Carmichael share a history, having worked together with the Jacksonville Jaguars for two seasons (1997-98). Carmichael was the Jaguars' wide receivers coach last year.

Having someone with experience coaching wideouts could be beneficial for the Browns, who have a young but talented receiving corps. Last year the Jaguars were fourth in the AFC in passing. The Jaguars' Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell combined for six 1,000-yard receiving seasons in Carmichael's five years as receivers coach.

NFL INSIDER POWER RATINGS Ratings based on analysis of 1999 team and individual statistics, offseason personnel moves and feedback from respected experts (from NFL Insider's Season Preview issue) Rushing offense: 6.8 Passing offense: 6.9 Rushing defense: 6.8 Passing defense: 9.4 Special teams: 7.0 Coaching: 7.2 Intangibles: 7.5 TOTAL: 51.6 Scale of 1-10; Perfect score=70

ON THE COMEBACK TRAIL... Orlando Brown is still recovering from the eye injury he suffered last season when a referee inadvertently threw a weighted penalty flag at him. Whether or not he plays this season is in doubt, but he has resumed working out any way he can, usually riding a stationary bike while the team practices.

Brown has been placed on the physically unable to perform list, and the Browns have made Steve Zahursky the starter in his absence. Cleveland added another Brown, James, as insurance at tackle.

IMPACT NEWCOMERS... They haven't garnered as much attention as No. 1 pick Courtney Brown or free-agent signee Errict Rhett, but offensive tackles Everett Lindsay and Roman Oben could make the biggest impact this season.

DON'T OVERLOOK... Offensive tackle Roger Chanoine spent all but one week on the practice squad last season, but with Orlando Brown out for the forseeable future, Chanoine has an important role as the backup to Zahursky at right tackle and Oben at left tackle.

BREAKING THROUGH... David Patten signed with the New York Giants in 1997 after playing Arena Football in 1996. Before that, he worked in landscaping, as an electrician and in a coffee bean factory. He had 226 yard receiving in 1997, but only 234 yards in the next two seasons combined. Now he's with the Browns, listed as No. 2 on the depth chart behind Kevin Johnson. In the preseason opener against Philadelphia, Patten hauled in five passes for 95 yards.

BROWNS AT A GLANCE Head coach: Chris Palmer (second year with Cleveland) 1999 record: 2-14 (6th in AFC Central) 1999 rankings: Offense - 31st overall (235 yards/game), 31st rushing run (71.9), 29th pass (163.3) Defense - 31st overall (377.9 yards/game), 31st run (171) 11th pass (206.9)

KEY COMINGS DE Orpheus Roye (Steelers) OL Everett Lindsay (Ravens) S Percy Ellsworth from (Giants) RB Errict Rhett from (Ravens) DE Keith McKenzie (Packers) LB Marty Moore (Patriots) OT Roman Oben (Giants) WR David Patten (Giants) OT James Brown (Dolphins) WR Zola Davis DT Ryan Kuehl OL Chris Ruhman

KEY GOINGS OT Lomas Brown (Giants) CB Antonio Langham (Patriots) DE John Thierry (Packers) QB Jamie Martin (Jaguars) CB Ryan McNeil (Cowboys) OL Scott Rehberg (Bengals) NT John Jurkovic OL Orlando Bobo (Ravens) DB Marquez Pope (Raiders) WR Leslie Shepherd (Dolphins) RB Abdul Kareem Al-Jabbar (Colts)

TOP DRAFT CHOICES DT Courtney Brown (1st round, No. 1 overall) WR Dennis Northcutt (2) WR Jajuan Dawson (3) RB Travis Prentice (3)

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING... Johnson had almost as many yards receiving (986) as the Browns as a team had rushing (1,150). ... Tim Couch rushed for 267 yards last season. On the other hand, he lost 359 yards on 56 sacks.

CAN'T MISS... On Sept. 10, the Browns travel to Cincinnati for the first regular-season game to be played at Paul Brown Stadium, named to honor the man who created both franchises.

Just one week later, on Sept. 17, the Browns host the Pittsburgh Steelers. Why is this a big game? If you don't know, you're not a Browns fan. But we'll explain. The Browns' longtime rivals spoiled the opening of Cleveland Browns Stadium with a 43-0 walloping. The Browns got revenge at Three Rivers last season, but it's not the same as winning in front of the Dawg Pound.

The Browns and the Eagles, who meet Dec. 10 at Cleveland Browns Stadium have two of the more exciting young quarterbacks in the league in Couch and Donovan McNabb. Tune in to watch them go at it.


Will the offensive line improve? The Browns made an attempt by bringing in Lindsay and Oben, but how far the team has come is hard to say, especially considering Ty Detmer was lost for the season when he ruptured his Achilles trying to avoid a sack. The offensive line must improve so Couch can take advantage of the Browns many talented young receivers. Couch was sacked 56 times last season. If that happens again, the Browns won't show much improvement from 2-14.

Will the running game improve? It's hard to imagine it not getting better - the Browns were last in the league in rushing last season. Rhett has been plagued by injuries, Terry Kirby is not a huge threat and third-round pick Travis Prentice is unproven.

Will the rushing defense be better? The Browns gave up 171 yards per game on the ground last season but the addition of defensive end Courtney Brown, the first overall pick in the draft, will help.

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