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Wednesday - 11/22/2000

This Sunday when the Cleveland Browns come into town seeking their first ever victory over the Baltimore Ravens, they will have to do it against a team that over the last three weeks has appeared to gel. It won�t be easy for the second year Cleveland Browns, as youth followed by a season full of injuries has been a major part of the team�s downfall this season.

�We are such a young team that we have 33 of 53 players that are in their first or second year,� said Cleveland Browns head coach Chris Palmer, via conference call today. �You try to develop a player and teach them and have them understand the game, then when you lose a player, you end up taking two steps back in trying to bring his replacement along. It has definitely slowed us down a little bit.�

�I think as a teacher you are always trying to drive your students or players to a point that they can reach,� added Palmer on his early season comments to the Cleveland media on his teams� performance. �I felt that our defense was playing the way that I thought they were capable of playing, and our offense was in position to make some plays but didn�t. Sometimes by reading the newspaper or watching the TV, you fall into the trap that you�re not suppose to be good because you have so many injuries. My point to the team and the media was, no body cares if you have injuries or not, or if you played well or not.�

In the teams last meeting (10/1), the Ravens defeated the Browns 12-0 behind four field goals by Matt Stover. As Palmer reflected on that game, the biggest change he�s seen in the Ravens since then, is their offense.

�Their defense is the staple of their organization right now,� said Palmer. �They always played good defense the last couple of year�s. I think defensively they are the same as when we played in October. They have changed quarterbacks, and the biggest difference that I see is their running back Jamal Lewis is playing well, and the change in quarterback has helped them generate points.�

Despite a (3-9) record this year, and having to battle through costly injuries, Palmer has still seen some improvement with the Browns.

�A year ago our offensive line gave up 60 sacks, right now we have 23 sacks,� said Palmer. �A year ago we only had 25 sacks with our defensive football team, now we have 33. From that stand point you see growth on our offensive and defensive lines. On occasion you see small victories, that don�t necessarily translate into wins on the football field but we are making growth as a football team.�

Wednesday�s Injury Report:
Full back Obafemi Ayanbadejo (toe), and OT Harry Swayne (thigh) are listed as out. Defensive end Rob Burnett (hip/neck), linebacker Anthony Davis (finger), quarterback Trent Dilfer (hip), guard Mike Flynn (back), fullback Sam Gash (finger), linebacker Brad Jackson (abdomen), center Jeff Mitchell (ankle/knee), guard Edwin Mulitalo (ankle) and cornerback Duane Starks (chest), were all listed as probable.

The entire Baltimore Ravens organization would like to wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving!

-Kevin C. Paige