BEREA — The Browns’ front office was surprised when cornerback Ricardo Colclough was released by the Steelers three days ago.
So was the fourth-year pro, who had spent his entire NFL career in Pittsburgh and didn’t see the move coming.
“It sort of happened early. I thought I’d be able to finish out the season,” Colclough said Thursday upon officially joining the Browns. “I guess it was just my time. Coach (Mike Tomlin) said it was nothing I did, just situations where I wasn’t getting enough reps.
“Somebody had to go, and I was the guy.”
The Steelers’ loss turned out to be Cleveland’s gain when it was awarded Colclough via the league’s waiver rules Wednesday. Browns coach Romeo Crennel said at least one other franchise put in a claim, but fell behind Cleveland in the worst-to-first pecking order.
“He’s a young kid who has a lot of ability, so we’re gonna take a look at him and see how he might be able to help us,” he said. “It’s a situation where we kind of liked the guy coming out (of Tusculum College) and he’s been with a good team, so we’re taking a shot at him.”
Though Colclough is a defensive back by trade, his primary role in Pittsburgh came on special teams. He led the Steelers in kickoff returns in 2004 and 2005, averaging 21.7 yards on 48 runbacks — and amassed 26 special teams tackles.
The 5-foot-11, 195-pounder was a second-round draft choice by Pittsburgh, but worked out for New England prior to being selected. One of his coaches at the session was then-Patriots defensive coordinator Crennel.
“Nothing was really happening in the (Steelers) secondary where I got a chance,” said Colclough, whose name is pronounced Coak-lee. “It seemed like the only way I was going to see time was if somebody got injured.”
Colclough appears unlikely to play Sunday when the Browns host Seattle at 4:05 p.m., but neither he nor Crennel would rule it out because of his experience in the return game. Regardless of his role, Colclough said he was just happy to be part of a team on the rise.
“They turned it around since (a 34-7 loss to Pittsburgh in Week 1) and are starting to click on both sides of the ball,” he said. “When they played us, it was early and I don’t think the chemistry was there. Now, the chemistry is starting to come together.”
• General manager Phil Savage told WTAM-AM 1100 that linebacker D’Qwell Jackson (ankle) will be “out for at least a few weeks.”
• Linebacker Kris Griffin (Achilles) said he would attempt to practice today and play Sunday.
• Fullback Lawrence Vickers (concussion) and cornerback Leigh Bodden (back) were both limited in practice, while wide receiver Joe Jurevicius (personal matters) and defensive tackle Louis Leonard (ill) both missed the afternoon session.
• Monday is the next deadline the Browns are facing with center LeCharles Bentley, who is attempting to come back from reconstructive knee surgery. The Cleveland native must be removed from the physically unable to perform list by that date or he is ineligible to play this year. If Bentley is brought off the PUP, the Browns have three additional weeks to decide whether to activate him, place him on injured reserve or release him.
Teddy the bear
In order to make room for Colclough on the 53-man roster, nose tackle Ted Washington was placed on the IR with knee problems. The 16-year veteran will require surgery to repair the damage, but is expected to remain in town throughout his rehabilitation. “The wear and tear on Ted’s knee became an issue,” Crennel said, adding that he would welcome him back in 2008 “if he’s ready to go.” Washington, who was unavailable for comment, started Cleveland’s season opener but was inactive in two of its three most recent games. He will turn 40 one week before the next NFL Draft. “He’s a good pro, a good player in the NFL, a good player for us,” Crennel said. “We’re glad we had him. (Whether he retires is) for Ted decide. He’s been a pro with the way he’s approached things for a number of years.”
Despite losing Washington for the rest of the year, Crennel said Shaun Smith is still going to split time between defensive end and defensive tackle. “We’ll play him where we need him the most,” the coach said.
• Leonard, who was claimed off waivers from St. Louis on Oct. 8, is not viewed as a short-term solution on the defensive line. “He’s a young guy with some upside, some strength, and he shows some explosiveness at the line of scrimmage,” Crennel said.
• Kevin Shaffer has retained the starting right tackle job, but Ryan Tucker will continue to rotate with him during games. “It seems to be going pretty good, so we’ll keep doing that,” Crennel said.
Former Browns preseason announcer Sam Rosen, Tim Ryan and Chris Myers will call the Cleveland/Seattle game on Fox. The contest is being broadcast throughout Ohio, the entire Pacific Northwest, parts of the Great Plains, and in Pittsburgh, New Orleans and Buffalo.
• The Seahawks’ public relations staff did not permit ex-Browns quarterback Charlie Frye to conduct a conference call with the Cleveland media Wednesday, even though Frye had agreed to it.
• Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon is the color commentator on the Seahawks radio network.
• Seattle coach Mike Holmgren is 3-1 in his career against the Browns. He has 22 years of NFL experience, five fewer than Crennel
Contact Brian Dulik at firstname.lastname@example.org.