July 25, 2014

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Browns notes: Planning for Sunday includes precipitation anticipation

BEREA — If there’s a game that should be played in wintry conditions, it’s Browns-Bills in December.
Mother Nature looks like she will cooperate, as the weather.com forecast for Sunday calls for snow, 22 mph winds, 29 degrees and a 90-percent chance of precipitation.
Linebacker Andra Davis said Friday he didn’t think weather will be a factor.
“If we were getting this weather and were playing a team from Florida, maybe then,” he said. “They’re further north than we are. It’s going to be a regular game.”
Offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski said he’s aware of the forecast and will be prepared if the weather turns bad.
“You have contingencies,” he said. “This week we planned on that, so we’ll have some things we’ll feature more if the weather’s an issue. If it’s not, then we have the rest of our plan.”
Chudzinski was Cleveland’s interim coordinator at the end of 2004 after Butch Davis resigned. He called the plays in a 21-0 loss to San Diego in the snow and said the biggest factor was the wind, which could be an issue Sunday.
Instead of being stuck with rookie Luke McCown, this time Chudzinski will have Derek Anderson at quarterback.
“Derek has a strong arm, so that definitely helps this time of year,” Chudzinski said.
Andra Davis, a Florida native, has been with the Browns since 2002. He’s still not comfortable in the cold, but is looking forward to Sunday.
“I just like playing football,” he said. “But you won’t catch me outside if I wasn’t playing.”

In the elements

Coach Romeo Crennel held practice outside Friday — instead of in the fieldhouse — for the first time in more than two weeks. The players bundled up in sweatshirts and ski masks before heading outside.
Crennel was asked earlier in the week about the inside-outside decision.
“You have to do what you think is best for your team — how your guys can prepare the best,” he said. “If it’s sloppy out and you’re slipping and falling and can’t get your timing and preparation correct, then it might be counterproductive to be out there.
“If you go inside, at least you get your timing and things down. (The players) do have to come to work in the morning, so they’re used to the cold a little bit. They’re not totally surprised by it.”

Texans help

Houston’s 31-13 win over the Denver Broncos on Thursday night was the first step in the Browns possibly clinching a playoff spot Sunday.
The Browns (8-5) will return to the postseason for the first time since 2002 if they beat the Bills (7-6), and the Chiefs (4-9) beat the Titans (7-6) on Sunday.

Injury report

Outside linebacker Antwan Peek (ankle) didn’t practice this week and was listed as doubtful on the injury report. If Peek doesn’t play, starter Willie McGinest would see more time and Chaun Thompson would help off the bench.
Receiver Joe Jurevicius (knee) returned to practice but was limited. He’s questionable. McGinest (hip), defensive ends Orpheus Roye (knee) and Robaire Smith (back) and right tackle Kevin Shaffer practiced and are probable.
Rookie cornerback Eric Wright hasn’t played in three weeks after suffering a knee injury but practiced all week and wasn’t listed on the injury report. He said he didn’t know if he’d start.
“I’ve been practicing and feeling pretty good,” he said. “We’ll see what happens on Sunday.”
For the Bills, linebacker Coy Wire (neck) is out. Defensive end Chris Kelsay (ankle) was limited and is questionable.

Interested party

The Browns talked to Bills rookie quarterback Trent Edwards at the scouting combine in February and discussed the possibility of drafting him.
“There was some work done on him before the draft,” Crennel said. “There were several people that liked him. But something else developed.”
That something was a trade that enabled the Browns to take Notre Dame’s Brady Quinn with the 22nd pick. Edwards, from Stanford, has an 80.1 rating. He threw four touchdown passes last week to give him five for the season. He’s 5-1 as a starter.
“He’s young, but he manages the game well,” Davis said. “He doesn’t try to do more than what his team needs him to do. He’s not going to make a lot of mistakes.”

Extra points

Joe Cribbs used to play for the Bills. He is the cousin of the father of the Browns’ Joshua Cribbs.
ESPN’s pregame show Sunday morning will have a feature on Derek Anderson and his hometown of Scappoose, Ore.

Edwards hosted Bills safety and Cleveland native Donte Whitner during Whitner’s visit to the University of Michigan.
Fans are encouraged to bring a new toy valued at around $10 for Toys for Tots.
Contact Scott Petrak at 329-7135 or spetrak@chroniclet.com.