BEREA — Receiver Braylon Edwards admitted Thursday he’s yet to find his groove this season.
He doesn’t think offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski has, either.
“He has a couple of games where I only got three passes a game, so we all have to find a way to get in that groove,” Edwards said. “Be it me catching the ball consistently, be it (Derek Anderson) making passes, be it the offensive coordinator calling the plays to get us going.”
Edwards has 10 drops in six games, including four Sunday in the loss to the Redskins. He has 20 catches for 307 yards and two touchdowns, which are well off his Pro Bowl numbers of a year ago, when he caught 80 balls for 1,289 yards and a franchise-record 16 touchdowns.
“For whatever reason, we’re not playing well and we’re not calling the kind of plays that we did last year,” Edwards said. “We’re not going after teams like we did. I think we’re slow starting, trying to get guys involved. We’ve just got to come out and make plays.”
Many of Edwards’ drops have come over the middle, which could be one of the reasons he expressed his desire to run more deep routes, especially along the sideline.
“I’m a big target. I like going deep,” he said. “I’m worrying too much about that and I’m not playing football. That’s what the great ones do. They play and they let the game come to them.”
The Browns ranked eighth in 2007 with 25.1 points a game and 351.3 yards a game. They are 30th in both categories this year, averaging 15.3 points and 255.5 yards. Slow starts have been at the root of the problem.
“If we come out against Jacksonville and make some plays early, like we did against the Giants, it gives Derek confidence, it gives myself the swagger that I like to have when I play and it gives the offensive coordinator the ability to say, ‘OK, these guys are on. I’m calling this or calling that,’” said Edwards, who added he needs to stop pressing. “So we all just have to connect early on in this game and try to get us going.”
Edwards said the absence of veteran receiver Joe Jurevicius has negatively affected the offense. Jurevicius is on the physically unable to perform list after needing multiple surgeries to remove a staph infection from his knee. He is eligible to return to practice, but isn’t ready and will likely be moved to injured reserve.
“Joe was huge for us last year. Not having Joe, not having Tim Carter, a guy who could stretch the field,” Edwards said. “Last year was a different chemistry. We need to stop talking about last year. That team is no more.”
Coach Romeo Crennel said defensive end Corey Williams will likely need surgery at some point to repair a shoulder injury that’s hampered him since training camp and was aggravated Sunday. Williams hasn’t practiced this week but Crennel said he’s expected to play Sunday in Jacksonville.
• Right tackle Ryan Tucker didn’t practice and Crennel said his knee is still sore.
• Safety/nickelback Mike Adams (hamstring) didn’t practice but hasn’t been ruled out for the game.
• Running back Jamal Lewis didn’t practice. Crennel said he was resting him.
• Tight end Steve Heiden (pectoral), who will start in place of the suspended Kellen Winslow, returned to practice in a limited role.
Contact Scott Petrak at 329-7253 or firstname.lastname@example.org.