April 19, 2014

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Browns notes: LB Marcus Benard says he’ll be back this week

Scott Petrak

The Chronicle-Telegram

BEREA – The Browns missed linebacker Marcus Benard during Sunday’s 24-17 loss to the Ravens. The team leader in sacks with 2½ was inactive after hurting an ankle last week in practice, and the Browns failed to sack Joe Flacco. They hit him only twice.

Benard pledged a return to the lineup Sunday against Cincinnati.

“I’ll definitely be out there,” he said. “Marcus Benard will not be sitting on the bench anymore.”

Benard warmed up before the game but was held out.

“The decision was made by the head coach and trainers,” he said.

The Browns looked like they needed him to spark the pass rush, but Benard didn’t want to insult his teammates.

“We’ve got enough guys to get it done,” Benard said. “It was frustrating to watch the game. Anytime you’re on the sideline, it’s tough.

“I definitely feel I could’ve helped. That’s my competitive nature.”

The absence of nose tackle Shaun Rogers (ankle, hip) didn’t help the cause. Rogers and Benard played in passing situations the first two weeks and are disruptive forces.

 

SMITH AT IT AGAIN?

San Francisco tackle Anthony Davis accused Chiefs defensive lineman Shaun Smith of grabbing his genitals Sunday. Browns center Alex Mack made the same allegation following a Week 2 matchup with Kansas City.

“He tried to feel me,” Davis said of Smith, according to CSNBayArea.com’s Matt Maiocco. “That’s weird, right?”

Mack said he hopes the NFL cracks down on Smith, who wasn’t penalized either week or fined after Mack spoke up.

“Happy to hear someone else stood up,” Mack said.

Davis drew a 15-yard penalty when he retaliated against Smith. Mack got a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty for a late hit on Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson while fuming over Smith’s low blow.

“Absolutely. I was fired up after that,” Mack said Monday. “No excuse. You’ve got to be under control and you can’t play out of your head. I can’t be diving over piles and hitting people late.”

Mack was fined $5,000 for the late hit.

“That was not intended to be illegal, it happened to be ’cause I was too aggressive,” he said. “Some things are intended to be illegal.”

Mack was referring to Smith. Mack, in his second season, is appealing the fine to protect his reputation.

“I don’t want to be classified as a cheap player,” he said. “I want to be seen as a hardworking player that’s going to be aggressive and do things. But I’m not trying to be known as someone who’s going to give a lot of late hits. I don’t want to have that mark on me and get flagged a lot.”

 

SURGERY FOR D’QWELL

Coach Eric Mangini said inside linebacker D’Qwell Jackson will need surgery to repair his right pectoral muscle.

Jackson, who led the NFL in tackles in 2008, was placed on season-ending injured reserve Saturday because the partially torn muscle wasn’t improving enough. Mangini said Jackson underwent a series of tests after leaving practice Thursday with tightness and fatigue.

“I think at some point, he’s going to need surgery,” Mangini said.

Jackson missed the last 10 games of 2009 with a torn left pectoral that needed surgery. He injured the right one Aug. 10, rehabbed without surgery and returned to practice last week. He pulled himself out of practice Thursday and sounded hopeful that it was only a minor setback.

“Unfortunately, it just didn’t respond the way we hoped it would as we increased the amount of reps, the amount of stress,” Mangini said.

The Browns have gotten used to life without the former second-round pick. Chris Gocong and Eric Barton have been starting at inside linebacker.

Jackson is slated to become a free agent after 2010. He signed a one-year tender in June as a restricted free agent.

 

GETTING HEALTHY

The Browns were without seven players because of injuries Sunday, but Mangini expects most to return to practice this week.

“Pretty much everybody on the injury report, I would anticipate practicing at some point this week,” he said.

Quarterback Jake Delhomme (ankle), running back Jerome Harrison (thigh), receiver Brian Robiskie (hamstring), receiver Carlton Mitchell (head) and offensive lineman Shawn Lauvao (ankle) joined Benard and Rogers on the inactive list against the Ravens.

Lauvao has missed all three games, while Delhomme has missed two. Mangini said he didn’t know if Seneca Wallace would have to fill in for Delhomme again against the Bengals.

** Right tackle John St. Clair left after the first series Sunday with an ankle injury and was replaced by Tony Pashos.

“There is such a comfort level with him going to play,” Mangini said. “It wasn’t like we were sitting there thinking, ‘Oh, shoot, we’ve got to put this backup in against the Ravens.’ It was, ‘OK, throw Tony in.’

“My expectation was that he was going to do a good job and he did do a good job.”

 

PEYTON’S PLACE

Running back Peyton Hillis will remain the starter after totaling 180 yards Sunday with Harrison out, Mangini said.

“I really felt strongly about Peyton when we had the chance to trade for him, really strongly about him,” Mangini said. “He had close to 200 yards of offense between his carries and his catches, that’s not a fluke. He is a good player and I think he’ll continue to get better.”

Hillis ran for 144 yards and caught seven passes for 36 yards. He surprised Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs.

“Never heard of him before in my life,” Suggs said on “The Dan Patrick Show. “I know who he is now, though.”

NFL Network’s Steve Mariucci had a high compliment for Hillis.

“He looks like (Larry) Csonka,” he said.

 

SENECA BREAKS 100

Mangini was pleased with Wallace’s second start. He was 18-for-24 for 141 yards, a touchdown and a 103.0 rating. No Brown had posted a 100 rating in 22 meetings with Baltimore.

“I thought he was very efficient,” Mangini said.

Wallace completed only five passes to wideouts, all to Joshua Cribbs.

“You’re not going to sit back there and wait for things to happen,” Mangini said of facing the Baltimore defense. “There are quick decisions that have to be made and whoever gets the ball gets the ball. But the key thing is to get it out, make the play and move the chains.”

Wallace received some criticism for throwing deep down the sideline to Cribbs on a third-and-2 in the fourth quarter. The ball sailed out of bounds and the Browns punted.

“I thought he made a lot of really good decisions throughout the course of the day and I don’t think that was a bad decision,” Mangini said. “You just got to give him a chance to go get the ball.”

In two starts, Wallace is 34-for-55 (62 percent) for 370 yards, two touchdowns, an interception and an 86.2 rating.

Contact Scott Petrak at 329-7253 or spetrak@chroniclet.com.