Browns notes from Oct. 31.
It’s not that Brian Russell turned the Browns into the 1985 Bears. It’s just that Russell, in retrospect, appears to have been a strength of the 2005 and 2006 Browns defenses. Without him calling out signals and breaking up deep throws, the Browns are last in the league in allowing 410.1 yards a game. They have given up 18 touchdown passes. No hard feelings, says Russell, who returns Sunday as a member of he Seattle Seahawks. “The year I went to Cleveland,” Russell said, “they drafted Brodney (Pool). They drafted Sean (Jones) the year before. “I’m sure they looked at those two as the future.” The present has been rocky with Jones not matching his breakout year of 2006, when he regarded Russell as a mentor, and Pool underwhelming in his first full year as a starter. The Seahawks used free agency to fill both of this year’s starting safety jobs, signing Russell and Deon Grant. “I couldn’t be more pleased with Brian,” Seahawks head coach Mike Holmgren said. “He’s done what we really need the safety position to do.” Namely: Keep deep receivers in front and tackle running backs when asked to play in the box. Seattle’s defense is allowing 90 yards a game less than Cleveland’s. Russell, though, seems convinced Browns head coach Romeo Crennel knows what he’s doing. “I really liked playing for Romeo,” Russell said. “He was a big reason I was considered staying with Cleveland.” The Browns weren’t willing to pay him starter money because they liked the upside of the Jones-Pool tandem. Russell left, taking a piece of Crennel with him. “I learned a whole lot from Romeo in terms of how he game plans and prepares every week ... the way he’ll quiz you and make sure you’re on top of everything,” Russell said. “I took a lot from his approach. I carried that with me here.” They Meet Again Russell didn’t see the Charlie Frye trade coming. “It was a shock,” Russell said of the Sept. 12 deal that sent Frye to Seattle. “One day, I’m watching him on ESPN in a Browns uniform. The next, he’s two lockers down from me in Seattle.” Russell said Frye has come to accept Seattle as a livable situation. “Matte Hasselbeck is a very willing mentor,” Russell said. QBs coach Jim Zorn is in the Seahawks’ Ring of Honor based on his playing career. Making Nice Russell was in the middle of one of last year’s most uncomfortable locker-room incidents in Cleveland. Braylon Edwards called him out for a ringing hit on Chad Johnson late in a game that was out of hand in Cincinnati. A smooth talker, Russell talked around the incident Wednesday. Russell has been on two teams with major receiving talents, Minnesota (Randy Moss) and Cleveland (Edwards). “Both are unique and special,” Russell said. “Randy has played a lot more years. If Braylon keeps doing what he’s doing, he can be as good as anybody.” Who Said That? Some scouting reports said Frye bore some resemblance to Brett Favre when Frye was coming out in the 2005 draft. That hadn’t occurred to Mike Holmgren, who has coached both Favre and Frye. “Charlie is very quiet around me,” Holmgren said. “Favre was very noisy around me.” Holmgren did say Frye does show elements of Favre’s “tough guy” persona. Injury Report Ankle injuries suffered at St. Louis kept linebackers D’Qwell Jackson and Kris Griffin out of practice Wednesday. Jackson leads the Browns in tackles. Griffin leads the team in special teams tackles. Running back Jamal Lewis, gaining strength in the wake of a foot injury, put in a full practice. So did special teams stalwart Darnell Dinkins (hand). Nose tackle Ted Washington (limited) dressed but was limited. Wideout’s Father Injured Joe Jurevicius was late to practice Wednesday because he was visiting his father, who was injured Monday in a traffic accident on Interstate 90. Reach Canton Repository sports writer Steve Doerschuk at (330) 580-8347 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.