By ROGER MILLS, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published October 13, 2002
Dudley hoping to make Browns pay for decision
In 2001, tight end Rickey Dudley played just four games for the Cleveland Browns before a foot sprain ended his season. During that time, he caught nine passes for 115 yards. Yet at the end of the 2002 preseason, the Browns released Dudley.
And the reason?
"Didn't ask," said Dudley, who signed with the Bucs on Sept. 17. "There was no reason to ask. When they make their decision, it's a done decision. There's nothing you can do about it."
Well, since arriving in Tampa Bay, Dudley has proven that talk of his demise was premature. In three games, he hasthree catches for 50 yards and two touchdowns.
Dudley said he likely will have some emotions today playing against the team that let him go.
"You have to be realistic and say you think about it, but you can't let it overwhelm you, nor overcome what you're trying to do as a team," Dudley said.
"I don't think it's dangerous because I know how to control it as a pro. Maybe some guys don't, but I know how to control it. That's natural.
"I would probably be excited to do some things against this team."
-- Last weekend's game in Atlanta was the 100th of defensive end Simeon Rice's career, and it may have been his best of the season. He finished with two sacks and six tackles.
-- Talk about good hands. Keyshawn Johnson and Keenan McCardell have caught 442 and 437 passes, respectively, since 1997, fifth and sixth overall in the league. Jimmy Smith (497), Marvin Harrison (490), Rod Smith (474) and Tim Brown (463) are the ahead of them.
-- The Bucs have won three road games: Baltimore, Cincinnati and Atlanta. The club record is five, set in 1979 and matched in 1997.
-- Consider this story: Browns tackle Joaquin Gonzalez opted out of a scholarship offer from Harvard to walk on at Miami. He earned an academic scholarship, set a school record of 49 starts and helped the Hurricanes to the 2001 national championship.
WHEN LAST THEY MET
Bucs receiver Keenan McCardell caught a 6-yard touchdown from former Bucs quarterback Vinny Testaverde. That was part of a 22-6 Browns victory Sept. 9, 1995, in Cleveland.
0: Bucs wins over Cleveland in five tries.
4: Touchdowns the Bucs defense has scored and surrendered.
10.6: Points per game the Bucs defense is giving up, best in the NFL.
17: Total sacks for the Bucs, second in the league.
399: Franchise wins for the Browns. The Bears have the most with 646.
THE LAST WORD
"Just how consistent they are. They do it week in and week out. They do it in a fashion that they see their own mistakes, they know what their weaknesses are and then they work on them and don't let you get to them. They've done a great job this year, especially on first down, eliminating the big, big plays on first down. They're always creating turnovers, and whenever you can score points on defense, you have a chance to win."
-- Bucs quarterback Brad Johnson on what impresses him about his own defense.
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Pac-10: Ducks outgun Bruins to remain undefeated
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