July 24, 2016

Partly cloudy

Browns: Bernie Kosar reprimanded, keeps spot in booth

BEREA — Bernie Kosar will be on the air Thursday night when the Browns host the Detroit Lions in the second preseason game.

He’ll likely keep his harshest opinions to himself this time.

Kosar was reprimanded by Browns CEO Joe Banner on Sunday but will keep his job as analyst on WKYC-TV’s preseason broadcasts. Kosar’s sarcastic criticism of the St. Louis Rams during the preseason opener drew the ire of Rams coach Jeff Fisher on Saturday.

“We don’t condone the personal and unprofessional approach that Bernie took with some of his comments during the broadcast Thursday night,” Banner said in a statement. “We’ve spoken to Bernie, he understands that, and we would expect the situation is resolved moving forward. We’ve also reached out to the Rams organization and have shared those same sentiments.”

Kosar also called Fisher on Sunday to apologize.

Fisher expressed his disgust with Kosar on Saturday after Rams practice. He said he lost “a lot of respect” for Kosar, then took a personal shot.

“Again, Bernie’s got his issues — they’re well-documented,” Fisher said.

Kosar ripped the Rams receivers and receivers coach, and was especially harsh toward No. 3 quarterback Kellen Clemens.

“Bless me, Father, for I have sinned,” Kosar said. “I have to watch him the whole fourth quarter.”

Clemens responded Saturday in an interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

“He gave us a lot of great examples throughout his career of what it’s like to play quarterback, and how to do it at a high level,” Clemens said.

“Unfortunately, he also gave us a couple of examples in his commentating career of what not to do.”

Fullback plan

Chris Ogbonnaya got his first real taste of life as a fullback against the Rams. Ogbonnaya is a tailback by trade but is being groomed to be the lead blocker and got the start.

“I was pleased with what he did and what he brings to the table,” coach Rob Chudzinski said. “He’s not your typical blow-it-up fullback. He functions well enough. As he learns and gets better from a technique standpoint, that will help him.

“Obviously, guys like that can cut and find ways to get on guys and their athleticism helps them get on guys as opposed to just knocking guys over.”

Ogbonnaya (6-foot, 225 pounds) appeared to get the worst of a collision with a blitzing linebacker, but he did his job by preventing him from reaching the target.

Owen Marecic was the fullback the last two seasons and has 20 pounds on Ogbonnaya. He’s been used in short-yardage situations in practice, but doesn’t have the versatility or athleticism of Ogbonnaya.

Injury report

Running back Montario Hardesty (hamstring tendon) returned to practice for the first time since July 31 as he tries to keep his roster spot. He was limited to special teams and individual drills and ran sprints after practice.

Hardesty is still listed as the second running back behind Trent Richardson on the depth chart, but Dion Lewis has impressed in practice and the Rams game and Brandon Jackson has flashed.

Hardesty, who’s been plagued by injuries in his three-plus years with the Browns, practiced for three days at the start of camp before hurting the hamstring. He returned July 31, only to be sidelined again the next day.

• Tight end Brad Smelley (hamstring) practiced for the first time since Aug. 1 and participated in team drills.

• Richardson, strong safety T.J. Ward (hamstring) and rookie safety Jamoris Slaughter (hamstring) saw increased work in team drills.

• Injured players still out were: cornerbacks Leon McFadden (groin) and Chris Owens (foot), receivers David Nelson and Jordan Norwood, offensive linemen Oniel Cousins (ankle), Ryan Miller (concussion), Shawn Lauvao (ankle surgery) and Chris Faulk (knee), defensive lineman Hall Davis (hamstring) and fullback Brock Bolen (calf).

Hit him in a bad spot

Tight end Jordan Cameron had no one to blame but himself for the grief he took from quarterback Brandon Weeden. Cameron had a bullet from Weeden go through his hands, off his face mask and ricochet high into the air against the Rams. Fortunately, receiver Greg Little used his basketball skills to haul it in for a completion.

“I don’t know if I scared Jordan Cameron or what, but it hit him right between the eyes,” Weeden said. “We were laughing about it after.”

“My forehead still hurts,” Cameron said. “I just took my eyes off it, it happens.”

Field-goal fun

Chudzinski wanted to give the players the night off from individual meetings and have a bit of fun in the process.

So at the end of practice he picked two fans out of the crowd, Anthony Kinney from Shaker Heights and D.J. Rapposelli from Mayfield. If Kinney made a short field goal, the offense would be excused from meetings. Same for Rapposelli and the defense.

They both made their kicks and were mobbed by players.

Contact Scott Petrak at (440) 329-7253 or spetrak@chroniclet.com.