Posted by Mary Kay Cabot December 22, 2008 13:04PM
BEREA -- Browns coach Romeo Crennel declined to confirm a report on WKYC Channel 3 that defensive lineman Shaun Smith punched quarterback Brady Quinn in the face last week in the weight room.
But Crennel also did not deny that the incident took place.
"If it happened, we're keeping it in house," Crennel said.
Crennel said Smith being inactive for the Bengals game was a coaches' decision. Smith was listed on the injury report with a calf strain, but Crennel would not say whether or not Smith was out because of disciplinary action. If Brady Quinn was involved in an altercation with teammate Shaun Smith, the Browns are keeping it in house.
"Shaun was inactive and generally all the inactive guys are coaches' decisions,'' said Crennel. "That was a coaches' decision for him not to play. I'm not going to talk about family business.''
Crennel did acknowledge that Smith got into a heated confrontation with an offensive lineman at practice recently, but that to his knowledge it didn't get physical.
"Guys get heated at practice,'' he said. "There was some discussion (between Shaun and an offensive lineman).''
The Channel 3 report said that Smith and Quinn also had a verbal confrontation.
Crennel made it clear that "in a family you always have some disagreements.''
Smith initially suffered the calf injury Nov. 17 in Buffalo. He was inactive for the next game against Houston, but played in the three games after that.
In other news, quarterback Ken Dorsey might have to sit out the finale with his concussion and rib injury. If that's the case, newly-acquired Bruce Gradkowski might have to start the game. Crennel also said that the Browns will rely more on Josh Cribbs at quarterback.
Other injuries include Eric Steinbach with a back injury and Jason Wright with an ankle injury. Wright will undero an MRI.http://blog.cleveland.com/sports/200...or_deny_r.html