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Browns Strength Becomes Huge Weakness

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  • Browns Strength Becomes Huge Weakness

    The center position that LeCharles Bentley's signing was supposed to make a strength of the 2006 Cleveland Browns has become one of their biggest weaknesses. After Bentley's signing, center Jeff Faine was traded to the Saints. Bentley was injured in the first drill of training camp, and his knee will likely keep him out for the season. His backup on the roster and the most likely to fill his spot, Bob Hallen, retired this week, leaving the club with almost no options.

    Browns center Hallen retires Click here to find out more! wire reports

    CLEVELAND (Aug. 11, 2006) -- Veteran offensive lineman Bob Hallen, who was being counted on by the Cleveland Browns to replace the injured LeCharles Bentley at center, informed the club that he has retired.

    Hallen, who left the team earlier this week, sent a letter to the Browns saying he was done with pro football. He did not give a reason for his decision.

    Hallen's retirement couldn't come at a worse time for the Browns, who lost Bentley, a two-time Pro Bowl selection and their prized free agent signing, to a season-ending injury on the first 11-on-11 play of training camp.

    Bentley was supposed to protect second-year quarterback Charlie Frye, improve Cleveland's running game and anchor an offensive line currently missing right tackle Ryan Tucker, who recently underwent knee surgery.

    "We're disappointed that Bob Hallen made this decision," said Browns general manager Phil Savage. "But what is more disappointing is that he waited until two days before the first (exhibition) game, especially after LeCharles Bentley's injury."

    The 31-year-old Hallen, who played the previous four seasons with San Diego, left camp unexcused on Aug. 7, citing back problems. Coach Romeo Crennel said Hallen had "a back issue" and was dealing with "personal problems."

    Hallen's agent, Cliff Brady, told The Plain Dealer that Hallen had to retire because he has a two herniated discs and is suffering from stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal column. Messages seeking comment were left with Brady.

    Hallen's biography in the club's media guide makes no mention of any history of back problems. He was placed on San Diego's injured list in 2003 because of a torn chest muscle. He also suffered a concussion in 2002.

    In the meantime, with their Sept. 10 season opener against New Orleans drawing near, the Browns may have to find a dependable veteran center.

    Alonzo Ephraim, signed after Bentley got hurt, started in Thursday's 20-7 loss to Philadelphia. Ephraim has five career starts, two at center, and played 43 games in three seasons with the Eagles.

    On Tuesday, the Browns traded a 2007 draft pick to New England for center Ross Tucker, who has 24 career NFL starts.

    There's irony in the Browns' mess at center. After signing Bentley in March, the club traded Jeff Faine, a former first-round draft pick and three-year starter, to New Orleans. Faine is listed as the Saints' starter on their current depth chart, a spot he'll likely have when the club opens in Cleveland next month.

    Hallen, who is from Mentor, Ohio, and played at Kent State, made 47 career starts for Atlanta and the Chargers. He was drafted by the Falcons in the second round (53rd overall) of the 1998 draft. He signed with San Diego as a free agent in 2002.
    Superintendent Chalmers: "Thank the Lord"? That sounded like a prayer. A prayer in a public school. God has no place within these walls, just like facts don't have a place within an organized religion."

  • #2
    I'd say this makes me sad, but...

    Aw, what the hell - no I wouldn't.
    Thanks to Freyaka for the great sig!


    • #3
      Originally posted by WhoDeyBengals
      I'd say this makes me sad, but...

      Aw, what the hell - no I wouldn't.
      lol, i hope we can get a deal for hank fraley from the eagles since he is second string, i think he is better than any center we have, tahts for sure..


      • #4
        Hallen has retired?

        Oh my god!! I would have never expected this when he went AWOL and decided to go to California to get a second opinion rather than listen to the doctors at the Cleveland Clinic. /END Sarcasm Why not make a post about how Alonzo Ephraim looked very good in his preseason game? Or why not post about how Hank Fraley may be traded for after an extremely interesting accounter on field at the end of the very same preseason game.

        Why should I miss Jeff Faine? Faine sucked and was below average. Faine is one of the worst centers in the league. A scrub can adequitly replace him.
        The Browns are gone; I'm not a fan of the Impostors

        The real Browns are in Baltimore, see?