Former Raven O. Brown ready for ex-teammates

`Zeus' says he can't wait to go against Boulware

August 09, 1999|By Ken Murray | Ken Murray,SUN STAFF

BEREA, Ohio -- The Cleveland Browns offered Orlando Brown his old locker, a new contract and the chance to relive the past. The former Ravens right tackle didn't have to be asked twice.

"I had no problem with Baltimore," said Brown, who signed a six-year, $26 million free-agent contract with the Browns last February. "Ask anybody that went there [to Baltimore] with the team. Ask them deep down -- don't look at the money -- where would they rather be?"

Brown, who started 45 consecutive games at right tackle for the Ravens after moving with the Browns in 1996, obviously preferred Cleveland. Talking about his time in Baltimore, he issued a warning of sorts to outside linebacker Peter Boulware.

"He popped his shoulder out of place; I can't wait to go against Pete," Brown said, grinning widely. "Pete's a good ballplayer. When he came in, I wanted to find out what kind of person he was -- was he physical, tough? He's not a real physical guy. But he's a football player. He knows how to get the job done."

Brown said he is down to 330 pounds, some 20 under his weight in a disappointing 1998 season.

"They know I'm coming," he said of his former teammates. "They heard I'm in shape. It's going to be a rivalry because I know all the guys. Because I play so mad, I don't want to mess up, get in a fight and get kicked out of the game."

In a morning practice the same day, Browns coach Chris Palmer had cautioned Brown about responding to opposing teams.

Brown also said he was surprised when Baltimore didn't put the franchise tag on him, linemate Wally Williams or defensive tackle James Jones after last season. "Right then, I said they must not have the money," he said. "Something ain't right."

The Browns have two other former Ravens on their roster -- cornerback Antonio Langham, who left Baltimore as a free agent in 1998, and guard Ben Cavil.

Despite a published report in which Langham criticized Baltimore fans, he said he "had a great time in Baltimore."

"They love football in Baltimore, love football to death," said Langham, a first-round pick of the Browns in 1994. "I had no regrets [about playing there]. I have nothing against the city of Baltimore or the fans of Baltimore.

"If I ever had a problem, it was like Zeus [Brown's nickname], with the organization. They could've given me a better offer and made it a lot easier to re-sign."

Langham signed with the San Francisco 49ers in 1998, but lost his job and his confidence. He was selected by the Browns in the expansion draft. He said he would liked to have stayed with the Ravens.

"Signing with Baltimore would've been a big help for me," he said. "I was used to playing with a lot of guys in a scheme I played in for two years. That would've been a big plus. Sometimes it's hard to keep knocking around."

Pub Date: 8/09/99

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