Brady and Bentley Missing From Browns' First Day of Training Camp

BEREA, Ohio (AP) - Browns center LeCharles Bentley won't be on the practice field for training camp despite being cleared by his surgeon this week.

The two-time Pro Bowler will continue his rehabilitation from a career-threatening knee injury, general manager Phil Savage said Friday before the Browns' first practice of training camp.

Team physician Anthony Miniaci examined Bentley on Friday, exactly one year after Bentley tore the patellar tendon in his left knee on the Browns' first 11-on-11 drill of training camp.

The Browns decided to delay his physical four weeks, Savage said.

"He's not quite ready to put on equipment and practice on the football field with us," Savage said.

Bentley passed a physical Monday with Dr. Russell Warren, the New York Giants' team physician who performed two operations on the six-year veteran, whose injury was complicated by a staph infection. But he needed to pass the team's physical to play.

The Browns and Bentley agreed that he would start the season on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list while the 27-year-old continues his rehab in Cleveland, but outside the Browns facility with his own trainer, Savage said. Bentley also will attend team meetings.

"This has been the plan all along," said Bentley's agent, Jonathan Feinsod. "LeCharles is continuing to do what he's been doing. Everything is on course. We couldn't be happier. He's continuing to get stronger and better."

Browns coach Romeo Crennel spent about 40 minutes with Bentley and thought he looked good physically and was in a good frame of mind. He cautioned Bentley that despite his surprising recovery, it's not guaranteed he'll make it back to playing on Sundays.

"I wouldn't put it past him," Crennel said. "As I told him, I've got to see it. I've got to see what you can do to determine if and when you're going to help us."

Bentley was not present for the team's first practice and neither was rookie quarterback Brady Quinn, the team's lone holdout.

Offensive tackle Joe Thomas and defensive back Eric Wright, who wasn't expected to arrive until Friday night from the West Coast, signed just before camp started.

"It certainly puts more focus on Brady," Savage said. "He's the only one not here. It's a little more difficult to be a holdout when you don't have people in front of you holding out."

The team had discussions with Quinn's agent, Tom Condon, on Thursday and Friday, Savage said, adding that talks could go into the night. Condon did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Every practice Quinn misses will reduce his chances of beating out Charlie Frye and Derek Anderson in the open competition for the starting job, Savage said.

"For Brady to win the job he was going to have to perform at a level that was clearly better than Charlie or Derek or Ken Dorsey," Savage said. "I'm not sure that anybody was convinced that he was going to come in here and be twice as productive in practice or preseason games as guys that were here a couple years."

The Notre Dame QB slid through the first round before he was picked by the Browns, who traded a first-round pick in 2008 to Dallas to move into the No. 22 spot to get Quinn.

Crennel believes Frye has a slight edge in the quarterback competition because he's played in more games than Anderson or Quinn. However, all the quarterbacks are learning a new offense under first-year coordinator Rob Chudzinski.

Crennel said a sign of the team's improvement is the many competitions for starting jobs including at cornerback, the No. 3 receiver spot and on the offensive line.

Thomas, the No. 3 overall draft pick, will challenge Kevin Shaffer for the left tackle spot. The former Wisconsin All-American, who signed his contract around 1 a.m., thinks arriving at camp on time will help him.

"Being an offensive lineman, I think we have the most to learn out of any position and we need the most camp out of anybody to get ready for the season," Thomas said. "So it was vitally important for me to be here today."

While Bentley and Brady were absent, tight end Kellen Winslow practiced Friday after undergoing offseason microfracture knee surgery. He got a standing ovation from fans when he ran onto the field.

Winslow, who tied Hall of Famer Ozzie Newsome's club record of 89 receptions last season, had been expected to start training camp on the physically unable to perform list.