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Thread: Dawson anxious to get back

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    Default Dawson anxious to get back

    Dawson anxious to get back
    Zac Jackson, Staff Writer
    Phil Dawson was in uniform and on the practice field Wednesday.

    And Dawson, who's missed the last three games with a calf injury, has a little extra motivation to get himself back to health and ready for Sunday.

    "It would be nice to get back any week, but this isn't any week," Dawson said. "This is Steeler week. There are a lot of guys in this locker room who have been a part of this rivalry. The amount of respect I have for that organization and what they've been able to do, to get a chance to play against them is what you want to do."

    Dawson is one of just three players - Steve Heiden and Ryan Pontbriand are the others - on the Browns' roster who have defeated the Steelers in a Browns uniform. The Browns have lost 11 straight to their rivals, a streak that dates back to 2003.

    Dawson kicked the game-winner as the Browns pulled an improbable upset in Pittsburgh in the expansion season of 1999. And he's anxious to get the chance to kick another, whether it's against the Steelers or anyone else.

    "(Being out) been a lot tougher than I would have thought," Dawson said. "Watching your team lose those first two weeks, you want to be out there helping and doing what you can. Hey, you play long enough, these things happen. You've got to deal with them when they come up and try to get back as soon as you can.

    "I'm not used to missing time. It's been a strange thing."

    Dawson said he's been "really happy" for Billy Cundiff, who's been perfect on field goal tries in Dawson's absence after not kicking in a regular season NFL game since 2006.

    "That's the life of a kicker," Dawson said. "Those of us who land in one spot for a while are very fortunate. I bounced around early in my career. It's good to see a guy when he gets a chance do well."

    Dawson is 4-of-4 on field goal tries this season and has 216 field goals in his career, tying Don Cockroft for second on the Browns' all-time list and just 18 behind leader Lou Groza.

    ON THE MEND: Dawson was a limited participant in Wednesday's practice. Browns Head Coach Eric Mangini said he was happy with Dawson's progress and "optimistic" that he'd be back sooner rather than later.

    ALSO LISTED: Heiden (knee) and Kenyon Coleman (groin) did not participate Wednesday. Joining Dawson on the "limited" list on the week's initial injury report are Mike Adams (groin), Eric Barton (neck), David Bowens (knee), Rex Hadnot (knee), D'Qwell Jackson (hamstring), Jamal Lewis (hamstring), Robert Royal (foot, finger), Kamerion Wimbley (shoulder) and Floyd Womack (ankle).

    Gerard Lawson (groin), John St. Clair (thumb) and Dave Zastudil (right knee) were full participants.

    ON THE OTHER SIDE: Back at practice and participating fully for the Steelers were running back Willie Parker, who's been battling turf toe, and Pro Bowl safety Troy Polamalu, who's been out since injuring his knee in Week One.

    Five Steelers did not practice Wednesday: OL Trai Essex (ankle), LB James Farrior (elbow), LB Andre Frazier (thigh), DE Travis Kirschke (back) and WR Hines Ward (not injury related). Also Wednesday the Steelers placed DE Aaron Smith on injured-reserve. Smith has been a longtime standout on the Steelers' defensive line.

    QUICK HITS: Game balls for the Buffalo win went to Lewis, Zastudil, Eric Wright and practice player of the week, Marcus Benard...The Steelers (3-2) are producing on offense, just not in the fashion you may be used to. They rank fourth in the NFL in passing and 21st in rushing...The Browns are averaging 106.2 yards per game on the ground; the Steelers are averaging 100.4. The Steelers' run defense has been as good as ever, though, allowing just 71.2 yards per game and ranking third in the league...Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin called defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau's Hall of Fame candidacy "long overdue"...Brett Ratliff's wife gave birth to a boy earlier this week...Shaun Rogers was excused from Wednesday's practice for personal reasons. Mangini said he expected Rogers back Thursday.

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    He might be their only pro bowl selection.

    Maybe their KR also.

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