For Donte Whitner, the Cleveland Browns' preseason-opener at Detroit Saturday night was a chance for the team – and especially the defense – to put the rest of the NFL on notice.
And that was precisely what the Browns' veteran safety did early in the game with the hard hit he placed on Theo Riddick, after the Lions' running back caught a pass from Dan Orlovsky.
When you go over the middle against the Browns, expect to deal with the consequences.
"That's what a good defense has to be about," Whitner said. "It has to be physical. Teams understand it's going to be a long, hard fight when you play the Cleveland Browns. That's just a small glimpse of it."
Riddick did hang onto the throw for a nine-yard gain, but promptly left the field and did not return to action.
"If you have tough guys that want to come in there," Whitner said, "best of luck to you."
ELSEWHERE AROUND THE NFL …
THE INDIANAPOLIS COLTShave called upon one of the greatest running backs in their franchise's history, Edgerrin James, to help tutor a running back they hope will ultimately be regarded as such one day, Trent Richardson. "It was unfair to judge him because it is two different systems," James was quoted as saying on ESPN.com about the fact Richardson joined the Colts from the Browns after two games last season. "The terminology is totally different and he was just kind of thrown out there. You can't really get an assessment because there is so much going on for him personally and the things you have to go through in order to be good in this league. This is the NFL; you can't just sign somebody thinking they can come in and be a star no matter how good they have been. It takes time. Now he has a chance to put in the proper time and the proper work and get to know his teammates and know the different plays so he can go out and play like he did when he came out of the University of Alabama."
BALTIMORE RAVENS COACH JIM HARBAUGHcomplained to reporters that they spend too much time covering fights that occasionally break out during training-camp practices. "What's interesting to me, and what's a real indictment on you as the media, is the fact that (Ravens cornerback) Jimmy Smith was asked about it, and he said when he sees these things on TV, all he ever sees is fights," Harbaugh was quoted as saying in the Baltimore Sun. "What does that tell you? How about a little self-check? We're probably going to have 99 percent all great, positive things. But if there is a little shoving match out here, I'm quite sure that that's what will be on these cameras, and it'll be countrywide, and that'll be everybody's take on how it went, right? Because that's how it is all the time. We're going to look for the positive. You all can look for the negative, as usual." >>Be sure to tune in Monday through Friday, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET, for "Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford" on ESPN 850 WKNR or catch the live stream right here on ClevelandBrowns.com. We take your questions at 216-578-0850 and via Twitter @Browns_Daily.