Plenty of work to do in Cleveland

BEREA, Ohio -- Here are five observations on the Cleveland Browns, based on their two Aug. 1 practices:

1. We're betting that rookie head coach Romeo Crennel is working so hard in camp -- at least it sure looks as though he is -- that he never even hears the freight trains that regularly rumble through this tiny city near the airport during daily practices. Standing on the sideline watching practice, you can hear the train whistles a few minutes before the clickety-clack on the tracks that are only a few blocks from what is still one of the NFL's best-maintained complexes.

Maybe it's a good thing Crennel is apparently oblivious to the noise. Because those freight trains kind of symbolize the long haul that still confronts the first-year coach and general manager Phil Savage, the second half of the Browns' new football decision-making tandem, as they attempt to steer this historic franchise back on the right track. The two men have done impressive work so far, accomplished a lot in turning around the mind-set of the team and providing it with direction. Given where those two have worked in the past, it has to be a dose of sobering reality to compare the talent level here to that of their previous teams, but neither man is going to take time to feel sorry for himself.