Rookie Eric Zeier is playing it cool, saying all the right things, refusing to ruffle any feathers. He's not about to suggest that he's after Vinny Testaverde's job.
"Vinny is the No. 1 guy here. He has absolutely earned that spot," Zeier said Monday night after he directed a 35-point first half that vaulted the Cleveland Browns past the Chicago Bears 55-13.In two games - one against the New York Giants' scrubs in the fourth quarter a week ago, and one against the Bears' first team - Zeier has gone 22-for-27 for 277 yards and two touchdowns, without an interception.
He also scrambled for a 7-yard score Monday night, diving acrobatically for the right pylon to complete the run.
He completed the last 13 passes he attempted, going 14-for-16 for 158 yards in his first start in place of the ailing Testaverde. Testaverde was to be discharged from the hospital today after undergoing treatment for an infection in his leg.
Coach Bill Belichick emphasized that Testaverde remains the starter, and the coach wouldn't be drawn into a discussion of whether Zeier was ahead of free-agent pickup Jim McMahon for the No. 2 job. McMahon has only been in camp for a week and did not play.
The 55 points were the second-most the Browns (1-1) have scored in an exhibition game, surpassed only by a 56-point outburst against the Los Angeles Rams in 1964. Lorenzo White and Ricky Powers each ran for two touchdowns, White in the first half and Powers in the second.
In all, the Bears (1-1) turned the ball over on six straight possessions - three interceptions and three fumbles.
"I apologize for wasting Cleveland's time," coach Dave Wannstedt said. "There wasn't really any one area that we showed any progress in, and that is very disappointing to me. The only reason for mistakes like six turnovers and all those penalties is simply a lack of concentration. We weren't into it tonight."
All-Pro offensive tackle Erik Williams, feared lost for half a season, worked out Monday for the first time since an October car accident.
The 6-foot-6, 322-pound lineman, with a brace on his right knee, participated in 1-on-1 passing drills.
Former Colorado receiver Michael Westbrook, selected fourth overall in the April draft, arrived in Washington late Monday to end his 26-day holdout.
Westbrook's agent, Steve Zucker, said the deal was almost done after a weekend of negotiations with Washington general manager Charley Casserly.
Frank Reich, a backup during his 10-year career in Buffalo, was selected Carolina's starting quarterback by coach Dom Capers.
Reich and Jack Trudeau staged a close battle since the expansion team's voluntary workout program in April.
Offensive tackle David Williams ended his holdout and practiced with Houston as talk continued of a possible move to Nashville, Tenn.