"Forget it!" Miller yells back.
"Why'd you do me like that, Coach?" Holmes asks with a smile. You smile back.
Colello motions you into the trainer's office. Josiah is waiting inside, but instead of talking directly to the young lineman, which might embarrass him, you talk to Colello in front of Josiah. You say to Colello that Josiah may be hesitant to tell club officials about injuries because his former coaches perhaps didn't believe him when he said he was hurt. But now, you say, Josiah has to be comfortable with the idea that if he can't play for a week or two because he has to heal, it's O.K. "You've got to trust us," you say, finally turning to face Josiah. "O.K., Michael?"
"Yes, sir," Josiah says.
Josiah leaves. "He thinks we're going to throw him on the woodpile," you say to Colello. "Let's get him well."
It's 11:10. Back in the office, you summon special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg to examine video from this morning's practice. You watch the punt team and notice that the splits between linemen are too small. "They're packed pretty tight in there," you say. "What do you think about widening them out?" Rosburg agrees. "Jerry," you say, wrapping up the 35-minute session, "we got a little better this morning."
It's 11:50. You're starving. The stir-fry and brown rice and salad beckon from the cafeteria downstairs. The visitor asks you about the minutiae of the morning, such as adjusting the splits between the linemen. "First of all," you say, "coaching is teaching. The best coaches I've ever seen were the best teachers. I guarantee you lose more games in this league because of the little things than the big things."
It's 12:15. You quickly try to return the six phone calls deemed important enough for you to handle. (Other calls are farmed out to your right-hand man, Pete Garcia, who deals with everything of importance that you don't have the time to.) You call Bob Ackles, a front-office executive when you both worked for the Dallas Cowboys a decade ago, who's now the president of the British Columbia Lions of the Canadian Football League. He wants to know who among the players you might cut could be of use to him. You give him a few names to watch for. Then it's time for the mail. A U.S. soldier stationed in Afghanistan has written to ask for Browns videos. "Send him a highlight tape," you tell your secretary.
You convene the 12:30 coaches' meeting in the conference room down the hall. "Buddy," you ask strength and conditioning coach Buddy Morris, "are the guys getting enough recovery time?" They are. "Larry," you ask offensive line coach Larry Zierlein, "any merit in juggling the second-and third-team guys?" There is. Rookie Melvin Fowler, a third-round draft pick out of Maryland, will get a second-team look.
It's 12:52. Time for the cap meeting, at Heneghan's conference table. "What are our options with Michael Josiah, if we have to do something?" you ask.