CLEVELAND - The Bernie Kosar saga grew stranger Thursday when the former Browns quarterback addressed a controversy surrounding comments he made about St. Louis Rams players last week.
Speaking on the Browns' telecast prior to a preseason game against the Detroit Lions, Kosar didn't directly apologize for his remarks. He talked about respecting the players that suit up each week.
"Football is obviously a real physical game, on and off the field, as we're finding out," Kosar said. "The beautiful thing about it is ultimately how you handle yourself on the field determines success or failure.
"I love the game so much, and there's no way I want to disrespect or hurt or make fun of any players or coaches. That being said, the way I look at a game and the way I like to analyze from a football perspective is what it is. I do like the way I look at the game, and I have strong feelings about the way the game is played."
Kosar earned the wrath of Rams coach Jeff Fisher for his criticism of quarterback Kellen Clemens, receivers coach Ray Sherman and the team's receivers. When play-by-play announcer Jim Donovan said that Clemens' daughter was blessed by the Pope, Kosar said, "Bless me my Father for I have sinned. I have the watch the rest of the fourth quarter."
Fisher reacted angrily to the comments. Kosar's words also drew more than one Twitter comment from Sports Illustrated writer Peter King, who suggested that Kosar had been drinking.
Kosar has been put on a short leash by Browns CEO Joe Banner, who issued a statement earlier this week criticizing him. He said there would be no further problems moving forward.
BIG LOSS: Guard Jason Pinkston suffered what appeared to be a serious right ankle injury in the first quarter. He was helped off the field and then carted to the locker room. Pinkston was starting in place of the injured Shaun Lauvao.
LINEUP CHANGES: Josh Aubrey started in place of T.J. Ward at strong safety. Ward has been slowed by a hamstring injury. Chris Owens started at right cornerback after sitting out against the Rams. Buster Skrine got the start last week.
Aubrey has been one of the surprises among rookie free agents and has a decent chance to stick, either on the active roster or on the practice squad. He played at Stephen F. Austin University, where he started 46 games and was four times an All-Southland Conference selection.
SHORT NIGHT: First-round draft choice Barkevious Mingo suffered a rib injury in the first half and didn't play again. He wasn't in on any defensive snaps but did participate on special teams.
DAY OF REST: Lions standout receiver Calvin Johnson wasn't able to play because of a knee contusion. Browns cornerbacks breathed a collective sigh of relief.
REMEMBER HIM?: Don Carey, a second-string free safety for the Lions, was drafted by the Browns in the sixth round of the 2009 draft. Then coach Eric Mangini tried to get Carey through waivers for the purpose of putting him on the practice squad, but the Jacksonville Jaguars claimed him.
OUT OF HERE: Rookie kicker Brandon Bogotay handled all kicking chores. His kick to open the game flew well beyond the back of the end zone. Bogotay made a 43-yard field goal in the first quarter.
ANOTHER CHANCE: Quarterback Thaddeus Lewis is fourth on the Lions' depth chart. Lewis was a third-stringer for the Browns last year. He started the season finale against the Pittsburgh Steelers because of shoulder injuries to Brandon Weeden and Colt McCoy.
INJURY REPORT: The following Browns didn't suit up - punter T.J. Conley; receivers Jordan Norwood and David Nelson; running back Montario Hardesty; defensive backs Leon McFadden, Ward and Jamoris Slaughter; fullback Brock Bolen; offensive linemen Ryan Miller, Lauvao, Chris Faulk and Oniel Cousins, and defensive lineman Hall Davis.