- Pat McManamon, ESPN Staff Writer
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CLEVELAND -- Losing a college scholarship and spending 15 months in a detention center will put a bad day on the football field in perspective.
And help a person forget said day pretty quickly.
Which is just what happened with Browns receiver Davone Bess, a pro’s pro who rebounded from a tough day in Kansas City to catch two touchdown passes and a crucial fourth-down throw in the Browns' win over Baltimore.
“It’s a journey,” Bess said after the Browns’ 24-18 win over Baltimore. “Me personally, I had a journey a long time ago.”
Which is why he could put what happened a week ago behind him. Then, Bess dropped two passes and saw a fourth-down catch that could have kept the Browns' hopes for a win over the Chiefs alive bounce off his chest.
He thought of that as another fourth-down throw was headed his way in the win over Baltimore.
“I didn't want to make the same mistake again,” Bess said.
Bess somehow made a sliding catch on a vital play as the Browns went for the first down on fourth-and-1, a catch that kept a six-plus-minute drive alive as the Browns secured their first win over the Ravens since 2007.
“I was hoping not to drop the ball,” Bess said. “That’s all I was worried about.”
Bess was acquired to be a veteran presence on the receiving corps. He was also going to be a third-down guy who made important catches to keep drives moving.
He didn’t do that against the Chiefs, talked about being a pro and bouncing back and told quarterback Jason Campbell to trust him the day after the loss. Campbell did. Two of Bess’ catches were on fourth down, one for a TD, and the other TD was a third-down catch that led to a nice run after catch.
“He knew what he had to do and he handled his business,” cornerback Joe Haden said of Bess, who was implicated in a theft scheme in high school in Oakland when friends put a hefty amount of stolen goods in his car.
“I’m still on [the journey],” Bess said. “We all are. Just gotta keep swinging.”
“You get to know people and you get to trust people ...” coach Rob Chudzinski said. “Davone is one of those people.”
The Browns have not had many players like Bess in recent years. He turned his life around and has dedicated himself to helping other with his foundation. He also brings a certain attitude and approach that the team needs. He’s a professional, and while he may not be Calvin Johnson, few are.
What Bess provides, the Browns need.