Jerome Harrison had his coming out party against the Chiefs in the 13th game of 2009 and now, just two games into this season, he has the chance for an encore performance.
The Browns headed into 2010 as a run-first team based on Harrison rushing for 561 yards in the final three games, and would be expected to continue that philosophy Sunday in a home game against the Chiefs.
Harrison rushed for 286 yards on 34 carries and scored three touchdowns against the Chiefs in a wild game the Browns won, 43-34, on Dec. 20 last season. The 286 yards is a franchise record, topping the best days of Jim Brown, and is the third highest total in NFL history.
"I'm going to go out here and run hard," Harrison said. "I'm going to give this city everything I have every time I'm out there. I'm going to try my hardest to turn this program around."
One of Harrison's touchdowns against the Chiefs last year was a 71-yard burst through the line. He got to the second level and was gone.
Harrison broke a 39-yard run against the Buccaneers in the season opener. He finished with 52 yards on nine carries in a 17-14 loss.
What happened in Tampa does not change the approach the Browns are taking, nor did it change coach Eric Mangini's opinion of Harrison. Harrison fumbled twice in preseason. He did not drop the ball in the opener.
"In terms of home runs, my brother-in-law (Indians general manager Mark Shapiro) told me one time you only have to hit .300 to go to the Hall of Fame, so doubles are good, singles are good, on-base percentage -- all of that stuff is good," Mangini said. "The value in negative or positive experiences is how you use them to springboard into your next opportunity."
The Browns are not a one-man band in the backfield. Peyton Hillis carried nine times for 41 yards against the Bucs -- one of them a 10-yard touchdown run. He caught four passes for 24 yards. But he also fumbled twice, losing one. Fumbling was a disturbing trend in the preseason. Mangini planned drills to cut down on those game-killing mistakes. The Browns fumbled three times in Tampa but lost only one.
Quarterback Jake Delhomme said it is imperative the Browns continue running the ball. They averaged 4.5 yards on 23 carries against the Buccaneers, but that stat is a bit misleading because Harrison had one carry for 39 yards. They averaged three yards per carry on the other 22.
LINEUP WATCH: The right side of the offensive line is still evolving. Rookie guard Shawn Lauvao has a sprained left ankle and was inactive against the Buccaneers. Until the injury he was practicing with the first team. Floyd Womack started at right guard. John St. Clair started at right tackle against the Buccaneers.
TRENDING: Last season with Carolina, Jake Delhomme threw eight touchdown passes and 18 interceptions. He got off to a good start in his first game with the Browns by throwing a 41-yard pass to Mohamed Massaquoi, but he followed that by throwing two interceptions. One led to a Tampa Bay touchdown just before halftime.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
--LB David Bowens was on the inactive list for the opener. He had appeared in 100 straight games dating back to 2003.
--Rookie CB Joe Haden gave up the winning touchdown pass, but he also made two tackles and broke up a pass.
--Rookie S T.J. Ward led the Browns with 10 tackles and forced a fumble. He blitzed on the pass resulting in an interception by Mike Adams.
--LB Marcus Benard had 1.5 sacks. He does not play often, but he is successful as the designated pass rusher.
--The Buccaneers did an excellent job on Josh Cribbs, holding him to 46 yards on three kick returns.