BEREA, Ohio—Coach Todd Haley said in the conference call with the Cleveland media on Wednesday that the Kansas City Chiefs' scout team will "definitely have a guy wearing a number 35 jersey this week."
That happens when you rush for 286 yards against a team in the previous season, as Jerome Harrison did.
“That’s a real compliment,” Harrison said.
Harrison was asked if he thought he would be a marked man this week.
“Hopefully, I’m a (marked man) every Sunday.”
Harrison said his life in the NFL hasn’t really changed much since he reeled off the best individual rushing performance in Browns history and third-best all-time in the NFL.
“You just hear about it a lot more,” he said. “I go on playing the way I always have.”
Despite the emergence at the end of last season, the Browns still aren’t convinced he can be the franchise back. They acquired Peyton Hillis in a trade and traded up to get Montario Hardesty in the second-round, even though he’s lost for the season with an ACL injury.
Harrison has rushed for more than 100 yards four times in his career, each time he had more than 20 carries.
“Twenty carries gives you the chance to get in a rhythm and get in a groove and get a feel for the defense,” Harrison said.
Harrison had just nine carries for 52 yards in the season opener, including a 39-yard run.
“Am I scratching my head?” he said. “No, I can only control what I can control. I’m just a player. I’m not the coach. If I was the coach, I’d give myself the ball just about every damn play because I believe in myself like that.”
Mangini was asked if Harrison is playing like he did last year.
“I think he’s doing the same things he was doing last season,” he said. “I don’t know how you objectively look at it other than the numbers. I think he’s continuing to grow as a player.”
Delhomme One, Two or Three: Depending on QB Jake Delhomme’s progress this week, he could be anything from the starter to the inactive quarterback (No. 3) on game day. Delhomme missed practice for the second day in a row and was listed as doubtful on the Wednesday injury report.
“All three are potential situations, because I can’t tell you know what will happen,” Mangini said. “Whether Jake will be the one two or three, it could be anyone of those options.
Mangini said that there’s more to it than to keep the Chiefs guessing.
“When we make that decision, it will be based on what he’s able to do,” he said. “We’ll make the best decision based on if he’s healthy enough to play and has had enough preparation. I will tell you he’s not going to miss a beat in terms of game preparation. Having a veteran guy like that who has been through this, will not take him long to be ready.
“What I’m saying is we have (Thursday), we have Friday and we have Saturday,” he said. “We have a couple of approaches and we’ll see how it unfolds. I don’t have enough information, right now.”
Mangini isn’t worried that Seneca Wallace will be ready to start or play at any given time.
“He’s had a lot of work in that role in Seattle where he had to come in and play four or five games in a row,” he said. “He’s worked in that spot for a long time.”
If Delhomme ends up being inactive for the game, rookie Colt McCoy will be the backup.
“I’m sure if Jake can be out there, he will,” McCoy said. “But, I will be ready if I’m needed.”
Speed Bumps: Mangini said the problem with playing young defensive backs is you have to let them grow and learn while playing. That means, there will be learning curves, where they will get beat for scores.
Kansas City’s first-round pick, safety Eric Berry, was beat for two touchdowns against the Chargers last week and Browns cornerback Joe Haden was beaten for the game-winner against Tampa Bay.
“There’s going to be bumps and you try to eliminate them as quickly as you can,” Mangini said.
Mangini said he liked Berry a lot and that is one of the reasons why the Browns turned their attention to T.J. Ward after Berry was selected.
“I really liked (Ward),” Mangini said. “Tom really liked him. There were a lot of things everybody is starting to see the way he played in college and now in pro football. He doesn’t get overwhelmed by the moment. Sure, he has butterflies the size of saucers when he gets out there.”
Mangini said Ward plays with wreckless abandon and that can, sometimes, be a positive.
“The thing I like about T.J. Ward is even if he’s unsure of where he’s going, he’s going to get there fast and someone is going to get hit,” Mangini said. “Sometimes, those mistakes have a way of working themselves out. He’s confident, he’s bright and he likes to hit people.”
Injury Update: Mangini said that the injury situation is the same as it was Wednesday.
“Jake (Delhomme) has made progress, but he is not going to practice today," Mangini said.
Offensive lineman Shawn Lauvao (ankle) and defensive lineman Shaun Rogers (ankle, hip) sat out Wednesday and also Thursday. Both were listed as doubtful, along with Delhomme. Also doubtful was defesive back Derrick Roberson (hip).
Questionable was linebacker Marcus Benard (shoulder), offensive lineman Floyd Womack (knee), defensive back Nick Sorenson (head) and long snapper Ryan Pontbriand (knee).
D’Qwell not Ruled Out: Linebacker D’Qwell Jackson (pectoral) has not been ruled out for Sunday’s game with the Chiefs. He was listed as doubtful, which means he has a 25 percent chance of playing.
Mangini mentioned again that he thought Jackson would return to practice on Friday. However, Mangini said they didn’t want to rush him back to action.
“I want him to take that step first and then if it works out, great,” he said. “We’ll talk about it and not rush something.”
Mangini not Involved in Brown: Mangini was asked if he had spoken to Jim Brown about possibly reconsidering and showing up for the Ring of Honor festivities this weekend. Reportedly, Mike Holmgren and Randy Lerner sent letters to Brown asking him to reconsider and come this weekend.
“The last I talked with Jim, it was more about the team,” Mangini said. “I would love everybody to be here, but the best to talk about that would be Mike.”
Home Opener: “I’m a big fan of playing at home because of the crowd, the energy and all the things that come with it are a real plus," Mangini said. "At home, you have the fans the cities and the energy this is a special moment with the activities.”
How important is it to win the home opener?
“We want to win them all,” Mangini said. “Now, it’s up to us to go out and get the wins and reinforce that to the players. Last year, we were making strides, but it wasn’t showing on the scoreboard and that’s tough when it’s not quite getting done."