BEREA—What was that?
One gem to be pulled out of the rubble of Sunday’s loss to the Bengals was the return of the running game. The Browns rushed for 146 yards, with 121 by Jerome Harrison.
“I would take negative yards running, no touchdown and a win any day over a good personal performance and not winning,” Harrison said. “It’s tough to play this long and not have the ball fall your way. It’s tough.”
The Browns hadn’t had a 100-yard rusher in nearly two seasons, since Jamal Lewis did so on Dec. 30, 2007 against the 49ers in the season finale.
It was Harrison’s first career 100-yard game, who had 80 yards on three carries, including a 72-yard touchdown, against the Bills on Nov. 17, 2008. That was the last touchdown the Browns scored in 2008.
“I thought he had some real nice cuts and made some nice reads,” Eric Mangini said. “I think there were a couple of things he could’ve done better.
“It was nice to see him get 100 yards,” he said. “The offensive line did a nice job in opening up holes.”
Harrison has 181 yards on 48 carries on the season, while Lewis has 95 yards on 25 carries. Both players are averaging 3.8 a carry. Sunday’s performance lifted the offense all the way to the 27th rushing offense and 29th overall. Not a lot better, but it's progress.
“The guys up front made my job much easier,” Harrison said. “They were physical. They were awesome and made my job easier.”
The Browns running success was somewhat surprising due to the fact they were short on depth at the running back position with Lewis inactive and James Davis being placed on injured reserve prior to the game. Chris Jennings was signed from the practice squad and was active. He ran once for eight yards and caught a pass for two yards.
So how important was it for the Browns to get things going, in general?
“I think it lets everybody know that we’re dedicated to come together on offense, defense and special teams,” Harrison said. “We did some good things and we’ll go back and fix the mistakes we made and build on that.”
Braylon’s Brouhaha: WR Braylon Edwards was involved in a skirmish at a Cleveland bar in the wee hours of Monday morning according to Cleveland.com.
“There’s an incident with Braylon Edwards that I will continue to gather information on,” Mangini said.
It was reported that Edwards threw a punch at someone and the victim filed a police report and went to the hospital.
“Nobody wants to be in that situation,” Mangini said. “I only want to talk about our players in the most positive light. I want to talk about the positive things they are doing in the community.
“Sometimes, things happen and you address them,” he said. “We want to be the best Cleveland Browns possible, in every way.”
Mangini said he wants his players to be responsible citizens.
“Conduct is important,” he said. “We’ll go through the process and see where we’re at.”
Browns Football: Mangini said despite the loss, the Browns played the way he wants them to play.
“I was disappointed because we played the way I want the team to play,” he said. “We played Browns football.
“Guys were playing multiple roles like Mike Furrey on offense and safety, Mike Adams at cornerback and star,” Mangini said. “I don’t think there was any part of the game we weren’t playing complimentary football.
“If we continue to improve, things will change and the outcome will be different,” he said. “Nobody is happy with the outcome, but we made real strides in playing Browns football.”
What does he mean by "Browns Football"?
“Tough, hard-working football,” he said. “Fundamentally, it’s things I believe in my core.”
Mo’s Day: Mangini was impressed with the day that rookie WR Mohamed Massaquoi had.
“I told him he did great,” he said. “Every guy hits their stride in different times and he made the most of his opportunity.”
Massaquoi had eight catches for 148 yards, averaging 18.5 yards per catch.
QB Choice: Mangini was asked if he made the wrong choice at quarterback to start the season.
“You make the decision based on the information you have at that point,” he said. “As things change, you make the best decisions you can, at the time.”
Still Fight in the Dawgs: WR/KR Josh Cribbs, who combined for 243 all-purpose yards against the Bengals said the Browns are still trying to salvage the season.
“We’re a team that is still fighting,” Cribbs said. “We’re more than hungry, we’re starving.”