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Browns' Harrison feels he's the right size to fill team's RB needs


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I admit it. I'm a Harrison fan. http://www.cantonrep.com/browns/x214595570...-teams-RB-needs



Browns' Harrison feels he's the right size to fill team's RB needs



Browns running back Jerome Harrison looks for running room in the first quarter of Sunday's Family Day scrimmage at Cleveland Browns Stadium.




By Steve Doerschuk

CantonRep.com staff writer

Posted Aug 11, 2009 @ 11:56 PM




Why should running back Jerome Harrison sell himself short just because others do?


They think he’s too small, but he grew up dunking basketballs. He knows he can play football.


“It’s not going to change,” Harrison said. “I’m 5-foot-9, 205 pounds. Period. That’s how God made me. That’s how I want to be.


“If I could be taller, would I? Hell no. I mean, this is me. This is who I love to be, and I’m comfortable with it.”


Who are “they?” Arguably, the previous Browns regime was full of them. A Round 5 pick in 2006, Harrison kept making the team, but when Sundays came, suspicious minds worried about his size.


He was a workhorse and a star at Washington State, carrying the ball 482 times during the 2004 and ’06 seasons.


In the latter, he rushed for 1,900 yards. In three years under Romeo Crennel, Harrison carried the ball just 77 times.


The fact he averaged 5.8 yards on those carries had his supporters clamoring for more. Some of those supporters have defected, thinking they see as much flash and promise — and more size — in 5-foot-11 rookie James Davis.


Late in Tuesday’s practice, Harrison hit a hole and made three rapid cuts within 15 yards. Some said those cuts are what separates Harrison. Others said, no, Davis cuts just as well.


“James is making a lot of plays, making a lot of good reads, making people miss,” Harrison said diplomatically. “As a running-back group, we all bring individual things. I think we’re all good at something.”


Since Harrison played college ball in the Pac-10, it’s easy to forget he grew up in Kalamazoo, Mich., with parents who hail from Detroit.


He remembers when the Lions were good, and Hall of Fame back Barry Sanders was his hero.


“The stuff he used to do, I used to try.” Harrison said, “But I can’t try that out here. He was the only one that could do that on this level.”


Still, Harrison’s moves have turned heads, such as when he raced 72 yards for a touchdown Nov. 17 at Buffalo. He is the last Browns offensive player to score.


“When they happen, it’s not something I plan,” Harrison said. “It’s just instincts.


“There’s only so much you can study. It’s like life. When you get out there, things never go as planned. At the drop of a dime, you’ve got to be ready to react, and God blessed me, so I can react.”


Harrison would love to pick Sanders’ brain, but Harrison hasn’t bumped into Sanders since attending Lions training camp with his youth football team, the Rockets.


“He came over and said hello to the Rockets. I shook his hand,” Harrison said. “I was star struck. I probably didn’t even say hello back.”


Harrison did take notice, though, of a Sanders trait that inspired him then and has stayed in his mind.


“He was so small,” Harrison said, “and I was like .... oh yeah.”


A lot with a little


Harrison has been good at popping big plays amid very few opportunities. In three 2007 wins, he delivered:


• A 17-yard carry with only two touches against Eric Mangini’s Jets;


• 32 yards on five carries at St. Louis;


• 57 yards on eight carries against the Dolphins and 15 yards on his only catch.


His 2008 highlights included:


• Just two touches in a home game against Pittsburgh but one was a 23-yard catch;


• His only touch at Baltimore resulted in a 19-yard catch;


• Among his four touches against the Giants were a 33-yard run and an 18-yard catch;


• One of his three carries at Buffalo was a 72-yard touchdown run.


Laying low


As a smallish running back, Harrison doesn’t stand out in a crowd and isn’t often recognized in public. That’s fine by him.


“Not having much attention, that’s the best part,” Harrison said. “You stay away from a lot of trouble like that.


“Sometimes when I go certain places, somebody might say, ‘You play in Cleveland?’ I shake my head no.”


Browns camp color


The camp clown on defense, before he got cut, was defensive lineman Shaun Smith.


On offense, it’s a guy who will make the team, quarterback Derek Anderson.


Tuesday’s example came early, with just a few spectators watching a drill featuring passes to running back Jamal Lewis.


After one Anderson fastball went through Lewis’ hands and bounced off his chest, the quarterback disguised some sarcasm as an honest apology. “Sorry about that,” Anderson said to No. 31. “Hit you right between the 3 and the 1.”


One of the knocks against Anderson is he sometimes guns the ball 60 miles and hour when 40 might work better. Along those lines, Lewis got even with Anderson.


Moments after his drop, Lewis caught the same sort of pass from backup QB Richard Bartel.


“There you go, Bartel,” Lewis said. “Now that’s touch.”





Edit 10-12-09 for bolding.

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  • 1 month later...

Please note the Aug.12 OP date for the above. The bolded section at the bottom is noteworthy.


Wouldn't one have to wonder why a QB finds it amusing when his receivers can't find the handle.


Yeah yeah . . . I know . . . the Browns need some receivers that can catch. Whatever. Jamal too I suppose.

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I doubt Anderson's rocketed, nose-down, five-yard passes have escaped conversation among backs OR WRs.


And many drops yesterday steemed from such a hard-to-catch pass. But this is the NFL and frankly I really don't care how hard ANY gorillia throws a ball into an NFL Receivers chest, or hand for that manner ... they need to make plays and they need to catch them.


Crossing patterns rocketed behind the receiver, I can live with the drop. Button-hooks and out patterns that the ball eats-you-up are unexcusable for an NFL receiver.


I don't think Anderson could have put better touch on the pass to Royal. Ccribbs tried to run without the ball a few times (It happens, and coaches start working on that in grade school). Having a ball hit your palms repeatidly without securing 90% of them, is a fiasco for a WR.


Sure DA is to blame, somewhat ... but yesterday was more WR 'drops' than too hot to handle fastballs.

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Very few ppl can catch a ball I throw at 5yds as hard as I can, let alone Anderson


I definitely think Harrison shouldve gotten more carries, especially counters, tosses, and off tackle plays. He was run up the gut most of the game


You're going to have to explain those to Daboll... He gets confused by words he hasn't seen before.

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Very few ppl can catch a ball I throw at 5yds as hard as I can, let alone Anderson



"He throws so hard that it was a problem for us receivers at first. He was throwing the ball twice as fast as anyone I'd ever seen. It was the difference between catching a 90-mile-an-hour fastball and a changeup. He could throw it on a line for 40, 50 yards, and he could throw it 85 yards if he had to. For a while the coaches debated whether to ask him to soften up. Finally they came to us and said, 'We're not going to ask John to change. It's up to you to adjust. He's our man.' We adjusted. We learned to concentrate on the ball more, to secure it before we took off."


That quote is about Elway. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/art...987/2/index.htm


Elway would gun the ball from 10-15 yards away from his receivers. He would break their fingers.


Remember the three amigos saying that how Elway threw the ball was an advantage to them because DBs were not used to the velocity?


Yes, Anderson had a horrible game. But this "he throws the ball too hard" stuff is crap.


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Broken Fingers= IR or our at least our starters sitting out


Seriously, how stupid does that sound?


"DA is awesome guys!!! He breaks receivers fingers with his rocket arm throws!!!"


Did I miss something? Did DA break someone's fingers? I don't think he EVER has in his time for the Browns.


My point is that Elway gunned the ball and his receivers adjusted. He (John Elway) threw it so hard that it broke his (John Elway's) receivers fingers. You can look up a quote from Donald Driver regarding how many times Farve has broken his fingers. He claims that over their years Farve broke all of them. No one (knowledgeable) has ever said that Farve or Elway needed to lob underhand tosses to their receivers. He's not throwing to my 9-year-old daughter.


Anderson isn't the first Qb to throw the ball hard. To my knowledge, he's never broken any of his receiver's fingers, UNLIKE Farve and Elway. NFL skilled players need to catch the ball or find another line of work.


Did you really not get the very obvious point of the post? Really?


DA's problem is his lack of accuracy -- not that he throws the ball too hard.

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