Jerome Harrison Set To Take the Reins as Cleveland Browns' Feature Back

Brian MurtaughAnalyst ISeptember 5, 2010

Harrison looks to shake a tackle as the Browns take on the Lions at Ford Field
Harrison looks to shake a tackle as the Browns take on the Lions at Ford FieldGregory Shamus/Getty Images

In the aftermath of Monterio Hardesty’s injury and the roster cut that send Chris Jennings packing, the Cleveland Browns are now in position to move forward with their feature back, Jerome Harrison.

Harrison will enter the 2010 campaign as a running back that is relatively unproven and has very low miles on his legs. In just his fifth season, Jerome has made Cleveland fans into believers after almost solely carrying the Browns to four consecutive wins at the end of the 2009 season.

But should Browns fans be so quick to believe that Harrison is the running back of the future?

So far in the 2010 preseason Harrison has 23 carries for a total of 72 yards and one trip to the endzone. Even though those numbers are spread out over the course of three preseason games, they show solid production from the running back position that the Browns have been lacking in the last few seasons.

Even though it is worthy to note that preseason stats mean nothing in the long run, Harrison has compiled better preseason stats than some bigger name backs like Ryan Grant and Adrian Peterson.

Last season, Harrison was second in line behind former Browns running back Jamal Lewis for much of the first part of the season. To everyone’s surprise, the second half of the year was like a whole new ballgame as Lewis would eventually bow into early retirement and Harrison would compile almost 200 rushing attempts and 862 yards on the ground.

Harrison also shocked everyone when he dashed for 286 yards and three touchdowns against Kansas City in week 15.

Looking at all of these numbers makes it very easy to see why Cleveland Browns fans would be excited about Jerome Harrison in 2010.

Harrison will definitely get his opportunity to become a star this season as Cleveland has made their final roster cuts. James Davis is expected to be listed as the No. 2 halfback on the depth chart but will more than likely not see playing time before offseason acquisition Peyton Hillis gets some opportunities.

Hillis has impressed everyone that has seen him play this preseason as he has shown his power run style and his “refuse to be tackled” drive.

Harrison will be a great compliment to this style of run as Jerome is traditionally a quick runner with the ability to make very smooth cuts up field.

Aside from his rushing capabilities, Harrison will also have a significant impact on the play of Jake Delhomme. Last season, Harrison caught a total of 34 passes for 220 yards and one two touchdowns. Even though those numbers are not staggering, they should improve as Harrison is worked into the system more often.

Jerome Harrison is yet another question mark surrounding the Browns this season. When you play for the Cleveland Browns, slight success is always followed be extreme optimism whenever the next season rolls around. This situation will be no different but fortunately for Cleveland fans’ this time the optimism may be well-warranted.