Cleveland Browns Season Preview: A Bold Break Out Player Prediction For 2010

Daniel WolfSenior Writer ISeptember 10, 2010

CLEVELAND - SEPTEMBER 2: James Davis #28 of the Cleveland Browns looks on against the Chicago Bears during the preseason game on September 2, 2010 at Cleveland Browns Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio. The Browns defeated the Bears 13-10. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns have already lost their 2010 second-round selection, rookie running back Montario Hardesty, but that does not mean that another running back might not step up his game and have a break-out year in 2010.

Right now, Browns fans are thinking that Jerome Harrison will be that break-out player, but instead, look for second-year running back James Davis to surprise in 2010.

Why not Harrison or Peyton Hillis?

Because Harrison is not a favorite of head coach Eric Mangini or the Browns' front office. If Harrison was, then they would have not traded for Hillis or drafted Hardesty this past offseason.

Harrison also had a contract dispute this offseason, but ended it during organized team activities after Hardesty starting getting a ton of praise and press for his play, and that dispute does not bode well for him since the team is rebuilding and needs players to buy in, not hold out.

It wasn't until both Jamal Lewis and Davis were out for the season in 2009 that Mangini had no other choice but to play Harrison in the final month of the season when he ran for over 550 yards.

Yes, Harrison did have a tremendous three-game run to close out the season, but the Browns still brought two more running backs into the fold and that says a lot about their confidence in him.

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He also has had issues picking up blitzers and blocking on passing plays, too.

As for Hillis, he is already a fan favorite and will run until the opposing defenses are lying on the ground wounded and bleeding, but Davis is a completely different story.

The 2009 preseason star as a rookie, Davis experienced a freak shoulder injury during practice and was out for the season.

Now 100-percent healthy, Davis has told Cleveland media that he is faster and stronger than one year ago due to his hard work and dedication when rehabbing back from his injury.

Davis can run with speed, power and slash in between defenders and is a great mix of many talents that most running backs would love to have.

With Hillis being the power to wear down defenses early, look for the Browns to possibly employ a plan to bring in either Harrison or Davis after Hillis has done the dirty work to work circles around a beaten defense.

As much as Harrison has earned the chance to start, he is still on a short leash, and if he cannot come out of the gates running hard, then look for more and more carries to be given to Davis as the season wears on.

Do not be surprised if Davis shows enough on the field early in the 2010 season to earn himself more touches per game than Harrison by midseason.

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(Also posted on Dawg Scooper: THE Cleveland Browns Blog)