Chiefs Will Be “Paying Attention” to Jerome Harrison

Last season, the Browns won a hard-fought, high-scoring battle with the Kansas City Chiefs thanks to two touchdown returns by Josh Cribbs and a record-breaking day for Jerome Harrison.  Rushing for 286 yards and three touchdowns on 34 carries, Harrison was integral in the 41-34 win that featured an amazingly low 66 yards passing. 

Needless to say, Harrison is no longer flying under the radar when it comes to Kansas City Chiefs head coach Todd Haley.

“I would say that I’m paying attention to Jerome,” said Haley. “We definitely have a jersey No. 35 out there and when you have a guy play as well as he did against us, you tend to not forget that for a long, long time.”

In the two games prior to that match-up with the Chiefs, Harrison had totaled only 17 carries and amassed 41 yards on the ground.  But once then-lead back Jamal Lewis was placed on the injured reserve, it was all Harrison and Arrowhead Stadium was his coming out party.

Unfortunately for Harrison, he was expected to be the lead back in a run-heavy offense in 2010 yet only received nine carries in week 1.  Though he totaled 52 yards (5.8 yards per carry), 39 yards came on one base draw play that was a part of the run-heavy first half.  In the second half, the Browns turned to the air more often than not and Harrison’s effectiveness was not able to be utilized.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers provided many defensive formations that featured at least eight men in the box – sometimes as many as 10 – forcing the Browns to attempt to beat them through the air.  Ultimately losing 17-14 on Sunday, the Browns will once again be forced to make the Chiefs – with newly-hired defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel – respect their passing game if Harrison is going to have a day even remotely close to what he provided one season prior.  An eight- or nine-man front with at least one man delegated as a spy on Harrison is not out of the question.

One man who could be responsible for keeping Harrison at bay is linebacker Derrick Johnson, a player who recorded 11 solo tackles and a forced fumble in the Chiefs’ Monday night win over the Chargers.  Johnson, naturally, is not going to focus on the past as much as he is this Sunday.

“We’re trying to move past last year,” said Johnson.  We didn’t win the game and that’s our ultimate goal.  You have to have a short term memory in this league so you have to forget last year and move on to this year.”

(Photo via Associated Press)

  • Scott

    “Did anyone ask Mangini the reasoning behind not running the ball in the 2nd half?”

    More or less, it was a function of the defensive sets they were given. As I wrote there were times when the Bucs put 10 guys inside of the “box.” Not many teams are going to be successful against that, thus it appears the team was hoping to gain some traction in the passing game, utlimately forcing the defensive backfield back.

    It just never materialized.

  • Andrew

    The real question is whether Brian Daboll and Eric Mangini will be paying attention to Harrison. It would be nice if they focused on him this week as much as the Chiefs seem to be.

  • Scott

    See, that’s where I disagree. I hope they continue to focus on Harrison because they’ll all be staring at the sidelines while Hillis carries the ball downfield.

  • Andrew

    Did anyone ask Mangini the reasoning behind not running the ball in the 2nd half? I mean it seems pretty obvious the combo of harrison and hillis was working (giving exception to the fumble). Why change?

  • Billy Thomas

    I think the Chiefs are “paying attention” so they will be close to the ball when he or whoever else fumbles it.

  • stin4u

    Even if X team loads the box with 8 to 10 men, our offense should still have Hillis in there pounding their brains out at 3 yards a carry. Just because they load the box doesn’t mean you HAVE to throw the ball….it just means there is a higher rate of success (unless your QB makes bad decisions).

    I’m going to continue to beat a dead horse by saying both Harrison and Hillis need to be utilized heavily with a good timeshare 50/50 or 60/40. If they load the box send in the hammer (Hillis) or at least attempt to get the screen game going with Harrison.

    I have a sneaky feeling were going to see quite a bit of James Davis this week….no info to back that up but just a gut feeling knowing Mangini.

  • Hamfist

    I’m of the opinion that if it’s working you do it till it’s not working.

    This “we need balance” be damned.

    Wishbone, dammit!!!

  • mgbode

    just because people keep saying we abandoned the run in the 2nd half doesn’t make it true. we didn’t until desperation time.

    2nd half drive statistics for the Browns:

    1st drive: 4/6 run plays
    2 pass plays were 3rd&5 and 1st&20

    2nd drive: 2/3 run plays
    1 pass play on 2nd&9

    3rd drive: 1/3 run plays
    2 pass plays on 1st&10 and 3rd&10

    4th drive: 2/3 run plays
    1 pass play on 2nd&10 (1 run play was Jake though)

    5th drive: 3 run plays

    6th drive(6:20 left): 3 pass plays (ending in long INT intended for MoMass)

    7th drive(2:16 left): 6 pass plays

    8th drive: 4 pass plays

    so, we actually ‘abandoned’ the run with 6:20 left in the game because we followed a drive with 3 straight runs with 3 straight passes.

    sorry, I’m just sick of everyone saying we abandoned the run in the 2nd half when it is not true. we were not successful running the ball in the 2nd half (or passing for that matter).

  • Ashtabula Heights

    @8, your right they ran it the second half. Majority of Harrison’s 1/2 yard runs were in the second half. Hillis barely touched it, might be why we lost momentum. Hillis is the only reason we had a chance to win the game.

  • bobby

    With 10 guys in the box I feel like it would be fairly easy to get some misdirection/stretch wide with harrision. If you get Vickers and (I cant believe im saying this) Royal with a swinging G to build that wall you can get 5 yards a carry. If they load the outside go up the gut. Harrison found his way through holes last year. Im fine pulling jumbo sets out with 10 guys in the box. 60:40 run:pass is what this O should try to get. Control the clock, Control the ball, Control the game. Limit the possessions of the opposing team and Ill take our D giving up less the 14.

  • bobby

    And, I would start Harrison and let him get going, then send out Hillis. Someone mentioned earlier, Harrison seems to need to get carries to get goin while Hillis just crushes people regardless.

  • Anthony

    Maybe Cribbs can just return a few more TD’s again and we won’t even have to worry about the amount of carries dished out.

    I’ll be at that game right in the dawg pound. Let’s go brownies!!

  • sealedhuman

    Hey, that’s great! But who are the Chefs?

  • mgbode

    @13 great googly moogly :)

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