Jerome Harrison hasn’t really shown up yet this season for the most part. He was inactive last week with a thigh injury and before that most people think of fumbles more than they think of his dominating end-of-season running performance during the winning streak. Last week, when he was inactive, Harrison’s name was further pushed out of our memories by the dominant performance by Peyton Hillis. Obviously, it must be very frustrating for Harrison. When asked by the media about how Hillis’ big day changes his role, Harrison replied with a biting statement. ”I never knew what my role was, so I can’t answer that question.”
Let’s just say that I don’t think that frame of mind is conducive to contributing on the football field. An NFL player is at his best when he is feeling confident. He must feel confident in what his assignments are on the field. He must feel confident that he is capable of making plays on the field. These are a lot of the same things we were talking about relative to Eric Wright having a short memory and bouncing back from his bad day. Jerome Harrison needs to find a way to bounce back from his injury and also Hillis’ good day. For whatever reason, I kind of expect it too.
Assuming Jerome Harrison is healthy there is no reason why he shouldn’t carry some of the workload and be really successful. Terry Pluto wrote about it this week when talking about Hillis’ big day. Hillis gained 49 yards in 6 carries to the right and 89 yards on 13 carries to the left. In the first two weeks against the Bucs and Chiefs, the holes didn’t seem to materialize the way they did against the Ravens. I can’t prove it with any level of certainty, but it seems to me that the addition of Pashos to the right side of the line could have had something to do with the increased production on the ground. Maybe it was a bad day for the Ravens who terminated Trevor Pryce’s contract this week, but we’ll see.
The point is that whether Pashos improved the line, or the Browns offensive line is gaining some fluidity as a whole, when Jerome Harrison hopefully gets back in there this week there will be some production to be had. Assuming Harrison is healthy and assuming he doesn’t put the ball on the ground again, it really still could be a two-headed monster between Hillis and Harrison. Hillis looked great a week ago, but some of you noted that he doesn’t look natural once he gets out into the secondary. If Harrison gets out there in the secondary you have to assume that he will be able to turn some of those home run performances in too.
It is just funny how fickle the Cleveland fan base is sometimes. Some of you have already given up on Jerome Harrison again because he didn’t pick up right where he left off a year ago. Newsflash though. The team as a whole didn’t pick up right where they left off a year ago. That includes the offensive line, the quarterbacks and everything else. There is still time. This is a long season and I haven’t ruled out the thunder and lightning running attack that I thought we would see coming into pre-season.