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Saturday, August 19, 2006

Jerome Harrison Rises; Browns Win 20-16

Unlikely hero leads Browns to 20-16 win

NFL.com wire reports

CLEVELAND (Aug. 18, 2006) -- Jerome Harrison came to the NFL with a simple, modest plan.

"I just practice hard, line up where the coaches tell me to line up and make plays," he said.

In a short time, the little running back has made a bunch of them.

The 5-foot-9 rookie caught a 31-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter and finished with 107 total yards as the Cleveland Browns rallied for a 20-16 win over the Detroit Lions.

With the Browns down 16-10, third-string quarterback Derek Anderson hit Harrison in stride over the middle for the go-ahead score. Harrison, who rushed for 1,900 yards at Washington State in 2005, ran for 53 yards on nine carries and had six receptions for 54.

The Browns were helped to a win by diminutive running back.
Browns coach Romeo Crennel has been impressed with Harrison's fast start.

"The Harrison kid caught the ball and ran with it," Crennel said. "He looked pretty good. He has quickness and change of pace. If he continues to improve, we'll all feel good."

The Browns are also feeling better about tight end Kellen Winslow, the former first-round pick who missed most of the past two seasons with leg injuries. He had three catches for 37 yards -- all in the first half.

"I'm not nervous. I'm not pressing and I'm out there having fun," said Winslow, who believes he'll have a big season. "Oh yeah. I'm looking to dominate."

Harrison has emerged as a multipurpose threat for the Browns (1-1), who looked much better on both side of the ball than they did a week ago in a listless 20-7 loss at Philadelphia. Harrison scored Cleveland's lone touchdown against the Eagles.

Taken in the fifth round (145th overall) by the Browns, Harrison has shown speed, agility and toughness. Although he's the shortest Browns player, Harrison hasn't been intimidated about running inside.

"He's looked great, I knew he would," said Anderson, who played against Harrison in college.

Matt Prater kicked three field goals -- 22, 44 and 48 yards -- for the Lions (1-1).

An undrafted rookie from Central Florida, Prater has no chance of beating out Jason Hanson, Detroit's all-time scoring leader and one of the NFL's most consistent kickers for the past 14 seasons. However, Prater's strong kicking could land him a job elsewhere, or force the Lions to keep him around.

Lions coach Rod Marinelli said he's considering keeping two kickers.

"He was a beast," Marinelli said. "He did a great job tonight."

Browns starting quarterback Charlie Frye finished 8 of 11 for 41 yards with one touchdown, one interception and one fumble in four series.

Except for throwing the pick to cornerback Dre Bly on his fourth attempt, Frye showed nice poise and pocket presence. His performance had to be reassuring to Crennel, who handed the starting job to the second-year quarterback when he traded veteran Trent Dilfer to San Francisco.

The Browns also got big plays from rookie linebackers Kamerion Wimbley, D'Qwell Jackson and nose tackle Baba Oshinowo. Wimbley had a sack, Jackson made an interception and Oshinowo and a late sack as Detroit was driving.

Lions starter Jon Kitna played the entire first half, completing 7 of 12 passes for 94 yards and one touchdown. Kitna's passing was one of the few bright spots as the Lions first-team offense managed just 3 yards rushing on nine attempts against Cleveland's defensive starters.

Frye bounced back from throwing an interception on Cleveland's first possession by hitting Dennis Northcutt for a 5-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter to put the Browns ahead 7-0.

After taking a low snap from new center Ross Tucker, Frye scrambled to buy himself time before zipping his pass over the middle to Northcutt, who has been his favorite target during camp.

Frye's next attempt didn't go as well. Detroit defensive end James Hall beat tackle Kevin Shaffer on an outside rush and stripped the ball from Frye deep in Cleveland territory.

Three plays later, Kitna hit Kevin Jones for a 2-yard touchdown to tie it.


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