Friday Report: 2001 Redux?

David Carducci reports from Berea this afternoon on the possibility of a James Jackson returning to his role as starting running back this Sunday. Plus, updates on the starting quarterback job, and the health of the Browns offensive line...

James Jackson was asked if he knew who would start at quarterback for the Browns Sunday in New England, Tim Couch or Kelly Holcomb?

"Shoot," said Jackson. "I don't even know who is going to start at running back."

That starting running back might just be Jackson, who took the bulk of the reps with the No. 1 offense this week while William Green nursed his injured right shoulder.

"I got my work in, that's for sure," said Jackson, who admitted to being frustrated with losing his starting job last year.

"Everyone knows I was upset last year," said Jackson. "Truthfully, I didn't know if I wanted to come back."

Now Jackson seems re-energized after getting his most significant opportunity to run the ball last week in place of Green. With Green's shoulder injury and propensity to carry the ball with one arm, fumbling is a concern and that could turn the game-time decision in Jackson's favor.

"I feel like I'm running better than I ever have here," said Jackson. "And I've never had a problem fumbling the ball. I've always used two hands ... and since I've been here I've only fumbled once."

HOLCOMB OR COUCH? Butch Davis is sticking to his just before gametime decision on who will start at quarterback. Actually, that's been moved up a little bit.

"We'll probably wait until the 11:30, that's when we have to do it," said Davis.

The most likely scenario would have Couch starting, but with another short leash.

FAINE GETTING BETTER: Jeff Faine is still hoping he can start at center Sunday in New England, but the decision is still in the hands of team doctors.

"In a way, I'm actually glad the decision is not up to me," said Faine. If it were up to Faine, who has a sprained left MCL and missed the first game of his young career last week, he would be back in the lineup.

"It's feeling really good," said Faine. "I'm optimistic from the standpoint that I've made a lot of progress from not being able to walk to being able to do just about everything."

Still, Faine and left guard Shaun O'Hara, who has an injured right knee, did not practice Friday. While they are listed as questionable, smart money would be against their playing against the Patriots.

"There are pros and cons to playing," said Faine. "If I don't play, that's two weeks off of straight rest ... The pro is being able to go out there and help us win."


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