Berea Report: Droughns Waiting to Break Loose

From Thursday's practice, Fred reports on a Browns RB who is aiming to go over 100 yards soon. Plus, a Browns injury update including a talk with Ryan Tucker, and the continuing Leigh Bodden watch...

BEREA – The Browns haven't had a running back rush for over 100 yards in a game this season, yet they have a back on pace to rush for over 1,000 yards.

Reuben Droughns is on pace to be the first Browns player to rush for 1,000 yards since the return of the Browns in 1999 and since 1985 when Kevin Mack and Earnest Byner both accomplished the feat. Currently, he is averaging 66 yards per game and has 331 yards on 86 rushes (3.8 avg.). At his current pace, Droughns would finish with 1,059 yards.

Droughns rushed for 1,240 yards on 275 carries last season for the Broncos, including six touchdowns. He averaged 4.5 yards per carry. He had six 100-yard games last season, but averaged 28-30 carries a game during those games.

Many believe for the Browns to be successful this week they need to commit to the running game. Droughns is averaging 17 carries per game and carried the ball just 15 times last week for 55 yards.

"We have the offensive line to run the ball," Droughns said. "We need to be balanced to be successful. We can run the ball more if we have success throwing the ball.

"It's never too late to establish the running game," he continued. "We can't shy away from the run."

Romeo Crennel was asked if the Browns abandoned the run too quickly against the Ravens.

"As a result of the early touchdown (by Baltimore) and being on the road, philosophically we felt we needed to get that score back right away," he said. "We probably dug ourselves into more of a hole."

The Lions have given up an average of over 100 yards a game against the rush—515 yards through five games.

"Detroit has a pretty good defense that has kept them in games," Crennel said. "They beat Baltimore and were in it with Carolina. We'll try to put the best plan together to go against them."

The Browns have no rushing touchdowns thus far this season.

"It's been very frustrating to me to not have any rushing touchdowns," Droughns said. "We have to find a way to somehow get the ball into the end zone."

Ironically, Droughns was drafted by this week's opponent the Lions in the third round of the 2000 NFL Draft.

"When the new regime came in they go rid of me," he said.

Garcia or Not
: Steve Mariucci is keeping his decision on the starting quarterback for Sunday's game under wraps. Joey Harrington has struggled in the first five games and Jeff Garcia is just returning from a broken leg suffered during the preseason.

Harrington has a QB rating of just 55.6. He has thrown four touchdown passes, while throwing eight interceptions. He has completed just 53.1 percent of his passes, while being sacked 14 times.

The former Browns quarterback was brought to Detroit because of his familiarity and success with Mariucci in the West Coast offense while the two were together in San Francisco.

"Some systems are more suited for different quarterbacks," Mariucci said. "Garcia is more athletic and moves around more than some quarterbacks. The common denominator is to know the scheme and provide leadership."

Mariucci pointed out that Harrington was in a similar offense under the Lions' previous coach.

"Joey was in a similar system before I got here with Marty Mohrnigweig," Mariucci said. "He has played well at times. We've tried to give him a supporting cast to help him out."

Crennel said the Browns are preparing for both quarterbacks.

"We still think it will be Harrington, but we're preparing for Garcia, as well," he said. "With Garcia, we need to try and minimize his scrambling if he's in there."

Injury Update: Crennel said there were no changes in the injury report. WR Braylon Edwards is still doubtful, while OT Ryan Tucker is still questionable.

"Braylon was frisky out there until we got to conditioning," Crennel said. "He's still doubtful, but the doctors will look at him after practice."

Crennel said Tucker's injury is more of "pain and discomfort" rather than an injury that could be further injured.

"The good news is it can't get any worse," Tucker said. "I'll just go day by day and see how I feel by Saturday. I would prefer to practice, but I could still play if need be."

Maybe Leigh: CB Leigh Bodden might be activated for this week's game to try and improve the Browns' struggling special teams. He has been inactive the past two weeks.

"Every week Leigh goes right down to the wire to be active or inactive," Crennel said. "Sometimes that doesn't have any thing to do with the guy's ability. He's in consideration for playing this week."

Bodden had 18 tackles on special teams last season to tie for the team lead.

The OBR Top Stories