Droughns Closes In on Mark

Reuben Droughns showed not long ago that he is well aware of the recent history of the Browns rushing attack. With each carry, Droughns gets closer to being the Browns first 1,000-yard running in twenty years...

Berea –Sunday could be the day or maybe next Sunday could be the day.

Whether it's this week or the following week, Browns fans have been waiting for 20 seasons to have a 1,000 yard rusher and it could happen as soon as this Sunday's game against the Vikings.

After last Sunday's 166 yards rushing performance, Reuben Droughns has 868 yards—just 132 shy of the magical 1,000-yard plateau.

The Browns have not had a 1,000-yard rusher since Kevin Mack and Earnest Byner both turned the trick in 1985. Mack had 1,104 yards and Byner finished with 1,002.

"(Getting 1,000 yards) means a lot to me," Droughns said. "I understand the streak the Browns have had in not having a 1,000-yard rusher. I definitely want to give something back to the Browns."

When you consider the history and tradition of the Browns great running backs it is hard to fathom the franchise going 20 years without a 1,000-yard rusher. Three former Browns running backs are Hall of Famers in Marion Motley, Jim Brown and Leroy Kelly. Besides the Hall of Famers, great backs like Greg Pruitt, Mike Pruitt, Bobby Mitchell, Dub Jones, as well as Mack and Byner have spent time in the Browns backfield.

Droughns rushed for 1,240 yards, including six touchdowns, last year for the Broncos. The Browns acquired Droughns in a trade with the Broncos for defensive linemen Ebenezer Ekuban and Michael Myers.

Jim Brown has the most rushing yards in one season with 1,863 in 1963. In fact, Brown has the top six single-season rushing yards total. Mike Pruitt has the seventh best season when he rushed for 1,294 yards in 1979. That mark is within shooting distance for Droughns with six games to play.

"I feel good," he said. "I definitely feel strong right now. I don't know about the string of back-to-back 100-yard games like I had last year, but I think we can be pretty successful.

"With our offensive line, I think it can happen."

Romeo Crennel has been happy with the play of Droughns.

"He makes those guys around him want to block for him," Crennel said. "Whether he's in the zone or not, I like what he's doing."

Quarterback Trent Dilfer says his job is easier because of the play of Droughns.

"The best part about it is when we make first downs, it creates momentum and balance," Dilfer said. "We have a lot of confidence in running the ball, right now."

Droughns was glad the Browns had faith in him and went out and got him.

"I think the Browns believed in me and that's why they brought me in here," Droughns said. "I just think they wanted to see who fit into the offense best."

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