- The coaching staff of the Cleveland Browns is optimistic RB Jamal Lewis can regain the form that made him one of more productive backs in the league. Based on game film and intense study of the veteran, Lewis is expected to have the opportunity to thrive in the starting role.
Coming off ankle surgery, Lewis has not been full-go in OTA and mini-camp practice sessions, which has hindered the initial process of seeing Lewis in an active role.
- In film session evaluations, the Browns' coaching staff is of the belief Lewis has plenty left in the tank to play a major role in the upcoming season, if he continues to stay healthy. Lewis' physical running style and overall speed in the open field fit into the concept of the running-to-daylight rushing philosophy in Cleveland. The question a season ago was "had Lewis lost the initial quickness and burst to be a quality RB any longer?" Until the Browns staff gets Lewis on the field in training camp, the question remains unanswered.
- Though Lewis is in great physical condition and the ankle feeling very good, the Browns have taken a cautious approach with the RB. In Lewis' absence, fourth-year RB Jerome Harrison, Noah Herron and rookie James Davis have given the opportunities in the Browns backfield.
- Harrison has been a pleasant surprise for the new coaching staff in Cleveland. With a new staff in place, Harrison has been provided a clean slate to display his ability -- and the RB has done so in outstanding fashion. On film, the coaching staff viewed a player that understands how to read and follow blockers, is quicker than expected and runs through tackles. These qualities have elevated Harrison into a position where the staff is simply not looking at him as a spare part or special teams player exclusively.
- Rookie James Davis has walked into a very good opportunity with the Browns. Selected in the sixth round of the 2009 draft, there is no pressure or expectation on Davis to come in and be an immediate hit in the backfield. Though was a low-round selection, Davis has come to camp and been studious, taking in every bit of information from other RBs on the roster, as well as some up close and personal coaching.
Coming out of Clemson, there were plenty of scouts that picked away at Davis' skill-set. Playing for a Clemson team a season ago that struggled offensively, Davis was viewed by many as being a step slow, not quick enough for the pro game, while also not being sufficiently physical to become a legitimate quality back in the NFL.
Despite these evaluations, Davis has been more than the Browns immediately anticipated in the limited contact drills conducted from rookie camp through the mini-camp sessions in June. Davis is displaying solid vision, a low center of gravity that provides increased power and his feet are always moving.
With a rookie, you never know what you have until the pads are put on and the player has to react rather than think his way through a play and its responsibilities.
At the present, Davis is doing well, and one member of the Browns staff noted to theOBR that this Davis kid isn't a sixth-round talent.