Back in 2006 when the Browns selected Jerome Harrison out of Washington State I had a gut feeling that he was someday going to shine. I bought quite a few of his Bowman Chrome rookie cards and autographs. I could easily see him winning the job as starting tailback after only really needing to beat out Reuben Droughns. That never materialized in 2006 and he gained a measly 60 yards on 20 attempts.
In 2007 I thought, OK he’s now used to the system, he just has to win the starting job. He didn’t win that job and continued to be a backup. He managed to get through his rookie contract unscathed and secure his second contract with the Browns. In 2008 he remained a valuable backup gaining 246 yards on 34 carries. You could begin to see that he could be a game changing back. He averaged 7 yards per carry (thanks mainly to a 72 yard rushing touchdown).
So you could see my frustration when 2009 rolled around and I thought for certain he would at least be getting some carries, maybe even start. Well it didn’t work out that way, Jamal Lewis won out the starting job and he looked just pathetic after hitting the proverbial wall (30 years old). Finally after quite a bit of losing the Browns shifted Harrison to a starting role last weekend and he had the greatest rushing game in Browns history.
He rushed for 286 yards on 34 carries and three touchdowns. His average was an incredible 8.4 yards per carry. Now I am not going to go off and say I told you so, because there was absolutely no way anyone could have predicted this. He wasn’t even supposed to get the majority of the carries. I think though that the Browns have another weapon besides Cribbs. Now they just need a quarterback, because if you think Anderson or Quinn are going to be the franchise quarterbacks they need, you are out of your mind. Unfortunately they went and signed Holmgren as the new GM which if you are a Seahawks fan, you know how bad that has gone in the past. Mike is a great coach, but GM not so much.
So what is in store for Harrison over the next two games? I think he is going to be getting the ball an awful lot. As far as his cards go, they could have been had for pennies. Now you are going to have to pony up. The exquisite rookie autograph pictured below could have been had for less than $5 before the season started (I bought one). Now you’ll have to fork over $25 – $35. Most of his other autographed cards are in high demand as well. Most are selling between $10 – $20. Is it worth the risk right now? No way, wait until the season ends and pick it up in the off-season. I do think though that the Browns have found there go to man out of the backfield.