October 30, 2014

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Browns notes: Top goal is getting a road win

BEREA — Coach Romeo Crennel has a singular theme this week: Win a road game.
The Browns are 0-2 away from Cleveland Browns Stadium this year, losing 26-24 at Oakland on a blocked field goal in the final seconds and 34-17 at unbeaten New England. The 0-7 Rams host the Browns on Sunday in the Edward Jones Dome.
“We haven’t won a road game this year. That’s why this game is a really big game for us,” Crennel said Thursday. “When you get the first pickle out of the jar it makes it easier to get the rest of them out.
“We have several road games coming up the rest of the season. I’ve impressed upon the guys how important it is that we win this game.”
The Browns play six road games in their remaining 10, including at all three AFC North rivals.
“On the road, there’s always adversity you have to overcome,” Crennel said. “Good teams are able to handle that. We have to play solid, sound football. If we don’t dig any holes, we’ll have a chance to win the game.”
The Browns fell behind Oakland 16-0 and New England 20-0 in the second quarter.

Room for three?

Running back Jerome Harrison opened some eyes against Miami, totaling 72 yards on nine touches in his first offensive action of the season. He rushed eight times for 57 yards and caught one pass for 15.
“I was very happy with the way Jerome responded,” general manager Phil Savage said. “Because if he goes out there and fumbles or drops the ball, then we probably won’t see him much the rest of the year. And now I think we will. And that’s a real positive.”
Harrison was active and part of the game plan because starter Jamal Lewis was out with a foot strain. Harrison said he didn’t know if there was room in the game plan and on the game-day roster for a healthy Lewis, backup Jason Wright and himself.

Fullback fallback

If Crennel decided to go with three running backs, that would likely mean backup fullback Charles Ali would be inactive, which he hasn’t been since the opener.
“It gives us some versatility. If one guy gets hurt, we still can have our personnel grouping that uses the fullback,” Crennel said. “That’s a personnel group we like a little bit, that’s why we activate two.”
Savage said he thinks Ali will be used more on offense in the last 10 games to give starter Lawrence Vickers more opportunities on special teams.

Injury update

Lewis was limited again Thursday, but Crennel said he came out of Wednesday’s practice OK.
“It’s encouraging to see him out there,” Crennel said.
Lewis strained his foot Oct. 7 on New England’s artificial turf, so Crennel was asked if that will be a concern on St. Louis’ turf.
“You think about that,” he said. “But you got to play the game. If he’s not well, there’d be more reservations. If he’s well, then he goes and plays.”
For the Rams, center Brett Rhomberg (ankle), defensive end Leonard Little (toe) and kick returner Dante Hall (ankle) are out.
Contact Scott Petrak at 329-7135 or spetrak@chroniclet.com.