Browns back Lewis say's he will be 100 percent for training camp
Thursday, May 31, 2007
By Steve Doerschuk
repository sports writer
BEREA After five spring practices, Jamal Lewis said the surgery seems to have worked. The spurs are out of his ankle. He's ready to dig in and ride.
"I feel so much better as far as making different cuts," the Browns running back said.
Playing for Baltimore in 2006, Lewis ranked seventh in the AFC in rushing yards and touchdowns, but he was nagged by ankle problems.
At age 27, he's trying to recapture the magic of 2003, when he rushed for 2,066 yards.
"I'm making cuts I haven't really made in the last two years," he said.
Lewis was supposed to ease back into spring and be at full go for summer training camp.
"I'm surprised to be out here this early," he said. "The trainers ... Marty (Lauzon) has taken care of me and everything.
"By training camp, I'll be 100 percent. Right now, I'm probably around 85 to 90 percent, but I feel well."
How close to full-go was he in his final year as a Raven?
"I wasn't at 90 percent at all last season," he said. "Under some good medication, I might have been 90 percent."
Lewis is adjusting to a new offense run by coordinator Rob Chudzinski.
"It's not as simple as Baltimore's was," Lewis said. "We kind of disguise things and keep eight out of the box.
"It's a lot of moving around, something I'm not used to. A lot of shifts and motions. There's a lot going in. It's very interesting. It'll keep you awake in meetings."
Chudzinski spent the last two years as an offensive coach with the Chargers.
"Ours is gonna be pretty much that package," Lewis said. "A lot of pounding. A lot of fullback leading up in the middle ... stretch plays also. A mixture of everything. I like it a lot."
No one has mentioned Lewis in the same breath as San Diego's LaDainian Tomlinson lately. It's interesting to note, though, that Tomlinson will turn 28 on June 23. Lewis won't be 28 until Aug. 29. Through 2003, Tomlinson and Lewis both had played in 48 games. Lewis had 4,757 rushing yards. Tomlinson had 4,564.
Does Lewis think he can be as dominant as Tomlinson or the other top running backs out there in 2007?
"In the right system - and I think this is the right system - I could be one of the best backs, if not the best in the NFL," Lewis said.
Reach Repository sports writer Steve Doerschuk at (330) 580-8347 or e-mail:
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