CLEVELAND, AUG. 25 -- Redskins fans might have to look twice when watching Browns running back Eric Metcalf. At first glance, they might think they're seeing his father, Terry -- a former Redskin -- back in action.

Metcalf, an all-purpose speedster from Arlington's Bishop O'Connell High School, patterned himself after his father by watching films.

It worked.

Most observers find the similarities astonishing. "I haven't seen a running style like this since his father," said Redskins running back James Wilder. "He's so explosive, so quick. I don't think we'll see anyone like him for many years."

Even Terry Metcalf, who finished his career in Washington, said he's stunned. "When I see films of Eric, it's like looking in the mirror. It's like reliving my life. Cleveland is a good situation for Eric. They have a lot of talent on offense and he doesn't have to take all the pressure. He can be the icing on the cake."

In the Redskins' 31-13 victory tonight over the Browns at Cleveland Stadium, Metcalf zigged and zagged to 53 yards on eight carries and 18 yards on three receptions. He shook off cornerback Darrell Green on the first series of the game for a 21-yard gain -- the longest for the Browns this exhibition season.

Metcalf will return kickoffs for the Browns this season, but got a bye on the assignment tonight because he's recovering from a hip flexor. "I was not satisfied with my performance," he said. "I am looking forward to getting the ball more this season. The more times I get the ball this season the more I will score."

The Browns selected Metcalf from the University of Texas as the No. 13 pick last year. In his first season he finished second on their all-time rookie touchdown list with 10, tying Kevin Mack (1985) and Jim Brown (1957).

He had 1,748 combined yards -- rushing, receiving and kick returns. He led the Browns in rushing with 633 yards on 187 carries and six touchdowns. He also broke the Browns' rookie mark with 54 catches for 397 yards.

"This game was kind of special for me because I was playing against players my dad played with," said Metcalf. "My dad did not give me any pointers on tonight's game. Dad never talks football with me."

Metcalf, who missed last year's training camp in a contract dispute, is now a happy camper. "Being in this year's training camp gives me a chance to come in with everyone else and learn the plays."

Among the Browns' decisions this year is whether to keep young Jerry Kauric over veteran placekicker Matt Bahr, who missed field goals of 37 and 40 yards before hitting one from 37. He was booed by the fans and Ccoach Bud Carson was anything but comforting after the game: "I would have said before tonight that Matt was still our guy. But he didn't do himself any good."

Other than Bahr, Carson could barely fault an offense that had a terrific first half. When his starters were in, the Browns dominated the Redskins, gaining 109 yards the first quarter, 169 for the half. "Our offense looked very good to me," he said.

He also praised veteran quarterback Pat Ryan, who took over for Bernie Kosar in the second half and completed 11 of 18 for 187 yards and a touchdown. He got the Browns their final touchdown with completions of 6, 17, 36 and 21 yards.

"He can come off the bench and make things happen," Carson said. "When he got some protection, he looked very good."