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Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Jerome Harrison exits Browns' doghouse

By James Walker

As much as Browns head coach Eric Mangini denied Jerome Harrison was in his doghouse, that was the case in Cleveland. It's the primary reason the Browns traded Harrison to the Philadelphia Eagles for running back Mike Bell Wednesday.

Harrison
Harrison
Bell
Bell
Harrison, after a great finish to the 2009 season, never got off on the right foot in 2010. He was unhappy with his contract and held out for much of Cleveland's offseason program. In the process, the Browns traded for Peyton Hillis and drafted Montario Hardesty in the second round to add competition for Harrison's job. Harrison unhappily settled for a one-year tender.

After a sub-par training camp and preseason in which Harrison developed a fumbling issue, he fell further out of favor with the coaching staff. Hardesty's season-ending knee injury gave Harrison a brief chance to start, but the Browns had already lost trust in the running back. As soon as Hillis got hot, Cleveland didn't think twice about relegating Harrison to the bench, where he's been most of this season.

Bigger backs are what Mangini wants and Harrison didn't fit the mold. Harrison has talent but is better running outside than between the tackles and is shaky with picking up blitzes. With Hillis battling a quad injury, Cleveland gets another running back in Bell to provide depth. Bell has a clean slate and a better opportunity to gain the trust Harrison lost with the Browns.

A fresh start was best for both sides.