TheClevelandSound Posted October 14, 2010 Report Share Posted October 14, 2010 http://www.cleveland.com/browns/index.ssf/...rome_har_2.html BEREA, Ohio -- Browns running back Jerome Harrison, who was traded to the Eagles Wednesday for running back Mike Bell, was baffled about being overlooked this season after breaking records and saving jobs at the end of 2009. "I couldn't understand how that happened and that really had me spent," said Harrison in a phone interview. "I didn't understand one part of how it happened. I didn't get into any fights with anybody and I didn't think there were any bad feelings toward me by any of the coaches or anything." Harrison, who was frustrated all season, rushed for 561 yards and five touchdowns over the final three games of last season and was a prime reason for the four-game winning streak that saved Eric Mangini's job. His 286 yards against Kansas City broke Jim Brown's single-game team mark and ranked third in the NFL. Yet, this season, he was replaced by rookie Montario Hardesty right from the start and then Peyton Hillis after Hardesty suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament. All told, Harrison had 91 yards on 31 carries in three games after being inactive in Baltimore. He also caught four passes for 42 yards. "It was mind-boggling," said Harrison. "But it's the nature of the business. I didn't understand it. I'm not an angry person, so I'm not upset. But I was a little frustrated." Harrison (5-9, 205) was surprised to be on the sidelines for the opener in Tampa while Hillis started. Harrison was limited to nine carries for 52 yards. "I don't think I was what they wanted," he said. "People have different likes and dislikes. I don't think I was in their current plans or their future plans." Harrison, in the last year of his contract, did get 16 carries the following week against Kansas City, but lost a fumble. The Browns thought he was down, but Mangini stressed that it shouldn't have been on the ground in the first place. The next week, Harrison was inactive with a thigh injury in Baltimore while Hillis rushed for 144 yards. A few days later, when Harrison was asked if his role might change, he said, "I didn't know what my role was in the first place." Asked about his carries, he said, "What carries?" The comments didn't sit well with the Browns, but Harrison said he never heard directly of any displeasure. Instead, Mangini said publicly that if Harrison had a problem, his door was always open. Harrison never took him up on it. The following game against Cincinnati, the Browns got their point across: Harrison stood on the sidelines the whole game, trotting out only for the final three plays in the victory formation. "[Mangini] and I never had words with each other," said Harrison. "There was never any 'I can't stand you, I hate your guts' or anything. The little I did talk to him, we laughed and joked." Harrison said his 2.9-yard average this season was a function of not getting many chances. In four games, he ran nine, 16, zero and six times. Sunday against Atlanta, he gained only six yards on his six carries. "If you watch those last few games of last season, all my yards came in the second half," he said. "That's just how it's always been my whole career. It always helps to get in a rhythm." Harrison said he's overjoyed to have been traded to the Eagles, who are 3-2 and expected to contend for the NFC East title. "All I can say is thank you," he said. "I don't feel like they were using me there, so thank you for letting me get the opportunity somewhere else. Excitement might be an understatement. I just want to go somewhere and win." Harrison said the most disappointing part is that he dedicated himself to turning the Browns around in the off-season. "I thought I could rush for more than 1,500 yards and take this team to the playoffs," he said. "I really wanted to be part of the turnaround. I liked where [team president] Mike Holmgren was taking this team. I love all my teammates and the fans in Cleveland. My time here has been amazing. I really did plan on being here." Bell (6-0, 225) is said to be a better fit for the Browns' power-running game. Originally signed by the Broncos as an undrafted rookie out of Arizona in 2006, he also spent time with the Texans and Saints, leading New Orleans with 172 carries in 2009 and finishing second with 654 yards. Bell rushed two times for four yards in the Super Bowl victory over the Colts. Signed as a restricted free agent by the Eagles, Bell struggled with injuries during training camp and was limited to 28 yards on 16 carries this season. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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