Browns head coach Eric Mangini said Thursday that the decision to trade Jerome Harrison to Philadelphia for Mike Bell can be chalked up to the emergence of RB Peyton Hillis, as well as Bell being "more of a fit" for the Browns' offense.
"I think as Peyton's role has expanded and all the good things that he's done, the plays that we have for him have expanded," Mangini said. "Mike Bell is a guy that we liked in the free-agency process and really complements and is more of a fit for the type of plays that we use with Peyton. I thought that was a good fit for us. Obviously, Philly thought that Jerome was a good fit for them, so it worked out for both sides."
Harrison, who began the season as the starter, lost the starting job to Hillis after Week Three. Harrison rushed for 91 yards on 31 carries in four games this season after finishing the '09 season with a flourish, racking up 561 yards in the final three games.
As for the idea that Harrison was dealt because he was unhappy with his role, Mangini said: "Our decision is not going to be based on that at all. If anybody's ever dissatisfied with either their role or their situation, you always have the chance to talk to me about that and sit down. That's ongoing, and we hadn't had that conversation, so my assumption is that he understood his role, but that's really what it was. This decision and any of these decisions are going to be made based on what we think is going to help us move forward as a team, as opposed to that side of it."
Harrison told The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer Thursday that his lack of work this season was "mind-boggling."
"But it's the nature of the business," Harrison said, according to The Plain Dealer. I didn't understand it. I'm not an angry person, so I'm not upset. But I was a little frustrated."
The way we see it
Mangini said Bell is likely to be active Sunday at Pittsburgh. He could be Hillis' top backup, with James Davis also in the mix for carries.