2011 NFL Trade Deadline logo2011 NFL Trade Deadline

Jerome Harrison and Ronnie Brown Trade: Did Eagles or Lions Get Better End?

Danny PaskasSenior Analyst IOctober 19, 2011

Jerome Harrison and Ronnie Brown Trade: Did Eagles or Lions Get Better End?

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    It was a bonehead play. It should have been a simple goal-line run that failed against the San Francisco 49ers, but instead of just getting tackled and moving on to the next down, then Philadelphia Eagles RB Ronnie Brown, got it into his mind that it was a good idea to try to throw the ball as he was going down in the backfield.

    The play resulted in a bizarre fumble recovered by the 49ers.

    And that is what most Eagles fans will remember of Brown’s brief stint in Philly. Brown was signed as a luxury at the end of the Dream Team’s shopping spree, possibly as insurance if something would have happened to LeSean McCoy.

    While McCoy is putting up some good numbers, ranking fourth in the NFL in total yards, fifth in rushing yards and second in TDs, there is always the risk of injury. These days, a lot of teams favor using the two-back system, even if it is mostly one sided, such as with the Minnesota Vikings’ Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart and the New York Giants’ Ahmed Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs.

    The Eagles may have let Brown go a little too soon, throwing all their trust behind McCoy. They really did not see what they had in Brown who only got the chance to carry the ball for 13 times in six games.

    In trading him to the Detroit Lions for Jerome Harrison and a seventh round pick, the Eagles get back familiarity. While they did not know what they had in Brown and obviously were not willing to see, they know exactly what they have in Jerome Harrison.

    Harrison just spent last season in Philly as a solid backup to McCoy, carrying the ball 40 times for 239 yards with a TD in eight games.

    Here is a breakdown of the trade.

Jahvid Best Relief

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    The Detroit Lions are getting a need. With RB Jahvid Best battling concussions and possibly missing a game, Brown should be able to step in immediately and produce. He should be well rested, having not seeing too much action with the Eagles.

    When healthy, Brown is a productive starting RB, who just last season had 200 carries for 734 yards with five TDs while splitting time with Ricky Williams.

Jerome Harrison

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    Jerome Harrison gives the Eagles a chance to spell the much-used LeSean McCoy when need be. He can be used as a third down back, similarly to how the New York Jets have been using LaDainian Tomlinson.

    Harrison can also be used in the same backfield as McCoy, with Harrison being used as a runner and McCoy splitting out for a pass since McCoy has very good receiving skills.

Dual Threat Backfield

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    At 6’0”and 230 lbs. Brown gives the Lions a power running game they have been missing. Jahvid Best could never be confused with a power back, his game is all about speed and explosiveness.

    When Best is healthy, Brown could provide a perfect complement to him.

Philly's Crowded Backfield

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    Getting rid of Brown looks like it may have been a cost-cutting move for Philly, but it could have been a move to un-crowd a backfield to make way for rookie RB out of Pittsburgh Dion Lewis.

One-Sided Trade Favoring Detroit

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    If Ronnie Brown is healthy and gets his carries, this trade is going to look clearly one-sided, leaning Detroit's way. Brown and Best can combine to be a pretty good two back threat.

    Splitting carries can work wonders for a fragile Best. Brown can provide the power running while Best can provide the home run, big play ability.

    The Eagles just did not want a dual backfield and are ready to go all in with LeSean McCoy.  

    Lions head coach Jim Schwatrz should be happy.

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