Lions sign Mike Bell, Jerome Harrison

A day after losing rookie running back Mikel Leshoure for the season, the Detroit Lions have picked up two new running backs.

The Lions announced this morning that they have signed Mike Bell and Jerome Harrison.

Both Bell and Harrison are 28-year-olds entering their sixth NFL seasons, and the two of them were actually traded for each other last year, with Harrison going from Cleveland to Philadelphia in exchange for Bell.

Bell’s best NFL season was his rookie year with the Broncos in 2006. He joined the team as an undrafted free agent and surprisingly was proclaimed the best running back in training camp by coach Mike Shanahan, and he ended his rookie year with 157 carries for 677 yards and eight touchdowns. Since then, however, he’s bounced around the league and only been productive at one stop, in New Orleans in 2009.

Harrison had a great college career at Washington State and was selected by the Browns in the fifth round of the 2006 NFL draft. He was mostly a role player in Cleveland, but he briefly emerged as a workhorse at the end of the 2009 season, with an incredible 106 carries for 561 yards and five touchdowns in the Browns’ last three games.

In 2010 Harrison lost his starting job to Peyton Hillis and was an afterthought in Cleveland, but after the Browns traded him to the Eagles he had a couple of solid games, carrying 11 times for 109 yards against the Redskins and 21 times for 99 yards against the Cowboys.

Jahvid Best is the Lions’ No. 1 running back, but there’s a good chance that both Bell and Harrison will make the Lions’ roster as backups.

27 responses to “Lions sign Mike Bell, Jerome Harrison

  1. Lions just keep getting more and more dangerous on both sides of the ball. These are two solid, if unspectacular, pick ups. Especially in Harrison who is pretty underrated. Mike Bell should wind up the number 3 back I’m guessing.

  2. Tough to see Leshoure out, but these are two good pickups.

    Neither will pound like Mikel, but Bell can move the pile, and Harrison will cause lots of 4th quarter damage after D-lines are worn down.

  3. Bell has talent but ended up in Sean Payton’s doghouse for having his head up his ass, both on and off the field. That’s why the team didn’t bother to bring him back after SB XLIV.

  4. Really, I dont think Lions fans should be (or are)excited about two journeymen that no one was interested in signing. One can bowl into a pile and one can beat a tired defense? That’s worth raving about? That makes them more and more dangerous?

    Too me it sucks that we cant ever see what this “resurging” Lions team can be because they have injuries to key pieces so often.

  5. @jacksaysfu – your teams probably don’t have decent offensive coordinators like Detroit does, or like NO did when they had Bell, or like Philly did when they had Harrison. Sorry about your luck, pal. These two guys will help Detroit in a pretty big way.

    Detroit almost landed Ricky Williams, and he may have had a worse year last year than both Harrison and Bell – so what would you have said then? “Don’t get too excited, Lions fans?”

  6. Bell is a between-the-tackles plodder. He’s not a good fit for the Lions, as he’s a (quietly) bad short yardage runner. Which is probably why they want him

    Harrison will be the #2 and should have a good year there. He’s quick and has decent speed, but definitely is a better pure runner then Bell

  7. These guys are camp fodder. Unless they really blow away the braintrust in their camp tryouts, I fully expect to see them tossed with the final cut downs, when it’s likely my Leos will pick up someone more talented who couldn’t quite make the team somewhere else.

    With packed rosters in camp, pickings are slim right now but they’ll be a lot better talent available in a couple weeks.

  8. Not sure of their special teams situation, but isn’t the third back supposed to contribute on ST? Not sure either of them fits that bill, so it may be a competition to be back-up with the loser being cut. I just don’t see them as the #2 and 3 as some have mentioned.

  9. touchdownroddywhite says:

    Lions just keep getting more and more dangerous on both sides of the ball.

    We apparently have very different definitions of dangerous.

  10. FWIW, Best will start, with Maurice Morris as the likely #2. Harrison or Bell should be the #3 (maybe 2) and the odd man out will be cut, probably Bell. Also in the mix is Aaron Brown, who has been completely lackluster since his 3rd round selection out of TCU in 08.

  11. foul83 says:
    Aug 9, 2011 10:48 AM
    I didn’t know lions were scavengers. Biting on Eagles scraps. Have fun.

    how did Ernie Sims work out for ya?

  12. @foul what do you think the eagles have been doing? They cant coach any players so they have to grab everyone’s talent. so i didnt know eagles were scavengers. Biting on NFL’s scaps. have fun.

  13. kingsrandom says:
    Aug 9, 2011 10:28 AM
    Not sure of their special teams situation, but isn’t the third back supposed to contribute on ST? Not sure either of them fits that bill, so it may be a competition to be back-up with the loser being cut. I just don’t see them as the #2 and 3 as some have mentioned.

    They brought in two RBs because brittle Jahvid Best will probably hurt his mangina and the Lions will end up needing both of them this season.

  14. As long as Stafford is the QB, Lions will never see a winning record or a playoff game. That defense should get better once they add more quality LB’s and DB’s.

  15. Nice pickups for the Lions, as a Browns fan I got to watch both play. bell is good for the tough yards 3rd. and a couple. Harrison can be very productive is he gets the carries, but I think he wants to be the man or he looses interest real quick. too bad for all the recent injurys, the lions looking like they were starting to turn things around!

  16. Lets remember eagle fans that talent didnt come cause your some powerhouse or great coaching you got a bunch of players wanting to follow mike vick. So now your over rated overpaid under coached and alot of superstar attitudes. Yeah excited now, but what happens when all those egos dont win or get the playing time they think they deserve. Its a slippery slope in phili and with a team of followers when one slips the rest will to. I wouldnt hack on a team on the wau up looking for probly a #3. Just a thought.
    Go Lions

  17. The Eagles are good at coaching up QB’s but nothing else they seen to have to go out and pay big bucks for other people good or dig out of the button of the bucket Ernie Sims.

  18. I would bet money that says the Lions are going to find another RB when teams start roster cuts.

  19. Losing Leshoure sucks, however I like both these guys as replacments, now if the “O” line can just protect Stafford from getting injured, our strong passing game should loosin up the defence and create some great opportunities for our Revamped running attack!! GOOOOO LIOOONNSSSS!!!!!! Cant wait to see what these boys are going to do this year!!!

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