Ronnie Harrison 'ready to get to work,' help Browns defense wherever he can

Ronnie Harrison Jr. is back to two-a-days.

At least, that's how the new Browns safety sees it.

Harrison, who was acquired last week in a trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars, wants to help wherever he can, as fast as he can. He's logged two practices with the Browns thus far, and he's spending the rest of his time in his new playbook — whether that's inside or outside of the team facility.

"I'm taking extra notes during the meetings and whenever coach is talking, I am writing," Harrison said after Monday's practice. "I am constantly adding stuff to my notes and constantly asking guys questions at practice on the field, just trying to eat everything I can up as quick as possible."

The Browns acquired Harrison for more than just Sunday's game against the Ravens, but the third-year safety is doing everything he can to be ready enough to play in the season opener. That decision will be left in the hands of his coaches, and Harrison has assured them he's up for however they hope to use him, whether it be strong safety, big nickel, special teams or a little bit of everything.

Harrison just wants to help a team he's already seen enough of to believe it's headed in the right direction.

"There is a lot of talent on this team. Everybody knows that," Harrison said. "From defense to offense, they have the guys that can make the plays. With this new coaching staff, just their energy and how upbeat they are, just made me so excited when I first got in here. I am just ready to get to work. I really feel like this is the year we can change things around here."

Check out exclusive photos of the Browns preparing for their game against the Ravens Sunday

The Browns are excited about Harrison, too. That's why they parted with a fifth-round pick to bring him into a secondary that was hit hard by injuries throughout training camp. None was tougher to stomach than the one suffered by second-round rookie Grant Delpit, who is out for the season with a torn Achilles.

Cleveland had hoped to use Delpit in a variety of ways in the back end of its defense. Harrison, though, has the track record and skill sets that could help soften the blow a bit.

Harrison said he's hoping to learn a number of roles within the defense over the next few days and weeks.

"I feel like I will be able to flash a little bit in the box and a little bit of playing deep, being versatile," Harrison said. "Especially with the dime-package, that will allow me to get in the mix a lot, around the line, out in space and stuff like that. I am definitely ready. I feel like I can be that player. Just ready to get to work."

A third-round pick out of Alabama in the 2018 NFL Draft, Harrison took over as the starting strong safety midway through his rookie year in Jacksonville but missed the final two games because of a knee injury. He returned as an every-game starter in 2019 and posted much bigger numbers, racking up 71 tackles and grabbing two interceptions.

The Jaguars just didn't win at the kind of level Harrison experienced at Alabama, where he won two national titles and appeared in the College Football Playoff championship game in all three of his seasons. That's something he hopes to turn around with the Browns, who are coming off a similarly disappointing 2019 but have rebuilt the roster with hopes of being much better in 2020.

"In Alabama, I came from a winning background. I am definitely trying to get back to that," Harrison said. "I have not been on a winning team so I feel like we have the players and the coaches to do that this year so I feel like we can get it done." 

Harrison shared his last championship with two of his new teammates, LB Mack Wilson and LT Jedrick Wills Jr. Both have expressed their excitement about Harrison's arrival, and have only added to Harrison's exuberance and comfort as he transitions to a new team and a new city after playing for two seasons Jacksonville, which is close to where he grew up in Tallahassee.

"We are all battle-tested coming from Alabama," Harrison said. "We know how to win. We know what it takes to win. We know the process. We have been in tough situations and tough games. We have dealt with it. I feel like being back with them, it is just going to push all of us even more."

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