View Full Version : Joey Harrington says he was handcuffed by Lions

08-08-2007, 08:03 PM

Harrington began his career with the Detroit Lions in 2002 but never lived up to expectations as their savior; Detroit gave up on him after four seasons. Last year he moved on to play for the Miami Dolphins. In his next-to-last start for them, against the Buffalo Bills, he notched a 0.0 quarterback rating. He has never completed 60% of his passes and has thrown for 3,000 yards once. Oddly, that makes him statistically more impressive than Vick, who in six seasons has never passed for 3,000 yards and has a lower career completion percentage than Harrington (53.8% to 55.2%).

If Harrington is able to reinvent himself under Petrino, he wouldn't be the first quarterback to flounder in one system only to thrive in new surroundings. After being drafted No. 1 overall by the New England Patriots and earning Rookie of the Year honors in 1971, Jim Plunkett faltered with the Patriots and, later, the San Francisco 49ers. After joining the Oakland Raiders in 1979, he won two championships and was the MVP of Super Bowl XV. But Harrington says "reinvent" isn't the right word. "I would think 'recover' is more accurate," he says. "I'm not reinventing anything. I just want to recover what I used to have."
After escaping Detroit, Harrington learned something about himself he and the West Coast offense he ran with the Lions mixed like Donald Trump and Rosie O'Donnell.

In Detroit, he says, the center set the protection, and Harrington didn't have the option to change it. He had no sight adjustments, no hot reads. "I was relying on other people to make the adjustments for me," he says. "For some (quarterbacks), that works. But that's not my style. I like to make my own decisions, based on my film study."

Harrington felt handcuffed, he says, and it affected his play. "Because of what was being coached, the mistakes I had made, the way I was being received, I got to a point where I was scared to throw the ball downfield," he says. "Finally I said, 'Forget it.'

"This is probably going to come off sounding poorly, but it was like, 'Screw you guys. I know what I need to do to be a good quarterback.' In order for me to play well, I need to be a bit selfish. I need to tell myself, 'You know what? I'm going to throw that post route. And if it gets picked off, screw it. I'm going to throw the post route again, because I know it's open.' "

Roy Williams, a Pro Bowler last year, didn't think the Lions receivers were a good fit in the West Coast scheme, either.

08-08-2007, 08:05 PM
Because his personality veers from the norm, some critics have questioned how he relates to his teammates.

"I can see a difference between him and (Jon) Kitna," Roy Williams says, comparing his former Lions quarterback to his current one. "Joey really didn't talk to us. I try to be friendly with everybody, so I was friends with him. But Kit goes around and talks to everybody. I think everybody here respects Kitna; I don't think everybody respected Joey.

"In the end, it comes down to wins and losses and the kind of person you are."

Harrington won't alter his personality, so "My job is to prepare to help the team win football games," he says. "I don't think I have to go out and do anything special to gain my teammates' confidence. If we win, my teammates' confidence will come from that."

hmm I wish him well except against us I guess