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Nick Harris on Becoming Browns Starter: 'Well, It's Time'

The former Husky lineman radiates confidence in taking on bigger responsibility.
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In Cleveland, the big football news has been the Browns' quarterback situation, where they signed the controversial Deshaun Watson, who may or may not be eligible to play over ongoing allegations of misconduct, while the team has given up on Baker Mayfield. 

Obscured by of all of this Ohio NFL unrest has been the changing of the guard at center — from releasing veteran J.C. Tretter to promoting former University of Washington standout Nick Harris. 

Tretter is considered one of pro football's elite centers, but the Browns felt it was time to move the eight-year veteran likely because of wear and tear in favor of the healthy, groomed and highly capable Harris.

The team wasted no time in promoting the 6-foot-1, 293-pound Harris, a 2020 fifth-round draft pick, as the logical guy who will hike the ball to Watson or whoever ends up as the Cleveland quarterback. He's appeared in 23 games in his two pros seasons, starting a pair of games, one at center and one at guard. 

Likewise, Harris expressed great confidence in taking over this key role on what is touted as one of the NFL's superior offensive lines, joining left tackle Jedrick Willis Jr. left guard Joel Bitonio, right guard Wyatt Teller and right tackle Jack Conklin. 

"I've been here for two years and I was like, 'Well, it's time,' " Harris told Cleveland Browns Daily. "I was just ready. I was like, 'Let's do it.' I just wanted to portray myself as a professional and just do my job."

His competition for the job will come from newly signed free agent Ethan Pocic, acquired after starting 40 games for the Seattle Seahawks, back in Harris' college town.

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Harris is so well liked in the league that Tretter, the man he will replace and who remains unsigned, has been so supportive of his understudy he has given him a standing offer to call him any time for words of wisdom or just plain encouragement.

"Just hearing him say that showed me he knew how he helped me and we understood our relationship," Harris said. "He's a consummate pro."

The former Husky seems headed there himself. 

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