Lions head coach Dan Campbell loves to talk about players’ success stories. He went into great detail about one of Detroit’s veteran acquisition wins from a year ago before Thursday’s OTA session.
That would be EDGE Charles Harris. A first-round bust of the Dolphins in 2017, Harris managed just 3.5 sacks in three years in Miami. He didn’t fare much better in one season in Atlanta, and when the Lions signed him a year ago it was more of an afterthought than the team landing the man who would lead them in sacks and generate pressure more consistently than anyone else.
Harris earned every opportunity by not taking his roster spot for granted and proving he could contribute.
“We were talking about Charles the other day in the team room. What a great story he was, ”Campbell told reporters. “This time last year, he’s out there running with the three’s (third team) on the second field, he’s doing all the special teams reps, holding bags like he started all over again and didn’t bat an eye either. He just worked and he worked himself into making some money and coming back with the team that gave him a shot and in return, he gave us a shot to sign him back. That’s what you want in guys. ”
After the ensuing practice, Harris himself offered up why it worked for him in Detroit last year.
“Coaching. Coach Shep (LB coach Kelvin Sheppard) is great, ”Harris said. “Coach Wash (DL coach Todd Wash) is great, AG (coordinator Aaron Glenn) giving the scheme.”
Harris also gave some credit to his teammates last year.
“The guys around me are also great,” Harris said earnestly. “They did a great job of setting stuff up for not just myself but everybody can make their own plays. I hand it to my teammates and to the coaches themselves for putting us in the right position. ”
He’s not resting on his career-best accomplishments, not after the underwhelming seasons he had with the Dolphins and Falcons. Harris knows he’s capable of doing a lot more for the Lions and is eager to prove it.
“I’ve been able to go back and watch a lot of film from last year and see the plays that could have gotten made but didn’t get made,” Harris stated. “I think that’s where I am this year. If I add in everything I could have gotten made my numbers would have been crazy, the statistics would be crazy. I really want to capitalize on that. ”
Harris offered up that he needs to be better against run blocks and at not running too far up the field in his pass rush, too.