Charles Harris has become a major bright spot for the Detroit Lions during a frustrating 2021 season, and the defensive lineman has surged in a big way to grab plenty of defensive headlines during the team’s first half.
Harris is rushing the passer like a man possessed this season and has made headlines for his impressive play on the field getting after the quarterback. Going into Week 6, Harris has ripped off an impressive sack streak and is looking like the most dangerous pass rusher the Lions have on the roster at the moment.
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Speaking with the media on Wednesday, October 13 in an interview posted to DetroitLions.com, Harris explained that it hasn’t been anything magical that has led to his sack streak on the field other than sticking to some of the fundamentals of any successful football player.
“It’s not too much of a change. If I had the secret answer, I would have did it a long time ago. I can’t really place it on any individual, not even on myself. Just kept my faith, going hard every day, listening to the coaches and just doing my job. That’s really what it’s all about,” he explained.
Harris has endured an inconsistent start to his career, having been a 2017 first-round pick of Miami that was cut unceremoniously in 2019. Up until this point, it/s more than possible that Harris was not being used properly by teams but the Lions seemed to have found a way to use the rusher’s best traits for his own success. As he said, that is a credit to the defensive staff.
“Aaron Glenn, my position coach Kelvin (Sheppard), that’s what they do. That’s their job to put us in the right positions and that’s exactly what they have done,” Harris said with a smile.
The work of the staff has only been one piece of the puzzle so far, however.
Harris Explains Feeling of Sack Streak, Motivation
After Harris recorded sack number 4 in a row during Detroit’s 19-17 loss to the Minnesota Vikings in Week 5, it was revealed by Lions PR on Twitter he had made some impressive franchise history. Harris tied for the longest sack streak in Lions history, and has the longest sack streak of a free agent in team history as well. Harris is also tied for the longest sack streak in the league right now.
All of these facts are impressive for the Lions, who have needed a consistent effort in the trenches from someone. The fact Harris seems to fit within the team’s defense could prove huge for the future. The Lions could like what they see and bring him back this coming offseason to remain a part of the team. In 2021, Harris was signed to a one-year, $1.7 million dollar deal. Not even halfway through this season, it’s clear he’s earned that in a big way.
For Detroit, the good news is Harris wants to do even more and is locked in on he field to make it happen. He feels as if he is seeing things well right now amid the run of sacks.
“My vision, it zeroes in. I think that’s the biggest thing. I’m locked in. I’m on a routine. We’re actually practicing every single day, the same drills, same techniques. I think that is what heightens, just your attention to detail makes you do the same things if not more to keep the production going if not surpass. That’s kind of what I am looking (to do). I am looking to go higher and better as opposed to looking stagnant and falling off.”
Does Harris think he is playing the best football of his career right now?
“Indeed, I definitely do. No doubt about it,” he said.
The Lions have to be thrilled Harris is playing well this season and looking like a major free agency find, and also excited he wants even more for himself.
Harris’s Career Stats and Highlights
it’s clear that Harris had talent to fall back on that always seemed like it could help him cement a bigger role in Detroit. He was a former first-round pick out of Missouri back in 2017, and while he might not have lived up to the grade with the Dolphins, it’s clear he does offer some upside in the trenches. Harris has 6.5 career sacks, but 3 of those came when he was playing with the Falcons during the 2020 season. Harris also has 79 tackles, 4 passes defended and 1 fumble recovery in his career before joining the Lions.
Harris has yet to show signs of being a consistently elite pass rusher in the NFL, but he could offer the Lions some help off the edge given the major need Detroit has at the spot. The Lions re-made their defense this past offseason, and in previous years the team did not show an ability to get after the quarterback. That has disappeared thus far in 2021, given the team already has 9 sacks to their credit through the first four games. Having Harris come on at this point would be considered a win given he is leading the team currently with his 4 sacks.
Watching some of the career highlights, Harris is clearly a very talented player:
Harris is making some impressive history with his output thus far. It will be fun to watch and see if he can keep the magic going for the needy Lions defensive front in 2021.