Charles Harris is undoubtedly in the midst of the best year of his early career. Drafted in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, Harris went to Miami Dolphins with a lot of expectations on his shoulder. For whatever reason, his play never met those expectations, as he started in just eight games over three seasons in Miami and totaled just 3.5 sacks over that timespan.
Flash forward two years later, and Harris’ career has been revived in Detroit. Entering 2021 with only 6.5 sacks to his name, he’s already surpassed that number in one season in Detroit with 7.5 sacks and two games remaining on the schedule.
Harris joined Kyle Meinke and Benjamin Raven on the new MLive Detroit Lions podcast “Dungeon of Doom” this week and spoke about how his offseason meeting with Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn set everything in motion this year.
“My meeting with A.G. was phenomenal,” Harris said. “I think we was on the same page. He asked me the same questions. ‘What are the things that didn’t work in previous years?’ And how could he best suit that and make up for that. I think just from that conversation that we had when I sat down in his office, from there on we were just locked in. The Lions, in general, Detroit, the team, the city, it just embodies myself. Being able to be a rugged town, a ruggest city that’s been through a lot. I feel like I’ve personally been through a lot.”
Back in October, Glenn mentioned that the talent for Harris has always been there, it was just his job to pull it out of him and put him in the best situations to succeed.
“A lot of times as a coach, you have to make sure you can match that talent with a scheme that allows him to go out there and be successful,” Glenn said. “That’s one thing we as coaches we pride ourselves on is to make sure that as much as we can, each player make sure whatever they do best, you put them in those positions to be able to successful and we try to do that with Charles.”
But with just two games left, Harris will soon be facing free agency. This past March, he signed a modest one-year, $1.75 million fully guaranteed deal with Detroit, but with the season he’s having, he’ll likely draw a lot more attention. Harris explained that while he hasn’t discussed offseason plans with his team yet, he knows what he’ll be looking for.
“I’m at the point in my career where I’m looking for stability,” Harris said. “I’m looking for stability and a coaching staff and a team and a group of player that surrounds me that trusts me and that I trust that we can go out there together. I really want to be part of a team that wins something. I haven’t won anything yet in my career.”
Meinke asked directly if the Lions checked those boxes, “Does Detroit have what you’re looking for long-term?”
“Yeah, without a doubt,” Harris said. “In terms of leadership, I think (head coach Dan Campbell) is just a great head coach. (Anthony Glenn) as a DC, from the top-down, it’s a great organization that’s done a great job having one message, one goal: that’s grit.”
Harris even mentioned the influence that general manager Brad Holmes has had on his carer.
“Even when our GM came here, he personally explained some of the books that he had read, some of the books that helped him mentally on the field. One book, Mini Habits, that’s one book that I read earlier in camp and I’ve stuck to it,” Harris said.
You can listen to the entire conversation here. It’s an interesting look into Harris’ success story, why a couple of offseason causes are so important to him, and he even goes into his recent interest in acting.