For Detroit Lions fans, having an involved owner is something they’re just getting used to. Sheila Ford Hamp hasn’t been on the job a full year quite yet, but she’s already made an impression as an owner that not only cares but someone that anticipates being involved. She’s already sat in on free agency meetings and started to bridge the gap between the franchise and disgruntled Hall of Famer Calvin Johnson.
Well, you can add another notch to Sheila’s belt, as now she’s outlining expectations for new players.
New defensive end Charles Harris spoke with the media on Monday morning and addressed his expected role with the Lions. Per Harris, Hamp made it pretty clear what he’s here to do when the two talked face-to-face while signing his contract.
“I think Sheila made it very frank. Go get the quarterback,” Harris said.
Harris is a former first-round pick who hasn’t lived up to expectations in the NFL. After a wildly successful stint at the University of Missouri, in which he tallied 16 sacks combined in his final two seasons, he’s only managed to take the quarterback down 6.5 times in four seasons.
However, Harris showed a spark again last year after the Atlanta Falcons traded for him during the 2020 offseason. He produced three sacks and two passes defended in a limited role—both career highs. Harris attributes some of that success to the culture they had in Atlanta, something he sees the Lions currently building in Detroit.
“The culture aspect definitely played a role in my increased production, if that makes sense. That is something that I believe Detroit is not just trying to establish, but already has and is looking to build upon.”
Part of that established culture goes back to Hamp. Just her being involved and defining that role for Harris made it feel personal.
“With that comes a sense of responsibility that’s deeper than just, ‘I understand,’ Harris said. “It’s more so ‘I’ll get it done for you. It almost personalized it, if that makes sense because she personally said that.”