Charles Harris signed a new contract with the Detroit Lions. Harris spent his first three seasons with the Miami Dolphins, before brief stints with the Atlanta Falcons and Detroit Lions.
Source: The #Lions sign pass-rusher Charles Harris to a 2-year deal worth $14M
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 15, 2022
Charles Harris, Detroit Lions, Agree to Contract
The second of those single-season stays salvaged Harris’ career. He responded well to the schemes of Lions’ defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn in 2021.
Harris became a versatile edge-rusher on a multiple 3-4 front. He logged a career-high 7.5 sacks and forced a pair of fumbles.
Changing to a role where he moved around the front more often liberated Harris. So did being able to rush from a standup position.
The alignment took better advantage of the 27-year-old’s athleticism and quick first step, helping him set a franchise record:
OLB Charles Harris has had sacks in four consecutive games for the #Lions.
His four-game sack streak ties for the longest in team history and is the longest that a free agent acquisition has had in his first season with Detroit.#OnePride pic.twitter.com/I2tBNcNMLX
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) October 11, 2021
It took a change in scheme for Harris to finally realise his full potential. That potential encouraged the Dolphins to use the 22nd pick to select Harris in the first round of the 2017 NFL draft.
All the Dolphins got in return was 3.5 sacks. So it was no surprise when Harris was traded away to the Falcons in 2020 for the meagre return of a seventh-round pick the following year.
Moving to Atlanta kept Harris in a 4-3 scheme under Dan Quinn then Raheem Morris. The system still didn’t suit Harris, though.
Instead, the player toiled through a difficult season playing a situational role. He made just one start, recorded a mere three sacks and batted down two passes.
Harris didn’t do much, but he showed enough for the Lions to come calling last offseason. It proved to be a shrewd bargain signing as Harris played his way ahead of Trey Flowers and into the starting lineup. Glenn’s varied playbook let Harris split more of his time between putting his hand down in a three-point stance and standing up on the edge.
Playing outside was the key to unlocking Harris’ best game, according to Lions’ linebackers coach Kelvin Sheppard, per Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press: “In Atlanta, they even had Charles playing in the five technique some. I’m not sure if you guys know that, but that’s an under front. This past year (he) was (playing) the nine.”
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