DETROIT, Mich. — The NFL has not been kind to Detroit Lions edge rusher Charles Harris so far.
Coming out of Missouri as a first-round pick for the Miami Dolphins in 2017, he spent three years in the teal and orange (41 games, 12 starts) and only amassed 3.5 sacks, 10 tackles for loss and 23 quarterback hits.
His numbers were slightly better in 2020 with the Atlanta Falcons (13 games, 1 start, 3 sacks, 3 TFLs, 5 QB hits).
But during the 2021 season, Harris is having his best season playing for one of the worst teams in the league.
Following a breakout game in the Lions’ surprise win over the Arizona Cardinals (12 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 3 TFLs, 2 QB hits), Harris has career season highs in sacks (7.5), tackles (58), TFLs (9) and QB hits (15).
At one point, Harris was written off as another first-round bust. But like the Lions as a whole, Harris is finding ways to win where he’s at.
Just taking the coaching and just doing the details, doing the small things right. Other guys
around me just making it happen as well, everybody doing their job,” Harris said Sunday after the win.
“Everybody is just being together out there. There’s a camaraderie within the team, within the defense, and it’s definitely paying off.”
Head coach Dan Campbell has led the Lions to win their last two of three games; in the last win vs. the Minnesota Vikings, Harris had two sacks and four QB hits.
He’s seeing Harris’ progression firsthand knows that his game isn’t just pass rushing.
“Charles has been a relentless player for us all season long,” Campbell said.”
“He’s a nuisance to quarterbacks, but he plays the run as well. He’s a well-rounded defensive end, outside linebacker, if you will. He really showed up and I’ll tell you what, to do what we had to do today, you have to be unselfish as a rusher.”
Harris is on pace to have double-digit sacks this season with only two games left to do it.
While the Lions may not have much talent, they showed Herculian efforts in their two wins this season.
And with Harris’s talent and his effort, he and the Lions are showing that it’s never too late to ball out.