Charles Harris looking to build on breakout season with the Lions

Mandatory Credit: Junfu Han-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Junfu Han-USA TODAY Sports /

After a breakthrough season with the Lions in 2021, Charles Harris wants to do even better after re-signing.

After four seasons of showing himself as a first-round draft bust, Charles Harris signed a one-year “prove-it” deal with the Detroit Lions last offseason. And “prove-it” he did, with a career-high 7.5 sacks, 16 quarterback hits and 10 tackles for loss.

The Lions rewarded Harris for his breakthrough campaign, re-signing him to a two-year, $13 million deal. Last season was actually somewhat up-and-down for him though, with a four-game sack streak early, two sacks in Week 13 against the Minnesota Vikings and 1.5 sacks in Detroit’s upset win over the Arizona Cardinals in Week 15 accounting for all of his sacks for the season. So consistency should be a goal, and being more consistently stout as a run defender is also an order.

As his contract was officially announced Friday morning,  via the team website, Harris spoke about the fit with the Lions. He started with the early idea that his time in Detroit could be more than a one-year stay.

"I’m not going to say I was shocked,” Harris said at a press conference Friday morning. “People were asking me a year ago, ‘why were you signing here?’ I was saying ‘It’s the culture.’“Just the city itself. All the little small factors. All the players want to be here.”Harris was comfortable with the environment, and the way he was used on the field helped him make an impact.“Really good scheme,” he said. “The coaches set me in the right position.”"

Lions’ defensive scheme shift could be very good for Charles Harris

The Lions are shifting to using more four-man fronts next season. Last year, as an outside linebacker in the 3-4 scheme, Harris had to drop into coverage. That’s not an ideal spot for him, and he’ll certainly be doing far less of that next season. With his hand on the ground more, in theory, he’ll be able to purely get after the quarterback more often. Double-digit sacks could be in the offing then.

“I know what I’ve done,” he (Harris) said. “I know what works. I know what I can do. It’s a better feeling to know I have the game plan now. It’s a lot clearer.”

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