Lions coach thinks a healthy Charles Harris will help the defense be a lot better this year

Charles Harris is looking to have a healthy rebound this season, and outside linebackers coach David Corrao thinks that will make him a difference maker for the Lions defense.

Charles Harris became a find for the Detroit Lions in 2021 free agency, as he followed with the best season of his career and high-end numbers as a pass rusher (a team-high 7.5 sacks, 52 pressures according to Pro Football Focus).

The expectation was for Harris to have something of a repeat in 2022, especially with Aidan Hutchinson to command attention opposite him after he was double-teamed heavily in 2021. But a groin injury cost him three games in October, then he barely played in two games before eventually landing on IR to end his season.

In six games last season, and truly four where he was healthy and played a lot, Harris had just one sack. He is obviously heading into this season looking to show his performance in 2021 was not a fluke. Simply being healthy would be a good first step.

Coach thinks Charles Harris will be important to the Detroit Lions defense this year

Lions outside linebackers coach David Corrao was recently on "Twentyman in the Huddle" with Tim Twentyman of In breaking down the edge rusher group, Corrao lauded Harris' importance to the Detroit defense.

"Charles is a tremendous veteran leadership presence,” Corrao said “He does things the right way: His attention to detail, the way he comes to practice, the way he brings what he does to the game.”"

"A healthy Charles Harris is going to make us a much better defense,” Corrao said."

Corrao added how Harris is noted for other players as an example of "what it looks like" and what the coaching staff wants things to look like. With a group of young players in the edge rusher group (Hutchinson, James Houston, Josh Paschal), that kind of example on the practice field should not be discounted.

On the field come Sundays this fall, how much of an impact Harris will have is uncertain. He'll be battling for snaps with the aforementioned group, along with Romeo Okwara and John Cominsky. So his ultimate, most-tangible importance can be overstated in some ways. But in other ways behind the scenes, Harris can absolutely be a veteran tone-setter for a group of young edge rushers.


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