Lions head coach Dan Campbell talks about the comfort in having a player like Will Harris

Will Harris has has quite a career turnaround under Dan Campbell, and the Lions head coach praised the veteran defensive back on Saturday morning.


He's hardly alone in it. But for two seasons (mostly) under Matt Patricia, Will Harris really struggled. He struggled as a safety, with a combination of struggles and coverage and too many missed tackles. A new coaching staff coming in in 2021 could only be good for him.

Harris played the most defensive snaps for the Lions in 2021, with 1,012. He also transitioned to play cornerback later in tht season, as the team lacked other options. He seemed to find a home at corner, finally.

In April of 2022, when talking about Harris, Lions head coach Dan Campbell came up with a funny (if only to him) new position name for the versatile defensive back.

"He’s a cafety,” Campbell joked. “Yeah, he’s a hybrid. He really is. He’s a jack of all trades.”"

Harris played 15 games last season, starting 10. He was not awful, but not great as the Lions' primary slot corner, and the Lions' offseason remodeling of their secondary changed his role even as he was re-signed to a one-year deal. But in a broad sense, his versatility fits right in.

On Saturday, before practice, Campbell was asked about Harris.

Dan Campbell offers up nice praise for Will Harris

Here's what Campbell said about Harris, via Ben Raven of MLive.

"I love Will Harris. I do, and -- because he is. He’s a pro. He’s a pro. He’s a vet,” Campbell said on Saturday morning. “You don’t have to worry about Will.

“Will’s going to be where he’s supposed to be when he’s supposed to be there. He’s a four-corps guy for us. He’s played safety. He can play nickel. He can play outside corner. And he’s just steady and reliable. He’s dependable, man. He’s always going to be there for you and that’s one of the biggest reasons that help -- guys like him help you sleep good at night.”"

Dan Campbell, on Will Harris

Going into his fifth season, Harris is one of the longest-tenured Lions' players now. After Saturday's practice, via Raven, he talked about staying ready for whatever might be asked of him.

" got to stay in the film room and just know you got to go over every situation I could possibly be in as a corner. Then you got to start all over again and do the whole film session and everything in every situation I could possibly be in as a nickel or a safety. So, it’s definitely a lot more studying and a lot more time in the film room.""

Will Harris

Harris' snap allotment is sure to shift a lot toward special teams this year, as long as the Lions' secondary is mostly healthy. But his role can still be very important when he's called upon, and he's clearly an example of the kind of player Campbell loves to have around.

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