Mandatory Credit: Photo by David J Phillip/AP/Shutterstock (12939310r) Houston Texans’ Christian Harris stretches during an NFL football rookie minicamp practice, in Houston Texans Rookie Camp Football, Houston, United States – 13 May 2022
Texans linebackers coach Miles Smith has been impressed with the former Alabama star.
Thursday, Houston Texans linebackers coach Miles Smith spoke with the media regarding LB Christian Harris, who is making his way back from a hamstring injury. Harris spent the first 4 weeks of the season on IR, and rejoined practice this week.
While Smith admits Harris still has quite a bit to catch up on, his speed is undeniable:
“It’s been good to get him back out there. Obviously, it’s a process. Being a rookie, he hasn’t played a whole lot of professional football yet at this point. Got hurt so early in training camp. It’s been exciting to see him out there. I mean the guy can move.”
Smith believes Harris brings a different dynamic to the linebackers group:
“Pure athleticism. I don’t think anybody in the NFL questions the type of athlete that Christian (Harris) is. As he becomes more and more familiar with our defense and gets a little more experience under his belt, he has a lot of potential. Obviously, it’s still potential at this point because he actually hasn’t gotten on the field, but we’ll see how that goes going forward.”
Smith explained what will be most important for Harris as he returns to action:
“Just the mental aspect of the game. We don’t have the most complicated defense I should say, but there’s a lot of detail into the specifics we ask each position to do. I don’t think there’s really a substitute for having experience and having reps in there. As he gets more and more comfortable, I think he will start to show his true athleticism.”
Smith iterated that while Harris has not been able to practice, has been a quick study while watching:
“He’s come a long way. Again, he had never been on an NFL sideline at that point when I said that. He’s come pretty far. He’s able to see the different things that NFL teams could do. Obviously, the NFL game is a lot different than college football. He has come a long way, but again there’s no substitute for actually being on the field and actually seeing that with a helmet on from a linebacker’s point of view. As we keep going with things, he’ll have more and more experience with that and start to feel more comfortable.”
Since Harris is behind on all the things the team does defensively, Smith stated he wouldn’t put Harris in a situation where he wasn’t fully sure of his role:
“Our defense, for the most part, is a single gap defense. Our defense isn’t about tricking people. It’s about being exactly where they are supposed to be, all 11 guys. All it takes is one crack in the armor for things to split. I do not feel comfortable putting someone on the field that doesn’t know exactly what to do on every play. I think that would be bad professionally on my part. I shouldn’t ever put a player in that position.”