Texans LB Coach: Christian Harris “is a three-down linebacker”

Mandatory Credit: Photo by David J Phillip/AP/Shutterstock (13057114bu) Houston Texans linebacker Christian Harris (48) walks onto the field for an NFL football training camp practice, in Houston Texans Football, Houston, United States – 30 Jul 2022

Texans LB Coach: Christian Harris “is a three-down linebacker”

Houston Texans linebackers coach Miles Smith sees a very bright future for rookie linebacker Christian Harris.

Addressing the media Thursday, Smith discusses rookie linebacker Christian Harris, his current status, and how well he has adapted to the Texans’ scheme.

As far as how Harris is progressing from the shoulder injury he suffered in Week 12, Smith relayed:

“Obviously, he’s in a yellow jersey right now, never good. Avoiding contact a little bit. Unfortunate that he was missing that valuable game time in the last game. He’s progressing day by day, week by week, practice by practice. He’s progressing. We’ll see how it goes this weekend, if he’s going to be able to go, but I hope so.”

Smith explained how much progress Harris has made to this point in the season:

“In every play, we grade for a couple different things. We have a technique grade, so that’s something as simple as did he get read steps before he took off? Did he have the proper steps overall? Did he finish with appropriate leverage? We also grade on pursuit, which is probably our biggest grade. Did he run his butt off to the play? Ultimately you can screw up your technique, but in the end, did you run your butt off and make a play? Then, we have to make a play grade. When you’re at the point of attack, did you make that play, or did you not make that play? As we go forward, he’s making more and more of the plays that we expect him to make. Occasionally, there’s plays that he’s making that other linebackers probably wouldn’t be able to make, just based upon his elite athleticism. As we keep going, we expect him to make more and more of the plays, and truly show the level he can play at. Right now, he’s having some rookie pains occasionally, but that’s to be expected. As he continues with these reps and each practice, each game, I think he’s going to start making more and more these plays.”

Not only does Smith think Harris has been fully integrated into the system, but he has become a key part of it:

“Absolutely. At this point, he is a three-down linebacker in our scheme. When we talk three-down linebackers, our Will and our Mike linebacker, they don’t come off the field unless something’s happened. Early on, we wanted to slowly, gradually get him involved. He played more of our Sam linebacker, which comes out for 11-personnel. At this point, he is in there every single play. We’re starting to design things that are based on his skill set. He’s fully integrated in our defense. We’re excited for the future.”

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