Chargers CB Chris Harris Jr. Says Rookie CB Asante Samuel Jr. Has the Right Mentality

The veteran cornerback sees positive things about rookie.
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As the season approaches, many questions have been asked about the defense will look when they hit the field. Most of the starters haven't played in any preseason games, so it is unknown until they take the field against Washington.

One unknown is who will start opposite Michael Davis at cornerback two? The idea is that it will be rookie cornerback Asante Samuel Jr., but no decision has been made yet.

Chris Harris Jr. is technically the second cornerback on the unofficial depth chart, but that is not what he will be doing this season. Harris, as previously mentioned, will be playing all over the field. Slot corner primarily, but he will be moving to safety and even tackle some outside corner at times.

"So, playing all over the field, whatever the game plan is," said Harris.

Could a possibility be that if Harris is moved outside, Samuel may be kicked inside?

"I think he has done solid, I mean, he hadn't played it too much, but when he has gone there, he hasn't had many total mess-ups," explained Harris. "So, he's been able to go on there and do his job. So, he hadn't played too much in there, but he's able to go on there."

It sounds like the rookie corner could be the outside man with some sprinkles of playing inside at times. He lined up inside a couple of times during the Seattle Seahawks preseason game finale last weekend.

Samuel has picked the brain of Harris numerous times. He is young and learning what it is like to be a pro. He has been some good plays like the interception against the San Francisco 49ers in preseason game two while also making some mistakes.

Every time he suits up and is out on the field, he is gaining a better understanding of the NFL game speed.

"So, I think that's what he's improved at just understanding different type of routes that he could get and say if he's in cover four or cover three and just different type of routes that you can get for the weaknesses of that coverage," said Harris.

Would Harris say that they have similar play styles?

"Different type of players for sure," explained Harris. "He's still kind of finding his role. It's kind of hard to really say what type of game he has or what was his game similar to till we get to live NFL real season games. That's when who you are kind of comes out."

When Harris was in his earlier years, he was brash and would get in the opposing receiver's face multiples times during a game. He was famous for chatting against former Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers every game they faced each other.

"He has it though mentality wise he has it just like I had as a young guy," explained the veteran cornerback. "If I got beat, I'm coming back and lined up again to compete. He's not scared to compete. So that's one thing you see as a young player you got to have that to have some success in the league."

It does seem like Samuel shares that trait because it has been evident during camp that the rookie plays with emotion. He faced receiver Jason Moore in one on one with Justin Herbert at quarterback. Samuel was able to clamp down on Moore that Herbert couldn't throw it.

Safety Derwin James ran over to celebrate with his fellow Seminole brother while the rookie corner was chirping at Herbert.

It will be interesting to see who starts opposite Davis, but Harris knows his role on this defense, which is that he has no definitive role. It changes week by week. He is just ready to play football again.

"I'm excited to be on a good team, have a real chance to really make some noise," said Harris. "So, decided about the team that we got. I think everybody's a team loves each other as a team."

Nuts N' Bolts

· Right tackle Bryan Bulaga participated in the individual drills on Thursday during the portion open to the media.