Chris Harris Credits Chargers' Defensive Talent, Coaching Staff for Luring Him to L.A.
Jason B. Hirschhorn
Of the Los Angeles Chargers' major acquisitions this offseason, perhaps none came as more of a surprise than former Denver Broncos cornerback Chris Harris. The All-Pro defensive back fielded several offers during his time on the open market but ultimately settled on the Chargers as the best opportunity.
That decision seems strange on first blush. Harris has played primarily in the slot during his acclaimed NFL career, a role filled quite admirably in Los Angeles by Desmond King. The Chargers also arguably had more pressing needs elsewhere on their roster even after adding offensive linemen Trai Turner and Bryan Bulaga, nose tackle Linval Joseph, and others earlier in the offseason.
Given those factors, why did Harris ultimately choose the Chargers? He credits the team's cavalcade of defensive stars as well as a key member of its coaching staff for luring him to Los Angeles.
"I think just the defensive guys that they have already out there, Joey Bosa, Casey Hayward, Derwin James, all those guys, man," Harris said on NFL Network. "[Melvin] Ingram, just being able to join them. I'm joining back with my original coach that I had my first couple years with the Broncos [Ron Milus]. They're very comfortable with me, and I'm excited how they're going to use me."
The familiarity with the Chargers' defensive talent and coaching staff should help Harris more easily transition into a new scheme. That will become even more critical if the ongoing coronavirus crisis prevents NFL clubs from holding some or all of their offseason team activities. Harris sees the upcoming season as an opportunity to reinvigorate his career.
"Last year was the first year of not really playing all over the field and playing the slot," Harris said of his 2019 season, his first and only under head coach and defensive play-caller Vic Fangio. "So next year, [the Chargers are] putting me back to what I do and allowed me to make plays like I did my first eight years and be able to roam around and do what I do."
-- Jason B. Hirschhorn is an award-winning sports journalist and Pro Football Writers of America member. Follow him on Twitter: @by_JBH