Rookie Charles Harris talks Jason Taylor and Florida heat

COLUMBIA, MO - SEPTEMBER 24: Defensive end Charles Harris
COLUMBIA, MO - SEPTEMBER 24: Defensive end Charles Harris /

The Miami Dolphins stuck to their guns in last April’s draft and made Charles Harris their number one draft pick.

Miami received trade offers for the 23rd pick in last April’s draft but the Dolphins believed that they were better off staying put and drafting a strong pass rush specialist. Thus Charles Harris became their number one draft pick.

Harris isn’t solid on setting the edge against the run and that is something he will need to improve upon during training camp. A solid pass rusher, Harris has a leg up of sorts on other pass rushers coming into the league. He is getting help from two of the best in the NFL.

This off-season Harris has worked out with Hall of Fame defensive end Jason Taylor and during practice is getting tips from fellow defensive end Cameron Wake. With an already impressive off the snap move, Harris could become one of the best if he can learn the right techniques from coaches and players like Taylor and Wake.

With pads going on tomorrow, Harris is going to get his first physical challenges at the NFL level. He will likely play against both Ja’Wuan James and Laremy Tunsil as the Dolphins work to get him reps at both end positions. A position that the Dolphins are deep at.

Miami spent the off-season working on their defensive end position not just for the present but the future as well. Harris is the key to that future as he stands to replace Wake when he retires from the NFL or leaves Miami. The Dolphins are also hoping that Andre Branch will continue to improve and that new addition William Hayes will continue his dominant play against the run.

Harris spoke with Miami media shortly after practice broke this morning. His full interview transcript is courtesy of

Friday, July 28, 2017

Defensive End Charles Harris

(First two days of practice, how do you feel right now?) – “I feel good. I feel ready to go. (It was a) long break. I’m not used to that in college. So I’m ready to go.”

(How do you handle the heat?) – “I’m adjusting pretty well. Everybody is adjusting pretty well … I think the first day was a little hot, but today was hotter than yesterday; but today was a lot easier in terms of the wind and everything. I think everyone is getting acclimated to it.”

(Talk about a guy like DE Cameron Wake. He’s such a great player.) – “It’s great. I’m learning from him on and off the field, in the film room and stuff like that. I just watch him, just be in the background watching him, watch the way he moves and stuff like that, the way he gets ready for practice. It’s great.”

(I also saw you talking to DE Andre Branch. What’s it like being with a lot of veterans at your position? How much do you think that’s going to help you?) – “It helps me a lot. As a rookie, it’s hard to come in and know everything, so it’s always good to have somebody ahead of you to teach you the ropes and teach you everything. After every single play – I think you all probably saw today – Branch pulled me to the side and told me what I did right, what I did wrong. The great thing about it is that (Defensive Line) Coach ‘T’ (Terrell Williams) doesn’t have to tell us. The veterans a lot of times are correcting us, which I think that’s why we’re like a well-oiled machine.”

(What are some specific things you focused on in training camp?) – “So far, working against tight ends. Playing against the run and stuff like that. We don’t have pads on, so just getting my hands right for the pass rush.”

(Is there a level of excitement that pads come on tomorrow?) – “Definitely. Across the board. I think everybody will know it’s coming up. Defense, we’re about to get to rocking. It’s going to be good.”

(The first game is less than two weeks away.) – “I’ve got to take it one day at a time. I’m not really thinking about the game right now, just really thinking about practice. I feel like by the end of camp … Camp is designed for you to get ready, so the end of camp we’ll be ready.”

(It’s still very early, but what so far have you noticed between an NFL training camp and the summer program at Mizzou?) – “I think between here and college, it’s really the time that you have. I feel like we got a lot less time at night, but throughout the day we have more time in the middle of the day and stuff like that. It’s about what you do in between the day. I feel like everybody … Right now, you go into the room – into the building – everybody is in the cold tub, everybody is recovering. That’s the biggest thing is you have to take care of your body during training camp.”

(There’s been a lot of talk about how polished you are as a pass rusher and your ability to use your hands. Where did you begin cultivating that? Who’s helped you most with your hands?) – “Probably coach ‘Dre’ (Andre Carter), our assistant d-line coach. He helps us a lot. Actually, after practice, just a minute ago, I was out there perfecting my hands and stuff like that. From college, ‘Coach Kool’ (Craig Kuligowski). Coming here to the NFL, I feel like Coach ‘T’ and Coach ‘Dre’ take it to a whole other level.”

(How’s life for a rookie first-round draft pick in that group with those veterans? Do you hear the business or what’s the talk? Normally, there’s a history in the NFL of people picking on rookies. First-round draft pick, you have a lot of veterans in there. Have you heard any of that?) – “What happens indoors stays in our doors. (laughter) I’m not going to speak on things that we do. But it’s great. I couldn’t imagine another group of guys I’d rather be under and learning from.”

(What’s something that former DE Jason Taylor has said in conversation or literally showed you that helped you?) – “The biggest thing I took away from working out with him was the things he did post-practice during camp, when your body is tired, when it’s after practice and you’ve already drained yourself; but it’s like working technique, working on fundamentals. Post-practice is what’s going to really help you in the fourth quarter late in the game or even in overtime, when the offensive tackle is tired. You might be winded as well, but you still got your technique, and that’s one thing that can always out beat an opponent.”

(How big is that for a rookie like yourself to work with a Hall of Famer?) – “It’s great. I couldn’t imagine another Hall of Famer I’d rather learn after. But it’s great. It’s great overall.”

(What do you remember about former DE Jason Taylor as a player?) – “Just his relentlessness, especially his stab-club-rip – his go-to move, and the way he bend the corner. He was always relentless against the pass, the run, things like that.”