Did Charles Harris live up to expectations in first pre-season game?

COLUMBIA, MO - SEPTEMBER 24: Quarterback Daniel Epperson
COLUMBIA, MO - SEPTEMBER 24: Quarterback Daniel Epperson /

The Miami Dolphins first-round draft pick Charles Harris showed that he was worth the pick in his first pre-season game.

Charles Harris was selected to ease the playing time for Cameron Wake, and to obviously replace Wake once he is ready to retire. Harris has big shoes to fill by following in the footsteps of Miami Dolphins pass-rushers Cameron Wake and Jason Taylor.

Jason Taylor has already been a mentor to Charles Harris. According to Dave Hyde with the Sun Sentinel, Harris reached out to Taylor early and asked for help. Harris started training with Taylor in late June.

The one area that Charles Harris needs to work on is his run defense. And that is exactly one of the areas that Taylor helped him with while they were training. Taylor also talked to Harris about how he maintained his health, ways to improve his on the field game and how to stay away from trouble on South Beach.

The Miami Dolphins defensive line looked a bit better against the run, outside of a play or two that broke for big gains or a touchdown. Davon Godchaux, Vincent Taylor, Lawrence Okoye, and Terrence Fede showed their abilities to step up on the line.

Harris demonstrated his speed in his first NFL game. He often caused pressures and forced the quarterback out of the pocket for bad throws. Even when he was out of place, his speed allows him to get back into the play.

Following practice on Monday, Charles Harris spoke with the media about his debut against the Atlanta Falcons. Below is the full transcript of Harris’ interview courtesy of MiamiDolphins.com.

Monday, August 14, 2017

DE Charles Harris

(A few days removed from the first preseason action. What did you think when you came back?) – “After watching the film and everything, I think we all did good as a d-line. (There are) a lot of things we’ve got to work on. A lot of things, especially as a young group. The younger guys who just got here, most of us rookies have got a lot of stuff that we’ve got to work on; but it was great seeing the vets in action, seeing the vets going against other guys. They learned off their mistakes and off of the things they did well, so it was great.”

(It’s one thing to see yourself on film in practice but what did you take away from the preseason game when you watched yourself on film?) – “The No. 1 thing is just to go. I think I was really hesitant. I was kind of hesitant and didn’t want to mess up, whatever. But Coach ‘T’ (Defensive Line Coach Terrell Williams) and Coach ‘Dre’ (Assistant Defensive Line Coach Andre Carter) just told me I just need to go. My best attribute is my speed, so get off the ball and then reacting, playing instinctively and not thinking about things too much.”

(Did you have trouble remembering everything when you get out there under the lights?) – “No, not at all. No, it wasn’t (that I wasn’t) remembering the plays or anything like that. It was just really being in formations. We did a lot of game planning and stuff like that. We treated like it was a real game so a lot of us younger guys, we looked at a lot of formations and just trying to dissect them while we were playing and stuff like that. So it’s going to take time. It’s going to take time for us to be able to go into a game like we did in college, studying beforehand, getting to apply it. I think the first game is under our belt and we’re looking to get better each and every game.”

(Speaking of college, is DE William Hayes kind of like a wise, old professor for you while you’re out there?) – “Yes, he’s definitely the monk on our team. (laughter) He knows a lot of things off the field. That’s the biggest thing. He has a lot of information about, just about life off the field so it’s always great to have somebody like that in your locker room.”

(Football wise, what’s DE William Hayes been for you?) – “Football wise he is the same thing. He’s got a lot of experience. He’s a pass rusher. He’s also a run stopper. He’s everything in one when it comes to finding defensive ends, so it’s always great for us to be able to learn from a pass rush and from a run stopper perspective.”

(What’s one good life lesson that DE William Hayes has given you?) – “The first thing that he really taught me about was investing – a couple of things about investing, so that for sure.”