Of the many undrafted rookies populating NFL training camps, perhaps the most intriguing is in Bethlehem, Pennsyvania. There, former Oregon cornerback Cliff Harris hopes to resurrect his football career, which went from All-American status to off-the-team status to no-draft-for-you status.
“It was a humbling experience, seeing what I had gained and what I had lost,” Harris said, via Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
He now stands to gain plenty, if he can play in Philly like he played in Eugene.
“Everybody makes mistakes,” Harris said. “And they’re going to give me the chance to prove myself and show everybody that I was young at the time, I made some young mistakes, and I’ve matured from them.”
For a team whose starting quarterback did far worse than make “mistakes” during a multi-year lifestyle choice that included allowing dogs to kill each other for sport and intentionally killing dogs deemed unfit to kill other dogs, the smattering of speeding tickets and marijuana possession and underage alcohol possession seems innocuous.
Coach Andy Reid isn’t worried about a relapse from Harris. “We have a strong team and hope that he learns from his mistakes,” Reid said Wednesday in comments distributed by the team. “You put him in and you bank on the veterans to help teach him and the coaches help teach him. Hopefully he learned from what he did before and doesn’t do it again.”
So far, playing only with other rookies, Harris has performed well. “He did some good things,” Reid said. “[Tuesday] he learned a couple lessons down in the red zone. We ran the same route against him today and he broke it up. That’s a good sign that he could learn from his mistakes.”
If he can learn from his mistakes both on and off the field, Harris someday could develop into a solid contributor for the Eagles.