New Bears head coach Marc Trestman wasn’t in Chicago during the four seasons when Chris Harris played safety for the Bears, and Trestman and Harris haven’t previously worked together in any capacity. But Trestman has hired Harris to be the Bears’ defensive quality control coach, and Trestman has been impressed with Harris’s approach to the job.
Trestman told the Chicago Tribune that Harris is “doing the tough work” as an assistant coach, and that Harris is eager to show he belongs as a coach.
“He wanted to learn how to be a coach from the ground up,” Trestman said. “He understands the defense very well. He understands what it’s like to be a player from a different perspective. He’ll have the respect of the players because a lot of them know him as a person. I’m excited for him because he wants to do it the right way. He doesn’t feel like he’s entitled to have more of a job than he has and he’s a great addition in terms of a communicator. He really adds value to our staff.”
Harris will coach some players who were his teammates a couple years ago, but he doesn’t think it will be hard for those players to adjust to viewing him as a coach, rather than a teammate.
“It’s an awesome thing that I can start my coaching career in the same place I started my playing career,” Harris said. “I would like to think I was pretty respected on the defensive side of the ball. There will be a little adjustment period where guys on the other side see me going into the coaches’ locker room, not the players’ locker room. But I don’t think it will be too bad.”
Just a few months after his playing career ended, Harris sounds like he’s ready to embark on a lasting career as a coach.