Chicago Sun-Times

Chris Harris: "I got a lot of football ahead of me"

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After his release from the Bears, veteran safety Chris Harris told the Sun-Times that he's confident that he's got "at least three of four years" left in him.

"I got a lot of football ahead of me," he said. "I'm just hoping to get an opportunity somewhere, this year."

On Thursday, as he planned to head out of town during the bye, Harris was surprised when he was informed upon his arrival at Halas Hall to go visit with coach Lovie Smith.

Harris said he visited with Smith for about five minutes, he wasn't told why he went from starter on Sunday to released -- with five other safeties still on the roster -- Thursday.

"I wish I knew," Harris said. "That's the million dollar question everyone wants answered."

Asked why he didn't ask Smith, Harris said, "Me getting answers isn't going to change anything.

"I listened to what he had to say, then I thanked him for giving me the opportunity."

Still, Harris did take exception to Smith questioning his ability to play special teams.

"I played special teams in Carolina," he said. "For someone to say I can't play special teams is wrong. I wasn't asked to play special teams, but I can play them."

Harris said he stepped in for a few plays last season, when someone else got hurt.

Finally, I asked Harris if he's lost a step.

"I don't think that's a legitimate concern, at all. My speed is the same at 2005. I was never a blazer," he said. "But the only thing that's changed is, I'm smarter.

"Am I as athletic as other safeties on this team? No. They're probably more athletic, but athleticism isn't what got me drafted or into the starting lineup. It's because of my smarts."

Still, Harris made clear that he's not bitter.

"It's a business, and I handle it as such," he said. "Disappointed? Yeah. But not bitter. I don't burn any bridges.

"I take the punch, and I keep on moving."

Other teams can claim the remainder of his contract by 4 p.m. Friday.

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To me, this move comes as a surprise. I think theres more to this story than we know? I mean yeah Chris Harris's play was a little off for a couple games, but to cut him midway through the season? And then to keep Brandon Meriweather? Meriweather is the safety I figured might be on the cutting block. Major Wright will be their strong safety, but durability has always been a question mark with ol Major? I know if Major goes down again Meriweather can play strong safety. The emergence of rookie Chris Conte probably was part of the reason Chicago let Harris go also, but, I think theres more to this story? Probably something behind the scene?

The million dollar question now remains, who takes Harris place on the roster? Maybe rookie safety Winston Venable? He's a big hitter who can play special teams. Maybe someone else? Maybe someone on the practice squad or someone elses practice squad? A defensive end perhaps? Should be interesting GO BEARS!!

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on October 27, 2011 2:10 PM.

Lovie Smith explains the release of Chris Harris was the previous entry in this blog.

Sneak Peak at NFL Network's "Mike Ditka: A Football Life" is the next entry in this blog.

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