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Charles Harris Looking Forward To Significant Role In 2019

Charles Harris appears poised to enter his third NFL season as a full-time starter for the first time, a development that obviously has him excited.

But what he's most looking forward to doing in 2019 is doing his job as well as possible in order to "serve" his teammates.

After using the phrase "very significant" to describe being listed as a first-team linebacker on the regular season depth chart, Harris explained that it's all about the team.

"I'm trying to do my job, just serve my teammates," he said after practice Thursday. "Just put myself in a position, but (also) always trying to be there for Christian Wilkins and DG (Davon Godchaux) and Bake (Jerome Baker) and everybody, just trying to fit that role. Not only that, but also accelerate those guys, make those guys better as well. It's a complement of all things.

"Being first team doesn't really mean anything, it's just a matter of you've got more responsibility and (you) just try to carry out the role."

The Dolphins' first-round pick in the 2017 draft, Harris started three games in his first two NFL seasons while lining up at defensive end in the team's 4-3 alignment.

The team also described its defensive alignment as a 4-3 throughout the preseason and Harris started the first three games before joining a vast majority of his teammates on the sideline for the finale against the New Orleans Saints last Thursday.

While there are several questions about what the Dolphins defense will look like in 2019, one thing that appears clear is that there will be a lot of different looks.

It's something that appeals to Harris.

"I like it all," Harris said of the defensive scheme. "I definitely do. The head coach (Brian Flores) and the DC (defensive coordinator Patrick Graham) and the D-line coach (Marion Hobby), I think they're all geniuses at the game and just trying to put everybody in the right position. I think that's what they're doing across the board.

"It's just making me be a better player every week. That's the biggest thing. One week I'm going to be doing this, next week I'm going to be doing something different. I'm playing left side, I'm playing right side, just never know. It's a challenge. That's the best way to put it. It's something where you work out the kinks in practice and game time make it happen."

Since he took over as head coach and began working with his new players, Flores consistently has praised Harris for his work ethic and the professional approach he displayed.

Hobby also was complimentary of Harris' diligence when Dolphins assistant coaches spoke to the media.

"I like Charles because Charles is a very conscientious player," Hobby said. "He wants to know, he has no problem asking if he doesn't understand. He's talking more and that's great. The guys have natural respect for him because of who he is. I think he's very consistent on who he is. Yeah, I think he's done some good stuff. I've been pleased with where he's progressing.

"I think he's come a long way. I think the credit goes to him. He's bought into what we're asking him to do. Charles has played at Missouri one way and he's played his first two years (here) one way. We're getting him to say, 'Hey, we're doing things a little bit different. We're not taking anything from you, but this is what we need you to do to help us win.' … I think football is important to him. You've just got to keep feeding him. I think where he's at, he's been told what he can't do. I'm trying to convince him of what he can do. Those are some things you can't coach."


Linebacker Raekwon McMillan was asked about Harris on Thursday, and his reply showed the kind of respect that Hobby mentioned.

"Charles is looking real good," McMillan said. "He is everything that everybody said he would be. I think he is going to go out there and make plays. He has a chance to be one of the best in the league if he puts it all together."

For Harris, it's simply a matter of getting better every day, take to coaching and then apply the lessons learned.

"It's been going well," he said. "Whatever they want me to do, I'm out there trying to get that job done and trying to be there for my teammates and serve them the best way I can."

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