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  1. #11
    cajunvike's Avatar
    cajunvike is offline Jersey Retired
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    Sep 2004

    Re: Middle linebacker Harris puts season to forget behind him

    "nephilimstorm" wrote: gonna call donnie edwards and have him sign you in sign language the phraze @ u!

  2. #12
    nephilimstorm's Avatar
    nephilimstorm is offline Star Spokesman
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    Dec 1969

    Re: Middle linebacker Harris puts season to forget behind him

    lol just it donnie your talking about??

  3. #13
    MaddenVodkaAddict's Avatar
    MaddenVodkaAddict is offline Coordinator
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    Dec 1969

    Re: Middle linebacker Harris puts season to forget behind him

    If he does not make the pro bowl I will punch a baby.
    I Love Kerry Collins (and John Rocker).

  4. #14
    Braddock's Avatar
    Braddock is offline Hall of Famer
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    Dec 1969
    Clermont, FL

    Re: Middle linebacker Harris puts season to forget behind hi

    "maddenhasamancrushonfavre" wrote:
    If he does not make the pro bowl I will punch a baby.
    If you punch a baby, I'll make sure Napo never gets to the pro bowl, thus creating a viscous cycle of baby punching and missed pro bowls.
    Trying to bring rationale to an irrational site

  5. #15
    Aberration's Avatar
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    Dec 1969

    Re: Middle linebacker Harris puts season to forget behind hi

    I can't imagine how hard last year was on him, good thing he took it to heart and wasn't just stealing money, I'm pulling for him to be the great mlb we need and make the unit on par with the line and secondary.

  6. #16
    snowinapril's Avatar
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    Dec 1969

    Re: Middle linebacker Harris puts season to forget behind hi

    "WBLVikeBabe" wrote:
    Hmm never heard it from Harris' perspective before, I kinda feel bad for the guy. Hopefully he'll be able to step up and prove himself this year.
    Doesn't surprise me, Cotrell brought in Sam for a reason, and pushed Napo to the back.

    I think the comment about Tice being here, and Napo wouldn't be, says a lot about Tice and the way he lost control.

    His coaches wouldn't even do what he asked.

  7. #17
    UndisputedVike's Avatar
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    Dec 1969

    Re: Middle linebacker Harris puts season to forget behind hi

    I'm really starting to see how bad of a coach Tice, and the rest of the goons were, I thought they were bad, but they were really really bad. I always liked Napo even when he was at Oakland.

    I don't think it's right to judge his ability based on last year, our whole team stunk in the first half of the season. I think he'll step up this year and be the high caliber player he was expected to be.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 1969

    Re: Middle linebacker Harris puts season to forget behind hi

    I agree that Harris will be starting after he gets his chance to prove himself.

  9. #19
    Benet's Avatar
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    Dec 1969

    Re: Middle linebacker Harris puts season to forget behind him

    I'd like to see a starting linebacker corps as Greenway at weakside, Napoleon in the middle, and Leber strongside.

    Or maybe Dontarrious at middle.. I don't know, I haven't seen anything of him in training camp yet.

  10. #20
    singersp's Avatar
    singersp is offline PPO Newshound
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    Sep 2005

    Re: Middle linebacker Harris puts season to forget behind hi

    Posted on Wed, Aug. 02, 2006

    [size=18px]Harris hopes for fresh start[/size]
    Linebacker glad to be playing for new coaching staff after seeing limited playing time last season

    Pioneer Press

    MANKATO, Minn.
    — A year ago, upon arriving at Vikings training camp, linebacker Napoleon Harris did what came naturally to him. He played defense.

    Not only on the Minnesota State Mankato practice fields, but also in front of the players' dormitory, where reporters peppered him with questions about being traded for the Vikings' signature player, receiver Randy Moss.

    Then, during the season, Harris kept his defensive posture, privately seething that his talents were underused and underappreciated. In the midst of starting a career-low three games, including being inactive for a December game in Detroit, Harris declined nearly every interview request from reporters and limited his interaction within the club.

    "It was a very frustrating year, knowing that you can play and do some things, and you weren't really given an opportunity," Harris said Tuesday.

    "I made some mistakes early on, and I admit to that. But I don't think it was justified where I was not even playing at all."

    Harris did not get a reprieve off the field either in 2005, with a cousin, an aunt and one of his best friends dying.

    "Last year was definitely a tough year for me," Harris said. "The roughest year in my life."

    But January 2006 provided immediate encouragement, when Brad Childress replaced Mike Tice as the Vikings' head coach. Then, the club hired Mike Tomlin, a young and candid coach, to run the defense, and Fred Pagac, a blunt veteran, to oversee the linebackers. The latter moved especially pleased Harris, because his two most productive NFL seasons with the Oakland Raiders were under Pagac.

    In June, Harris got married.

    Now, in the early days of training camp, Harris' countenance is drastically different from a year ago. He smiles more and is more vocal in practices and in meetings.

    "I'm very impressed with what Napo has done since last year," Vikings linebacker E.J. Henderson said. "He came in with a positive attitude, stepped right in, and took on a way bigger leadership role than last year.

    "He definitely came out with something to prove, with the way everybody was talking about him at the end last season. He's coming out and letting people know he is for real. He embraced the fresh start."

    So much, in fact, that Harris switched gears: He was proactive in arranging this interview, and he answered every question posed to him.

    For instance, despite comments suggesting otherwise from Tice last season, Harris said he wasn't hampered by knee injuries that slowed him in 2004.

    "I think that was more of an excuse, to do the things that happened last year," Harris said. "I definitely feel I was healthy."

    Harris also said coaches last season favored other players with whom they were more familiar, which cornerback Antoine Winfield reiterated. For example, middle linebacker Sam Cowart and strong-side linebacker Keith Newman both played for defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell in Buffalo.

    "(Harris) didn't really have a chance last year," said Winfield, who also played in Buffalo with Cottrell, Cowart and Newman. "He just didn't get as many reps. Sam was Ted's guy."

    What frustrated Harris even more was what he said was a lack of honesty from coaches last season.

    Asked what he likes about the new coaching staff, Harris immediately said, "They shoot from the hip.

    "If they tell you something, that's the way it's going to be. I couldn't say that in the past. They (the 2005 staff) tell you something, then 10 minutes later, it's different. Coach Tomlin, coach Childress and coach Pagac, if they tell you something, you can believe it. You have a lot of trust for these guys, and it's easier to play for a coach that you can trust, because you know he has got your back, and you're willing to go out and sacrifice your body for these guys."

    Although his feelings toward last season's coaching staff are clear, Harris said he didn't vent his frustrations because of respect for his teammates.

    "You see different situations where guys become distractions on their team," Harris said. "But I didn't want to let my teammates down, because it wasn't any of their faults. That's why I worked so hard in the offseason, so I could show them (my teammates) that, 'Hey, I'm here for you guys.' "

    And during his rough patches last year, Harris relied on the counsel of relatives, including an uncle who reminded him, "The cream always rises to the top."

    "I felt if I got another opportunity, I'd come out and prove myself," Harris said.

    In training camp, Harris is competing for the middle linebacker spot with Dontarrious Thomas, and Henderson also could get some looks there.

    Despite the stiff competition, Harris and Henderson said the unit gets along and constantly pushes one another.

    "We have a great bunch of guys playing linebacker, and the competitiveness that we play with is inspiring," Harris said. "We keep tabs on guys with production, amongst ourselves."

    Harris is mature enough to handle disappointment. He said Pagac wouldn't treat him like a "poster child" just because they know each other.

    "If a guy beats me out and performs at a higher level than me, so be it," Harris said. "I'm willing to accept that. I just want a fair chance."

    Besides, Harris is at a crossroad in his career. He is in the final year of his original rookie contract, which pays him $1.158 million this season.

    "This is the last year of my contract, so I'm looking forward to playing big," Harris said.

    Sean Jensen can be reached at [email protected]

    Harris hopes for fresh start

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

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