Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    cogitans is offline Jersey Retired
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    6,403

    A Quick Study - Napoleon Harris

    [size=14px]A Quick Study[/size]

    [size=9px]Author: Mike Wobschall, vikings.com[/size]

    Vikings linebacker Napoleon Harris is entering his second season in Minnesota, but in some respects it feels like his first. After spending 2005 platooning as an outside linebacker with E.J. Henderson and Keith Newman, Harris now finds himself playing middle linebacker with the first team.

    "It's going pretty good," Harris said of his second year in Purple. "We're coming in with a new system, great coaches, and with the new system being implemented it's so far so good."

    But learning, or relearning, the position and adjusting to the different responsibilities that come with playing the middle hasn't been difficult for the five-year veteran.

    "It hasn't been too much of a big adjustment," says Harris, who played middle linebacker for the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII against Tampa Bay. "I think the biggest adjustment has been calling out the plays of the defense and getting the defense to communicate. But after that, once you're off the ball you're off the ball and it's all gap responsibility after that."

    With Sam Cowart signed to play the middle last season, Harris was penciled in at outside linebacker, and would share the duties with Henderson and Newman. Now, with Cowart gone, Harris appears to be the front-runner to line up in the middle.

    So, after switching to the outside for a year and then coming back to the middle in 2006, one may be concerned with his comfort level playing the position.

    "I'd say it's about the same," Harris answered when asked about his comfort level with the middle position compared to the outside. "It's right about where I want it to be but I'm never satisfied. I'll just keep working hard and get better and better."

    Harris' adjustment to the middle linebacker position has more to do with just switching back from the outside, however. With the coaching changes that occurred this off-season, a new defensive scheme is being implemented. The well-chronicled Tampa Two defense is being installed by defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin, meaning Harris has to work that much harder to remain on top of his game.

    "I'm definitely more comfortable being that this is my second year," Harris said. "At the same time, it's a new beginning because we've got a new coaching staff and new everything so it takes some time to get adjusted to it. But I think it's a great thing because being here the whole off-season, learning the new system, learning what's expected of me, learning what's expected of my teammates [really helped] and once we all get on the same page everything should jell and work smoothly."

    Harris understands the role a middle linebacker plays, and he cherishes the responsibilities he now has.

    "Well, the middle linebacker automatically brings on a leadership role," Harris said after one afternoon practice session during training camp. "You look at the middle linebacker position as the quarterback on defense and that's something I take a lot of pride in and I've worked hard at being able to have that job in order to communicate to my teammates and demand the respect from my teammates. It's definitely a position that demands the respect of your teammates."

    So, how does the ‘quarterback of the defense' feel the team is adjusting to the new defensive scheme?

    "I think we're coming along. We're going to jell and get better and better. You've got some of the same guys that were here last year, but all in all you've got a new system, new staff and new terminology and those things take time to jell and get on the right track."

    But it won't take much longer. After all, Harris has already proven he's a quick study.

    Thanks to PPE for the sig.

  2. #2
    Vikes_King's Avatar
    Vikes_King is offline Jersey Retired
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    7,104

    Re: A Quick Study - Napoleon Harris

    im hoping he starts this year - although that means that E.J. Henderson will either start OLB or be benched behind Greenway - which sucks since he's played really well this training camp.

    wow, i cant believe im trying to think of which LB would be best rather then just.. least bad lol


    http://vikesking.blogspot.com/

    "We’ll win our own Super Bowl, with our own players. Real Vikings. Something Brett Favre can never be."

    - Dan Calabrese

  3. #3
    nephilimstorm's Avatar
    nephilimstorm is offline Star Spokesman
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    2,184

    Re: A Quick Study - Napoleon Harris

    Harris
    Ej
    Greenway (a lock even thou a rookie)

  4. #4
    marshallvike's Avatar
    marshallvike is offline Team Alumni
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Naperville, IL
    Posts
    2,456

    Re: A Quick Study - Napoleon Harris

    when did harrris become a quick study?
    Why must you defend everything this FO does....to the point of making your self look like a yes man.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    67

    Re: A Quick Study - Napoleon Harris

    I wouldnt be too sure about Greenway. He might have good instincts, but physically he will have trouble in the nfl because of his lack of bulk, I think Ben Leber or Dontarrious takes the outside opposite EJ with Napoleon Harris in the middle.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Buffalo, MN
    Posts
    982

    Re: A Quick Study - Napoleon Harris

    It's good to see that Harris is doing well this year. I suspected that last year he was playing out of position at SLB and should have been playing MLB. But Cowart was Cottrell's guy, and we know how that stuff goes.

    I think people sometimes forget that he did win the starting MLB job from Greg Biekert (in Oakland) as a Rookie. And though aging and slow, Biekert was easily our best LBer for a couple of years here.

    Here's my prediction for the linebacker spots:

    Base package:
    SLB - Leber
    MLB - Harris
    WLB - E.J. at first, then maybe Greenway later if he plays well.

    Nickel package:
    E.J. or Greenway
    Thomas - His athleticism should be useful here. He did play in a Cover-2 at Auburn so he knows the system.
    Proud member of PP.O since April 5th, 2003!

  7. #7
    cogitans is offline Jersey Retired
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    6,403

    Re: A Quick Study - Napoleon Harris

    "marshallvike" wrote:
    when did harrris become a quick study?
    To tell you the truth I don't understand what he means by that title either.

    Thanks to PPE for the sig.

  8. #8
    Benet's Avatar
    Benet is offline Star Spokesman
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    1,976

    Re: A Quick Study - Napoleon Harris

    I think that title means A Quick Study OF Napoleon Harris, by the writer.

    On the subject of the article, it seems that Napoleon is getting all the press regarding his place as the middle linebacker.

Similar Threads

  1. Vikings' Thigpen a quick study, and he has to be
    By COJOMAY in forum Vikings Fan Forum
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 08-14-2007, 05:38 PM
  2. Napoleon Harris - Gone but not bitter
    By singersp in forum General NFL Discussion
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-01-2007, 06:25 AM
  3. Napoleon Harris set to hit market
    By Prophet in forum Vikings Offseason/Draft/FA Forum
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 02-28-2007, 12:13 AM
  4. Napoleon Harris
    By napo58 in forum Vikings Fan Forum
    Replies: 52
    Last Post: 12-07-2005, 01:55 PM
  5. Napoleon Harris anyone?
    By GQVikesfan in forum Vikings Fan Forum
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 03-01-2005, 01:30 AM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •