Safety Will Harris still has undefined role in Lions defense – The Morning Sun


Will Harris showed supreme versatility in the defensive backfield for the Lions a season ago.

The 26-year-old lined up not only at his traditional safety position, but also on the outside and at cornerback, due to various physical and health issues (a COVID-19 outbreak) suffered by the players. other defensive backs on the team.

The Boston College product has done all of that while adjusting for all 17 games in 2021.

Now, in 2022, the fourth-year pro doesn’t exactly have a defined role.

“I think Will, part of his strength is his versatility. That’s one of his biggest attributes, which we found out last year,” Detroit head coach Dan Campbell said via Beat Lions reporter Justin Rogers. “I think he’s a jack-of-all-trades. We are still talking right now. You just go out on the first day, do you put it in the corner or do you put it in the safe? I’ll be honest, we haven’t just locked that down right now. We still talk about it a bit. That’s not a bad thing.

Harris recorded a team-high 1,012 defensive snaps last season, while producing a career-high 93 total tackles, one forced fumble and four passes defended.

Detroit general manager Brad Holmes will likely select at least one defensive back in the NFL Draft in April. Whichever direction he goes, whether it’s signing a cornerback or a safety, it’s likely going to play a big part in determining Harris’ role with the Lions this coming season.

ONWUZURIKE COMMITTED TO IMPROVEMENT

Dissecting the movie from the game or even Levi Onwuzurike’s stat line from last season, it won’t take long to realize that he hasn’t had the most impactful rookie campaign.

Despite playing 16 games, Onwuzurike, the Lions’ 2021 second-round pick (No. 41 overall), failed to make a single start, and he recorded just 35 total tackles. , only one QB hit and only one sack. The 6-foot-3, 295-pound defensive lineman also produced a paltry three QB pressures on 184 pass-rush snaps, per Pro Football Focus.

By all accounts, however, he is committed to improving for his second season in the league. This was best exemplified by the fact that he spent a lot of time at the Lions’ Allen Park training facility throughout the offseason.

Campbell believes the time Onwuzurike is now taking to work on his craft will help the University of Washington product take the next step in his career.

“As we all know, you don’t make bigger jumps than (year) one to two,” Campbell said, via Rogers. “That’s the biggest leap that most guys take. … So he’s expected to take a leap forward, you know? I know he’s got the right mindset.

“…He put his money where his mouth is. I know that from a training point of view, he has enough pride and he knows what he has to do. Everyone learns at a different pace in this league, man.

This article was produced by the staff of Sports Illustrated/All Lions. To learn more, visit si.com/nfl/lions.

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