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Harris unfazed by "fresh meat" label

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Blue Bolt, Sep 12, 2012.

  1. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Chargers rookie uses 'fresh meat' label
    Written by Michael Gehlken

    Norv Turner felt compelled to show something to Michael Harris the day before the Chargers season opener against the Raiders.

    A sheet of newspaper weighs less than one ounce.

    It can still move a 315-pounder.

    Harris stepped in for injured left tackle Jared Gaither on Monday night and more than handled the role in pass protection, allowing one hurry without a sack or hit on quarterback Philip Rivers. That production is passable anywhere, let alone the Black Hole, on national television, in a rookie's first career NFL regular-season game.

    Harris wasn't short on fuel going into it.

    He was trusted to protect the franchise quarterback. Oakland is the city where, in 1988, he was born. The Raiders are the team for which he grew up supporting. Forty-five offensive linemen were drafted in April, and the rookie from UCLA wasn't one of them.

    If that wasn't enough material, Turner told Harris about an article that ran in Saturday's edition of the Oakland Tribune.

    The head coach pointed out the headline, in particular: "Raiders defense will face fresh meat Chargers lineman."

    Fresh meat.

    "They called me fresh meat," Harris said. "That's all right. I know the target is going to be on me. Teams know that I'm a rookie left tackle. ...That was some motivation for me to come out here and just play, and that's what I did."

    Before this season, back when it was being designed, the Chargers planned for Gaither at left tackle.

    He's nursing a back injury, so the season moves forward without him.

    Harris is expected to start again Sunday against the Titans, and for extra motivation, maybe a Kamerion Wimbley highlight reel would do just fine.

    In Week 1, the Titans defensive end walloped Tom Brady during the second quarter. He speed rushed on a third-down pass play, dipping his inside shoulder to beat Patriots left tackle Nate Solder around the edge.

    When Wimbley sacked Brady, his left shin caught Brady in the helmet, causing a bloody nose.

    And the reel can include the four sacks from last year's game at Qualcomm Stadium when Wimbley, then a Raider, pressured Rivers at will with Brandyn Dombrowski replacing then-starter Marcus McNeill.

    Another week.

    Another challenge.

    "He's played good against speed rushers in the preseason," Turner said. "He's played good against a physical player. Every week, someone's studying film and saying, 'What do we do to beat him? What are the things he's going to need to get better at?' We're looking at the same thing.

    "You're a rookie start anywhere in this league. You're going to get tested every week."
     
  2. Dublin Bolt

    Dublin Bolt BoltTalker

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    My hats off to Mike Harris!... it's a win win situation for him and he seems more than capable of taking advantage. Good on him.
     
  3. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Surprised that Oakland didn't pressure him more. Titans won't make the same mistake.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  4. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    He passed his first class, now he's on to an advance class
     
  5. Pointyearedog

    Pointyearedog I only put idiots on ignore...

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    I hope he knows how to play dirty, cause that's what those Nashville knuckleheads do...
     
  6. Duffman57

    Duffman57 BoltTalker

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    Huh? Oakland threw tons of guys at him, stunted into him, brought Ss up faking blitz and droping into coverage or blitzing the S off the edge. The Oakland front 7 REALLY played around the whole game, there was at least 5-10 plays where they had 8 men flat scross the line, no second level of LBs, just 8 on the line. They tried real hard to confuse our line, but we kept in check pretty good.
     
  7. Lance19

    Lance19 BoltTalker

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    Only the Wal-Mart deli's more ill at ease with the phrase "fresh meat."
     
  8. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    A lot of those overloads/DB blitzes came from Clary's side. The stunts challenged the interior OL/RB's more than the tackles.

    Harris did a very good job, but I'll maintain that he could have been pressured much harder.
     

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