The Miami Dolphins used their first-round draft choice this year to select Missouri defensive end Charles Harris, giving them an exciting pass rusher with the potential to develop into a special player at the NFL level, and an heir apparent to Cameron Wake whenever Miami’s veteran Pro Bowl defensive end retires. It was a heady move by Miami, who got the player they wanted with the 22nd overall selection. In early offseason training program reports, the Dolphins have been rewarded in their desire to add Harris to the roster.
Minicamp opens today, giving the Dolphins their first chance to put on pads as a team - and the coaches their first chance to see Harris in a near-live type of scenario. Multiple media reports throughout the offseason training program, including the last three weeks of organized team activities, have the Dolphins excited about Harris and what he is showing. And, it might be an off-the-field move for the rookie that is even better news for the team.
According to a report on Monday from the Miami Herald’s Armando Salguero, Harris has reached out to Dolphins Hall of Fame defensive end Jason Taylor, asking for a chance to workout and watch film together.
“It was 30 seconds after I met him," Taylor told Salguero of the request from Harris. "He wants to work out and watch film together.”
Salguero then asked Taylor if any other Dolphins rookie defensive ends had ever contacted him about working out, pass rush tips, or a chance to watch film together. “Ha,” Taylor replied. “None.”
Harris already knows he has an all-time great in Wake from whom he can learn. He has said he will be Wake’s little brother, following him around and just trying to absorb as much as he can. He even, after wearing number 91 in college - Wake’s number with the Dolphins - accepted number 90 from the Dolphins for a fairly simple reason, "Mr. Wake got 91, so I’m going to take one step down. But I guess it’s alright, I’m the little brother. Number 90, number 91.”
Now, he is looking for another chance to meet with, and learn from, a Dolphins legend. “I wanted to train with him,” Harris told Salguero of working with Taylor. “He’s a Hall of Famer. I just want to train with him, learn from him, get better under a legend.
“You got to take a risk,” Harris continued. “You have to take a chance. When I first met him I didn’t know if he thought I’d be worthy of it. To be honest, I thought I might not be worthy of it. I’ve never had a Hall of Famer who’s been a big-time player train me or coach me. But I’m going to try to take advantage of my first opportunity.”
Harris seems to be saying and doing all the right things for the Dolphins, even before his rookie year officially begins. The coaches are excited by what they are seeing and hearing. If this keeps up, it will not take long for the fans to realize the club might have a special player - one who is learning from some extremely special players.