View Full Version : Harris speaks in first interview with the Vikes

03-07-2005, 04:50 PM
Exclusive Q & A with LB Harris
7 March 2005

Do you know anything about the Vikings and the tradition they have?
Harris: Number one, I know about the "Purple People Eaters." Carl Eller, I know him, I met him personally, his son Regis played a year with me at Northwestern. I know a little about them. I know they played some tenacious defense back then. The Purple People Eaters were similar to the "Steel Curtain" in Pittsburgh. Hopefully we can get that tradition going back here.

Do you have any relationships with any of our current players?Harris: I'm pretty good friends with Bryant McKinnie as well as Kelly Campbell and Brain Williams.

Are you excited to get a fresh start in a purple uniform?
Harris: I'm definitely excited to get a new start or a fresh start in a purple uniform. I've been wearing purple pretty much my entire football career. My high school color was purple, college at Northwestern was purple. It definitely is refreshing to be playing back in the Midwest, close to Chicago and all and putting that purple on is going to be a great thing.

You grew up around Chicago; do you look forward to playing in the NFC North and traveling to Soldier Field once a year?
Harris: I'm defiantly looking forward to going back to Soldier Field, playing in Chicago in front of the home crowd. My friends and family will be there to support me and get a chance to play those guys twice a year so definably the Midwest will have a better chance to see me play. I played in Chicago once with Oakland.

How is your knee?
Harris: The knee is healed up. It's just a matter of me rehabbing for more strength. Right now I'm fine. It's just not as strong as the other knee which is expected because of the injury. It's only a couple weeks away from being rehabbed one hundred percent as far as the strength is concerned.

You played collegially at Northwestern; do you have any memories of playing in the Metrodome?
Harris: I have one specific memory of playing in the Metrodome and I think it was Jack Brewer who I think was a receiver and he was opposite from me. He caught like a slant route and he was off to the races. He got to about the 15 or 20 yard-line and I ended up hustling him from behind and they ended up missing the field goal and we won. So that was a pretty big time play for me in college.

What can you bring to the Vikings defense and our group of linebackers?
Harris: I feel it is leadership. I think that's something that sometimes gets lost in the shuffle. When people look at productivity and how guys play, I think leadership is a quality that a lot of people don't have. So players can be great players and not be leaders. I think leaders not only play to a high level of ability that they have in themselves, but they also bring other players along to raise their level of play and that's what I plan on doing with myself as well as the rest of the young linebackers. I still consider myself a young linebacker but I know there are other linebackers here that are younger than I am. I'm definitely going to bring that to the group and hopefully we can raise the defense's level of play.

This is a big trade in the NFL, what is it like to be a part of such a highly publicized trade?
Harris: I look at it like business, it's part of being traded. Everyone looks at Randy Moss as a huge figure in the NFL. He was the face of the Vikings along with Daunte Culpepper. It's highly publicized. Everyone knows that he is going to the Raiders and I am coming here. I take it as what it is, it is what it is. He's going to be on a new team and so am I. And everyone's anxious and waiting to see what each team got in the trade. People in Minnesota and across the league are going to know what they got in me and I'm pretty sure the Raiders will find out what they have in him. Hopefully at the end of the year we'll say that we got the better end of the deal here in Minnesota.

What is your impression of Head Coach Mike Tice?
Harris: "He's huge. He's a lot bigger than I thought he was. I knew he was pretty tall and a massive guy on television but standing next to him, I like to think I draw a lot of attention from people but he's bigger than I am. I look at it like, whatever, you actually have a coach that's bigger than you. I think he's a great coach and will continue to be a great coach in this league because he's played the game. It's hard for coaches that never played the game to understand the ins and outs of football. I think he has an inside track because he's actually been a player in this league and knows what it takes to win.

Can you talk about your time in Oakland and the opportunity to play in the Super Bowl as a rookie?
Harris: "It was great. My time in Oakland was great. Coming there as a rookie, helping the defense and going to the Super Bowl, playing. It was a great experience. I have no regrets about the way I played in Oakland and the things I contributed to the team. My time there was my time there, it's time for me to move on and pursue greater passions and that's what I plan on doing here in Minnesota, in Vikings country."

Can the Vikings make the playoffs again in 2005?
Harris: Definitely. Oakland didn't go to the playoffs last year and the Vikings did. I don't see any reason why the Vikings should stop doing what they did previously. What now we have to do is take last year's season and build upon it and go further in the playoffs. That's the goal every year, take it another step further into the playoffs until you get to the ultimate goal and that's to win the Super Bowl.

What are your impressions of defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell?
Harris: Coach Cottrell is a real funny guy. I had a chance to briefly meet him back when I was coming out and getting drafted. I played against him a few times when he was with the Jets. He's definitely a guy with great character, a funny guy. I think he's a guy that knows how to communicate with his players and knows how to get the best out of them.


03-07-2005, 06:40 PM
"Prophet" wrote:

Do you have any relationships with any of our current players?Harris: I'm pretty good friends with Bryant McKinnie as well as Kelly Campbell and Brain Williams.

I hope he does not hang around Campbell anymore!

03-07-2005, 06:42 PM
"ultravikingfan" wrote:

"Prophet" wrote:

Do you have any relationships with any of our current players?Harris: I'm pretty good friends with Bryant McKinnie as well as Kelly Campbell and Brain Williams.

I hope he does not hang around Campbell anymore!

lol I hope that too.

03-08-2005, 12:30 PM
I really liked the leadership answer. That is something the Vikings have really been lacking on the field.