Training camp is full of clichés. Beast: A player who is physically dominating. Grind: Another day of hard work. What's the number one cliché?
Players saying, "I am just trying to get better every day." On rare occasions, a player actually lives up to a cliché. Such is the case with Chargers LT Mike Harris, who was an undrafted free agent.
Harris won the most improved player of the year for two consecutive seasons at UCLA. “I take pride in that,” he said. “I am happy that my coaches at UCLA saw that in me. I just come in every day trying to get better than the day before.”
Starting LT Jared Gaither (back spasms) has missed most of training camp and this has led to Harris taking the majority of the first-team snaps.
“As a rookie you can drastically see a difference in a month's period of time,” QB Philip Rivers said of a Harris before Saturday's preseason game against the Cowboys. “I think he is in the boat were each and every day he gets better at something.”
Harris, however, allowed a sack on the Chargers'second offensive play of the game when LB Victor Butler bull rushed past him.
Fortunately, Harris had an opportunity to redeem himself with two practices against the Cowboys on Monday and Tuesday, and he performed well. “That is what it was about,” Harris said. “I knew I was going to get another chance against them. I feel like I improved much better from the game.”
“Two or three of the Cowboys coaches said his name,” coach Norv Turner said. “[Harris] is going to be a good player for us. Obviously, I'd like Gaither here, but it has presented an opportunity for Michael and he's taking advantage of it. “
Harris is trying to avoid the emotional roller coaster of playing well one day and then making a rookie mistake the next. “I am just staying humble,” Harris said. “I know that I'm never going to have a perfect game or a perfect practice, but I need to just continue to improve on my flaws. Just improve on my technique.”
With last week behind him, Harris has now turned his focus to playing the Vikings on Friday. “I have to get ready for this week,” Harris said. “I got a great competitor in Jared Allen.”