Specialists during lockout helped Harris

August, 4, 2011
8/04/11
3:48
PM ET
With a typical NFL calendar, there isn’t a whole lot of time before one season ends and players check back in with their teams.

This lockout year changes that.

And Tommie Harris, the Colts' new veteran defensive tackle who was plagued by injuries during his time with the Bears, told ESPN Radio Chicago that was a good thing for him.
“It just gave me an opportunity to really strengthen things that I didn’t have confidence in," Harris said. "When you go into a season, people really don’t know that we really have a month or almost two months off before we get right back at it. Before you have other guys touching on you, poking on you and telling you that they can fix this and they can fix that. To have an opportunity to have all my specialists look at me and check me out and everybody put together a game plan, a person that doesn’t work for the team but really works for you, that you paid, that’s the type of deal we went through and it helped a lot.”

It doesn’t sound like he had a great deal of trust in the Bears’ people at the end. They probably didn’t have a lot in him either. He was named to the Pro Bowl three times, but injuries, including knee and hamstring problems, contributed to disappointing production.

So he did his own thing and found an opportunity now. That’s the way it should work.

Harris said he was eager to stay with a team connected to the Lovie Smith tree, and that Carolina was the other best option for him. John Clayton says Harris got a $100,000 bonus as part of a one-year, $910,000 contract.

It couldn’t be more cost friendly.

For more from the interview and a link to the audio, head here.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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