By John Turney
|Harris with the 49ers in 1978|
Most fans, even hard-core fans may not remember or even have heard of Joe Harris. He had a short career and even so, was a vagabond of sorts playing for five teams in six seasons (nine teams in nine years if you count the CFL and USFL and his preseason/training camp stints with the Bears in 1975 and the Dolphins in 1982)
Certainly, Georgia Tech fans would know him.
As a collegiate player for Tech, he totaled 415 tackles and still holds the single-season tackle record with 188 in 1974. (We've posted before about college tackles being "puffed" at almost all schools) but be that as it may, Harris was a great Yellow Jacket.
With Washington (now weighing 225 pounds, up from the 214 when he was coming out of college), as a first-year player ( In 1975 he was an eighth-round pick by the Chicago Bears and played with the Hamiton Tiger-Cats in Canada that year and in 1976, when he led the team in tackles) he played just on special teams, part of the last George Allen team in the Nation's Capital, one always known for special teams.
Harris was brought in to add depth behind Mike Curtis, who himself was filling in for Hall of Famer Chris Hamburger who missed 11 games that year due to various ailments. He received a game ball after the Cardinals game in December, according to Allen for his "always good job with the specialty teams".
|Harris, #51, as the R-1 on Washington's kickoff unit|
Stats, LLC., began tracking stuffs in 1994 in their football annuals, but they did not include pass plays—running plays only. The NFL, beginning in 1999, has a "tackles for loss" statistic but it includes sacks but does not include sacks or tackles for a loss where the lead tackler forced a fumble. So, if a pass rusher had 12 sacks and on three of them he went the extra mile and forced a fumble, he'd only have 9 tackles for loss on those twelve plays.
|Some looks at the Rams sub package in 1980 vs Dallas|
|Harris, with the Colts, dogging in their 40 nickel package|
|The Colts nickel in 1982|
|Harris with the Federals in the USFL|