Veteran football offensive tackle Ryan Harris signed a one year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles on August 2nd. He had spent the previous four seasons with the Denver Broncos. And, now he has his sights set on the starting right tackle position currently occupied by Winston Justice. However, the job should be fairly open, with Justice having finished last season on the bench in a playoff game.
Harris was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and was raised in the church of Unitarian Universalism before converting to Islam. He was football and wrestling star in high school. And, after being heavily recruited for football, he went to the University of Notre Dame, where he started on the offensive line for all four years.
Former Philadelphia Eagles linebacker, and current football analyst, Garry Cobb viewed Harris at Eagles practice and wrote, â€œI got a short look at Harris but it wasnâ€™t enough for me to give him a thumbs up or thumbs down. He looks and sounds like a good, intelligent athlete with the size to get the job done. I didnâ€™t focus on him during the workout, I know I didnâ€™t see his man getting to the quarterback, which is really all that matters.â€
Cobb wrote further on PhillySports24X7.com, â€œI talked to Harris after practice and he talked about all the new techniques heâ€™s had to learn from new offensive line coach Howard Mudd. I could tell that Harris is a cool confident customer, which [is] the attitude you must have to survive at offensive tackle in this league with all of these phenomenally talented defensive ends in the league.â€
Harris was drafted by the Denver Broncos as a 3rd round pick (70th overall) in the 2007 NFL draft. In the 2008 season, Harris only allowed 1.5 sacks on his quarterback, Jay Cutler. The next year, Harris only started and played in 8 games, due to injuries. He dislocated two toes in a game on November 1, 2009. The injury kept him out the rest of season and was placed on Injured Reserve on December 9. Now, he becomes a part of Philadelphiaâ€™s so-called Dream Team. And he will have a valuable role on the team, that of protecting prized quarterback Michael Vick.