Al Harris: Veteran Safety Retires After 14 Year Career
The veteran cornerback sat out the second half of the 2011 season with a knee injury and says he plans on starting a coaching career to transition to life after the NFL.
He was currently a member of the St. Louis Rams after spending eight seasons with the Green Bay Packers, five with the Philadelphia Eagles and one with the Miami Dolphins after being selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the sixth round of the 1997 draft.
Despite leaving the game on less than ideal terms, Harris remains upbeat about his future:
That’s just God’s way of telling me it’s time for me to turn the page. I had an awesome time. I thank God for Spags (head coach Steve Spagnuolo) giving me the opportunity to come out and I hope I left a positive impression on everybody.
He played nine games for the Rams in 2011 before suffering the injury and landing on the injured reserve list. This comes after appearing in three games for the Miami Dolphins in 2010.
The nagging injury didn’t heal at the rate Harris thought it would and now he walks away from the game—with the ability to still walk. He isn’t going to be a former player that staggers around with a cane for the rest of his life.
The Texas A&M Aggie leaves the NFL with 468 career tackles, 21 interceptions and two forced fumbles in 194 career games.
He will be remembered for his aggressive play in coverage and speed to keep up with even the fastest receivers in the league. Before his recent injury troubles, he rolled off a streak of 10 straight years without missing a game. He was a defensive iron-man before age got in the way.
Harris leaves the game with a Super Bowl ring that the Packers gave him after he just missed their improbable run of last year. It’s an example of what his former employer thought of him and how much they valued his services.
Harris leaves for now, but who knows if he can become the next great head coach in a league that features plenty of teams that would free up an assistant spot for him.
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