New Indianapolis Colts DT Tommie Harris Confident and Excited to Be in Indy

Brian GoldsmithContributor IIIAugust 4, 2011

CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 16:  Tommie Harris #91 of the Chicago Bears reacts after a sack of quarterback Matt Hasselbeck #8 of the Seattle Seahawks in the 2011 NFC divisional playoff game at Soldier Field on January 16, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Indianapolis Colts newest free-agent acquisition, defensive tackle Tommie Harris, was on ESPN Radio Chicago with Waddle and Silvy today talking about his new team and how the lockout helped him.

On why he chose Indianapolis, Harris said:

Carolina and Indy were the other two options. I just wanted to be familiar with the system and be pretty much under the same tree as Lovie was. To get as close as possible to it and I got it with the Colts and Coach Caldwell.

A key point for Colts fans is that Harris is familiar with the defense. So a worry that faces most free agents joining a new team in this lockout-shortened offseason, learning a new playbook, does not apply to Harris with the Colts.

On playing between Pro Bowl defensive ends Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis:

I had an opportunity to play with a great defensive end in Peppers and Israel Idonije and now to have an opportunity to play with Mathis and Freeney, it’s like I’m just switching uniforms.

CHICAGO - SEPTEMBER 12: Tommie Harris #91 of the Chicago Bears pressures Shaun Hill of the Detroit Lions during the NFL season opening game at Soldier Field on September 12, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Lions 19-14. (Photo by Jonathan
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

If Harris can stay healthy, he will be a great addition to the Colts pass rush, which is basically Freeney and Mathis.

Speaking of health, Harris spoke about how injuries have affected him:

Most definitely, but I find a way to get my job done. When you have this opportunity, and I’m so fortunate for this lockout, to have this opportunity to see what you really can get done in about six months that we really had off, I’m confident to see how I’m gonna do out there.

On how the lockout helped him:

It just gave me an opportunity to really strengthen things that I didn’t have confidence in. 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.

Mildly encouraging for Colts fans, but only time will tell if Harris can stay on the field.

On his expectations on playing for the Colts:

I don’t even know the whole deal, but I don’t expect anything to be given to me. One thing I just want to be a part of their number. I don’t come in trying to demand anything. I just want to present what I can do and let that take care of itself.

During his first few years in the league, Harris was one of the most dominating defensive tackles in the league. Injuries to his hamstring and knee, as well as a place in coach Lovie Smith’s doghouse, hampered his performance in his final few years in Chicago. The Colts picked him up earlier this week on a one-year deal worth $900,000. They hope he can regain some of that old form, and contribute to an area of need the Colts have not been able to fill in quite some time.

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