Class of 2001
In 2004, he finished second in balloting for the Defensive Rookie of the Year award. In only his second NFL season, Harris was selected for the first time for the 2006 Pro Bowl. Harris is ideally suited to coach Lovie Smith's version of the Tampa 2 defense, which relies on quick, agile linemen to get pressure on the quarterback. Harris' play has earned him comparisons to the young Warren Sapp, who rose to prominence in a similar defensive scheme.
Harris enjoyed an excellent start to the 2006 season, leading the league with 5 sacks after 4 games. He was instrumental in a week 3 victory over the Vikings, disrupting a handoff in the Vikings backfield and forcing a fumble, which allowed the Bears to score their game winning touchdown. Furthermore, Harris was awarded the "NFC's Player of the Week Award" twice in three weeks. However, in the following weeks, Harris' productivity declined. Additionally, Harris was forced to leave the Bears' Week thirteen match up against the Vikings after sustaining a knee injury. Further medical review determined that Harris had severely injured his hamstring, and he missed the remainder of the 2006 season.
Despite the injury, Harris was selected to play in the 2007 Pro Bowl, and appeared on the cover of the February issue of Sports Illustrated for Kids. Without Harris, the Bears' noticed an a significant decrease in their pass rush and run defense. Though the Bears beat the New Orleans Saints to win the NFC Championship, the Indianapolis Colts beat the team at Super Bowl XLI.
1. "Tommy Boy: Standout Oklahoma DT Harris reveals his 'other' side", Kelly King, Sports Illustrated, August 6, 2002
2. "Pro Bowl DT Harris says he's going 'full tilt' after season-ending hamstring injury
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