After three days of Packers training camp practices, it appears DuJuan Harris will be given an opportunity to win the kick returner job.
It’s way too early for anybody to get a sense of who has the advantage in contested position battles, but the thought of Harris returning kicks intrigues me in an old-school football sort of way.
Harris packs 200-plus pounds onto his 5-foot-8 frame and runs like a burning man sprinting for a nearby lake. A “rolling ball of butcher knives” was the phrase an NFL scout used to describe Harris in a Bob McGinn game review story a few years back.
I want to see Harris take a kick five yards deep in the end zone, build up a head of steam, and plow straight into the first guy who tries to tackle him. If Harris hits a pile of tacklers forming a wall to bring him down, my money is on the wall moving backward before Harris hits the turf.
The NFL has tried to make kick returns safer in recent years. To me, trying to tackle Harris after he’s been charging ahead for 15 yards seems anything but safe.
Harris is the type of player who will bring some violence to the Packers kick return unit and make people who remember what kickoffs were like 10, 15 or 20 years ago smile and nod their heads.
Of course, Harris is coming back after missing last season with a knee injury and various other ailments. Perhaps the promise he showed at the end of 2012 will be long gone.
The former used car salesman deserves a chance, though. With Eddie Lacy and James Starks slotted as the top two running backs, kick returns might be Harris’s best shot at carving out a significant role on this team.â€”â€”â€”â€”â€”â€”