Taped fingers limit Harris' return game, as he earns his way back into more time on defense
- Jason Vondersmith
- Portland Tribune - Sports
EUGENE - While Oregon Ducks cornerback Cliff Harris saw action at cornerback in Saturday's 56-7 home rout of Missouri State, he hasn't returned any punts in two games. Coach Chip Kelly said Harris had tape on some fingers, indicating an injury, although Kelly doesn't talk about injuries.
"In practice, when he gets the opportunity, it will be when he gets the tape off his fingers," Kelly said. "He can't really grasp the football very much. It's got nothing to do with Cliff's ability as a punt returner. It's just that (he's) not going to be able to grab the football right now."
What will get Harris on the field even more?
Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti indicated that Harris needs to still get into Kelly's good graces. Harris had an infamous high-speed car ride that earned him a suspension, and Kelly said the player had some academic issues to clear up before last week's game.
Said Aliotti, responding to a question about Harris:
"As I've said before, there's a way we do things around here. And, there's only one way we do things around here. And, it's Chip's way. We all do it Chip's way, from me to the assistants to the players. When we all 'get it,' and become 'Men of Oregon,' instead of 'Little Boys of Oregon,' then things will go your way. It's not a comment specifically on one individual. That's the way it is. 'Men of Oregon.' Act like a man, we'll treat you like a man. You come to practice ... our mantra is 'Fast, Hard, Finish,' 'Win The Day,' 'Faceless opponent,' and we have a standard vision of how we should play.
"And, preparation is key. I've never seen an individual be able to play in a game without proper preparation."