Coach's Take on Chris Harrington

In the next segment of our Coach's Perspective series,'s Dusty Wittig catches up with former Texas A&M defensive line coach Stan Eggen. He describes the Cardinals' rookie outside linebacker Christopher Harrington as a pass rushing force not to be reckoned with, a total package type of player and a shoe-in for the league. He shares much more in this exclusive.

Dusty Wittig: What kind of player is Harrington?

Stan Eggen: He played defensive end for us for four years. He started for three of them and was in the rotation as a freshman. Chris was just a great player for us. He was always very accountable and consistent in his play. Last year he came off of shoulder surgery and really did a good job to battle through it. It was great to see him continue to get stronger.

DW: How do you think Harrington will adjust to the move from defensive end to outside linebacker?

SE: I think he will do well. I'm not sure what they are going to have him do. In our scheme he played a defensive end but would still drop back from time to time. We had him stand up in our 3-3 scheme, so he has played in a two point stance before. I think being familiar with that that will allow him to adapt. He is a real intelligent young man and football player. So I think he will be able to handle that, plus people will have to reckon with him as a pass rusher.

DW: What is the strongest part of Chris's game?

SE: He is a total package football player. Chris is very tough physically and mentally; a very smart guy who can pick up things and study the game. As good of football player as he has been for us, he is even a finer young man. He was always a great asset in the locker room. He has always represented Texas A&M well. Coaches will see that he is good on special teams and will do anything you ask him to do. I really believe that he has a bright future in the NFL. Every thing that makes him a good football player combines to make him a better person. Before this last season started, he already had his degree. He is just a great young man who came from a great family.

DW: What is something that he needs to improve?

Cris Harrington
Texas A&M

SE: I just think getting acclimated to playing a new position. I think he will adjust fine, but that is the biggest change that he will have. For the majority of his career he has had his hand on the ground, so the stand up will be biggest adjustment. He has got good strength; the best thing about Chris is his mental toughness and attitude. He is going to work on any thing he is deficient at and get better. As a line backer he is going to have more responsibility in pass coverage. So he is going to have to work on that as well as learning the zone dropping schemes in passing situations more than anything else.

DW: What kind of guy is Chris off of the field?

SE: As good of football player he is, he is a better person. I think that the Cardinals will find out that he will be a great ambassador for us. He represented us well here at Texas A&M and I think he will be the same way for the Cardinals. While he was in college he went out and spoke to kids at high schools. He came from a great family, his uncle Dave Elmendorf was a safety for nine years in the NFL. But Chris is just a great young man, very humble and is willing to give back. He did a great job of fitting in with the program, doing everything you asked of him. Once again he will just be a great representative for the Cardinals.

DW: How would you describe Harrington as a leader?

SE: Excellent. He does a great job of leading by example. He has never really been a raw-raw guy, but he is going to do what he needs to do. When people look up to a leader, they are going see him and what he does, Chris always did it right. He was always one of the first veterans to go out and help the young kids coming into the program.

DW: What is your favorite memory of Chris?

SE: My favorite was when he came into Texas A&M, he was coach Fran's first commitment. I remember coach would always be talking about that. He was just a great person and such a hard worker. Every day he came in ready to work and to push himself. He was always asking what else he could do to help the team. He may get a little banged up, but has never looked to come out of a game. There have been some great wins, but the best part is the satisfaction of walking into a locker room or a meeting room and knowing that he was going to be ready every day. He was a blue collar guy, who always worked to better himself. He was never satisfied at being where he was at. He was always just trying to help the football team.

DW: What do you think Harrington's chances are of making the team?

SE: I would be surprised if Chris doesn't make it. I have had quite a few guys that have gone on and played or that have had opportunities to play, and I think that he would make the club. I know there are a lot of intangibles, but I know that he would end up being a positive influence with the Arizona club. I'm not too aware of their need at outside linebacker, but I know he can play in the NFL.

DW: How has Harrington's durability been throughout college?

SE: He hasn't missed time because of an injury. During his junior year he hurt his shoulder, but played the rest of the season and had it operated on in the off season. Other than that he has nothing that is recurring. He is a tough young man, and he prepares himself to play. I know he is training hard and doing whatever he needs to do over there to prepare himself for the NFL. Injuries have not been a problem.

DW: Is there anything else you would like to say about Chris?

SE: I wish him the best, and I will tell him that myself because we talk. But in terms of a quality young man I really have tremendous respect for him as a person and football player. He will be successful before his football career is over. If things work out and he stays healthy, I see him having a long career in th

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