But since an NCAA rule prohibited Harris (Oregon) from participating in spring practices, he’s still playing catch-up.
“Cliff is a competitor,” defensive coordinator Juan Castillo said today. “He is still learning our system. The hard thing is that when you miss those OTAs, it’s hard, so he is just trying to get a complete understanding [of the defense]. In the classroom, he understands the scheme, but when it is going fast, I think that is the part in time he will get better and better at.”
Here are some other notes from Castillo’s media session today:
On Mychal Kendricks’ progress: “Mychal has been coming along well. Talk about relentless and tough. He’s a linebacker, and you wouldn’t want to meet him in a dark alley. He is that type of guy, and he is a professional. He studies, and it is important to him. The way he carries himself off of the field too. We are excited about him.”
On Brandon Boykin vs. Joselio Hanson: “I think both of them are having good camps. They are both competing and they are both smart, athletic and good people.”
On what Boykin needs to improve: “Consistency. As a whole for all of us, the key is consistency and to start like that in the beginning of the season.”
On what secondary coach Todd Bowles brings the defense: “Todd has experience and has played in the league and has coached in the league for eight to ten years. He brings that experience to the guys. On the defense, we have three guys who have played in the league. [Linebackers coach] Mike Caldwell has played for [multiple years] and [secondary/safeties coach] Michael Zordich has played for [multiple years], so that is good experience.”
Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at email@example.com.