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Chris Harris Transitioning From Player to Coach

Chris Harris signed on with the Bears as a defensive quality control coach, and he and other Bears' coaches discussed his transition from player to coach.

Jonathan Daniel

Former Bears' safety Chris Harris made it known he wanted to transition into coaching, and he started that move by signing on with the Bears as a defensive quality control coach. The Chicago Tribune's Dan Pompei sat down with him as well as Marc Trestman and Mel Tucker on how Chris is handing the transition.

On coaching his former team and former teammates:

"It’s an awesome thing that I can start my coaching career in the same place I started my playing career," Harris said.

"I would like to think I was pretty respected on the defensive side of the ball," Harris said. "There will be a little adjustment period where guys on the other side see me going into the coaches’ locker room, not the players’ locker room. But I don’t think it will be too bad."

Marc Trestman, on Harris' method of entering the coaching ranks:

"Chris is coming back not as a guy who wants to be an assistant coach but he’s coming back to do it the right way," Trestman said. "Not as a player who becomes a coach but he’s doing it by doing the tough work. He’s got to learn the computer, he’s got to learn to draw plays. He’s learning how to do all of that. He wanted to learn how to be a coach from the ground up.

"He understands the defense very well. He understands what it’s like to be a player from a different perspective. He’ll have the respect of the players because a lot of them know him as a person. I’m excited for him because he wants to do it the right way. He doesn’t feel like he’s entitled to have more of a job than he has and he’s a great addition in terms of a communicator.

Mel Tucker, on Harris, having coached him for a brief time in Jacksonville:

"Chris is a great guy," Tucker said. "He’s highly intelligent. I had him for a little bit in Jacksonville. He picked up our scheme very quickly. He’s familiar with the players and the scheme. He’ll do a great job of coaching our guys."

It's got to be a tough transition from having your singular responsibility on the field to being responsible for the assignments of all eleven on the field, and it's certainly admirable for Harris to learn the game from the ground up from a second perspective. It's not calling plays on gameday or anything of that nature, but it's still a big first step in a new career path.