Maurice Harris proved last season that he has an NFL future in Washington with the Redskins. Now entering his second season, he's hoping to post big numbers and experience steady production.
The Redskins' two biggest contributors in the passing game was lost this offseason in free agency, so they will be looking for their young receivers to make an impact in 2017 and one of those young receivers is Maurice Harris. The second-year pro out of California is looking forward to this upcoming year and on "Redskins Nation" Harris said "I feel a little more settled in," so far this offseason.
The Washington Redskins' two biggest contributors in the passing game was lost this offseason in free agency, with DeSean Jackson heading south to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Pierre Garçon shipping out to the Bay Area to play for the San Francisco 49ers.
Terrelle Pryor Sr. enters the picture fresh off a 1,000-yard season, coupled with the potential of 2016 first-round Josh Doctson and third-year Duke product Jamison Crowder.
But there's a name behind the trio that could experience a breakout year in 2017: Maurice Harris.
During his rookie season, Harris appeared in 10 games last season and contributed eight receptions for 66 yards.
In the little game time that was presented to him, Harris played well and made some tough catches in traffic. He also helped on special teams and returned three kickoffs for 47 yards including a 26-yard return.
"It feels a little different," Harris said of his offseason this week on "Redskins Nation." "Obviously you still have to work hard and do all the things necessary, but I feel a little more comfortable being around the guys and everyone in the facility. I feel a little more settled in."
Like he was to start his professional career, Harris was deep on Cal's wide receiver depth chart during his college days.
The Greensboro, N.C., native tallied just a shade more than 1,000 total receiving yards in four seasons with 10 touchdowns. But once Harris got to the Redskins, he immediately stood out, going from undrafted to practice squad to active roster in just a few short months.
"Overall it would just be details," Harris said of what he learned last year. "Every receiver in the NFL is good, and the thing that separates you from the other guys is the little details. That is what Pierre and Desean always told me. They always told me to do the little things right."
While the veteran duo departed on the first day of free agency, Harris will continue to seek guidance from wide receivers coach Ike Hilliard.
Harris admitted it was difficult to pinpoint the exact words to describe the 1997 first-round pick, but he's a "a great guy and a great coach."
"He knows what he is doing and is very likeable so I think we learn a lot from Ike," Harris said. "Having someone play the game and go through the same experiences as you, they understand a lot. I think him playing and going through the same stuff makes it a lot easier for him and us to be on the same page."
And speaking of coaches, the head coach believes Harris could be a contributor in Washington's offense for years to come. The confidence Jay Gruden has shown in him has eased his nerves. Instead of fearing one simple mistake could cost him his job, Harris plays lose.
"Just everyday building in practice and showing them that you can play and knowing what you have to do, it helps a lot," Harris said.