The Chicago Bears signed tight end Demetrius Harris. What should fans know about him?
When the Cleveland Browns released tight end, Demetrius Harris, Chicago Bears fans’ ears immediately perked up. The team is in desperate need for tight end help, so having the chance to add any tight end does not hurt.
On top of that, Harris has experience with Matt Nagy and signed with the Browns due to his relationship with John Dorsey. It made sense that the Bears would be interested, and he would reciprocate that interest.
So, now that Harris is signed, what does that mean? What is his skill set, and how does he affect the rest of the roster? Here are five things you need to about Demetrius Harris.
“Y” tight end
If you have read this blog since Matt Nagy was hired, you know how he views tight ends. In a perfect world, Nagy would have three different tight ends, all with different skill sets. He wants a “U,” “Y,” and “F” tight end. An “F” is a primary blocker; a “U” is a move or motion player while an “Y” is your typical tight end who can line up in-line and block, but also threaten the seams in the passing game.
Trey Burton is the “U.” The team has had Dion Sims, Bradley Sowell, and J.P. Holtz all hold down the “F.” Adam Shaheen was drafted to play a “Y” tight end role. However, he has not panned out.
Jesper Horsted typically played the “Y,” but so does Demetrius Harris.
Going back to 2016 with Matt Nagy through 2019 with Freddie Kitchens, Harris averages 50 in-line snaps for every one snaps out of the slot. He is a better blocker than a pass-catcher.
However, he can use his athleticism to threaten the seams. Take a look at the play below, from 2017 when Matt Nagy was his offensive coordinator. He splits the seams and catches a 51-yard pass.
This can open up the small areas for Trey Burton. His blocking prowess also puts less blocking responsibility for Burton. Burton was physically worn down in 2018 and could not return to form in 2019. The team is going to bring Burton back; his cap hit is too much not to.
However, by reducing his workload, they can get a more productive overall player. Having Harris, who has played a role that compliments Burton, should put both of them in lower volume, higher efficiency roles.
Do not look at this signing as a bad sign for Burton. Instead, it is a sign that the team is going to try to get the most out of him in 2020.