Macho Harris Is Not a Kick Returner

Written By Bob Cunningham On Friday, January 01, 2010

Hear this, Macho: You stink as a kick returner.

First, Macho Harris shows us that he's not ready to be the starter at free safety. His tackling is, let's say, lacking at best, and he didn't show a grasp on Sean McDermott's defense. Now he is showing us that he is not a kick returner.

However, that's not going to stop Andy Reid from stubbornly sticking with the rookie safety out of Virginia Tech while Quintin Demps nurses a sprained ankle.

Let's put aside his bottom-of-the-barrel return average for a second, because it doesn't really matter if he was averaging 90 yards per return if he can't hold on to the ball. Two fumbles against the Denver Broncos nearly cost the Eagles the game, but for some reason he's keeping his job.

One of his fumbles was a direct result of being afraid of contact. He showed that same fear while playing safety, so it wasn't a shock to see him brace for the impact of the tackle. But what happens when an NFL player is afraid to get hit?

He gets hit harder.

That's what happened to Harris who could then do nothing as the Broncos recovered his fumble and turned it into a touchdown. Then, on another kickoff, he had the ball poked out again. This time, fortunately, Victor Abiamiri was close by and, thanks to being taller than the Bronco diving at the ball, was able to fall on it and keep possession.

Were it not for Abiamiri, it would have been disaster. The Broncos would have gotten the ball in great field position with a field goal almost guaranteed and a good shot at getting into the endzone.

So, remind me again why in the world Harris is keeping his job.

This is not the week to be stubborn in your ways, Andy. Too much is at stake for it to be fumbled away by some rookie who doesn't like to get hit. At the very least, put someone back there who can withstand the impact and hold on to the football. I don't even care if he gets to the 20 and falls down at this point.

Eldra Buckley seems like a guy who could accomplish this. He's a guy looking to make an impact and, who knows, may just break one. However, what I am certain of is that Buckley is a guy who's not afraid of impact and I'd lay a bet would not put the ball on the ground.

Harris, on the other hand, needs to find his way to the bench.

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