For the third consecutive offseason, other NFL teams are calling the Washington Commanders looking to interview defensive backs coach Chris Harris.
This time around, it’s the Chicago Bears, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. The Bears have a defensive coordinator in Alan Williams, so this would not be a promotion for Harris, which means Washington would need to approve.
Fowler noted the interview would be for a defensive position, which likely is the secondary. James Rowe, Chicago’s defensive backs coach in 2022, left to take a defensive coordinator position at his alma mater.
In addition to Harris, Chicago has also requested permission to speak to Packers secondary coach Jerry Gray. That’s a familiar name for Washington fans, as Gray spent four seasons as Washington’s defensive backs coach from 2006-09.
Harris started his NFL playing career as a sixth-round pick of the Chicago Bears in 2005. As a rookie, he became a key part of the secondary and intercepted Peyton Manning in Super Bowl XLI. After spending the 2006 season with Chicago, Harris was traded to the Carolina Panthers in 2007. He played three seasons for Carolina before returning to Chicago in 2011, where he played for two more seasons.
Harris retired from the NFL after the 2012 season and immediately began his coaching career with the Bears as a quality control assistant. After two more years in Chicago, Harris jumped to the Chargers, where he worked the next four years as an assistant defensive backs coach before becoming Washington’s defensive backs coach in 2020 under Ron Rivera.
Harris interviewed for defensive coordinator positions and is ready to make that leap. He had his best season yet in Washington in 2022, playing a key role in the development of cornerback Benjamin St-Juste and safety Darrick Forrest.