Hungry N'Keal Harry has Justin Fields, Bears excited about what could be

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'Something to prove:' Fields, Bears excited about 'playmaker' Harry originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

LAKE FOREST – There's a theme in the Bears' wide receiver room: Hungry.
From Darnell Mooney to Kevin Shaa, every member of the much-maligned receiving corps is fighting for something. Fighting to take their game to the next level, to resurrect their career, to stay or make it in the NFL.

The fight is constant.

N'Keal Harry will fit right in.

"I am excited about him," general manager Ryan Poles said Tuesday during his training camp press conference at Halas Hall. "I think he has a really good skill set, great physical traits and I think he has something to prove, for sure. And I think he has the chance to improve this football team."

The Bears acquired Harry from the New England Patriots for a 2024 seventh-round pick. The Patriots drafted Harry in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft, but the Arizona State product never caught on in Foxboro.

Harry's rookie season was Tom Brady's last dance in New England. Brady is famous for freezing our receivers he doesn't trust, and he and Harry never clicked during the 2019 campaign. Harry dealt with injuries and a banged-up Cam Newton in 2020.

The 2021 season, with Mac Jones at the helm, was supposed to be the year Harry finally found his feet in Foxboro. That didn't happen. Harry would sandwich impressive practices with disappearing acts. His inability to separate consistently saw his snap count and days dwindle in New England.

Harry arrives in Chicago with a new lease on NFL life and has believers in the man who brought him to the shores of Lake Michigan and the man he hopes to connect with on Sundays.

"Yeah, there's a lot of factors — I wasn't in that building or anything," Poles said when asked why Harry failed in New England. "I just know what he's capable of. And I want to give him the opportunity to come here and show that he can do that and get things on the right path."

Fields texted Harry the day the Bears acquired the big-body receiver. Like many, Fields remembers the Harry that torched PAC-12 defenses in Tempe. The hope is that Harry is wearing blue and orange this fall.

"I'm excited for what he can do," Fields said Tuesday. "We all saw what he did at Arizona State in college, and just his frame, what he can do as a playmaker, I'm very excited to see what he can do on the field."

Harry's superb run-blocking – he was PFF's second highest-graded run-blocking receiver in 2021 – makes him a good fit for Luke Getsy's wide-zone attack. That and his big frame should give him a leg up on making the Bears' 53-man roster.

However, he'll face fierce competition from everyone else in the Bears' desperate wide-receiver room.

"I think all of them, it's just at different levels," Poles said when asked if everyone in the receiver room had something to prove like Harry. "If it's to prove they can play, proving they can sustain success over multiple years. I think everyone has a chip on their shoulder to prove that they are that guy. We'll see."

The Bears expect a motivated and hungry N'Keal Harry to arrive at training camp. One who can help fill the big-body receiver void left by Allen Robinson's departure.

Harry has been given a second chance on a team in desperate need of playmakers. It's up to him to prove he can still be the N'Keal Harry he was supposed to be.

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