The getting-to-know-you process is ongoing with Maurice Harris.
The New England Patriots signed the 26-year-old wide receiver to a one-year deal worth up to $1 million last Thursday. And Harris, entering his fourth NFL season after going undrafted out of California and spending his career to date with the Washington Redskins, brings some notes to unpack.
Here are four.
CAL TEAMMATES WITH PATRIOTS TIES
Harris’ five years at Cal overlapped with other pass-catchers who’d later stop by New England. Those others include Chris Harper, Chad Hansen and Stephen Anderson.
Harper signed with the Patriots as an undrafted free agent in 2016. Hansen was briefly claimed off waivers by New England last Labor Day weekend. And Anderson, who was listed as a wide receiver until he was a redshirt senior with the Golden Bears, resided on the 53-man roster for Super Bowl LIII as a tight end.
Running back Khalfani Muhammad, signed ahead of the preseason finale last August, and guard Brian Schwenke were also college teammates with Harris. The cousin of Los Angeles Chargers Pro Bowler Keenan Allen redshirted in 2011 and went on to catch 81 passes for 1,009 yards and 10 touchdowns over 42 games.
Harris has retrieved one NFL touchdown in the regular season. It saw him facilitate only one hand.
Back in October of 2017 against the Minnesota Vikings, in his first game since being recalled from the practice squad for a second time, Harris took an outside release on a go route and lassoed his right arm around the pass from now-Viking Kirk Cousins.
He skidded over the right pylon and into the end zone, with former first-rounder Trae Waynes in coverage. It was ruled as six after review.
2018 PRESEASON VISIT
Harris visited Gillette Stadium on August 2018. And the visit resulted in three receptions for 22 yards and a score.
Harris drew the start for the Redskins in the opening exhibition. He proceeded to run a flat route against zone coverage for eight yards, a comeback against the press of cornerback Stephon Gilmore for 11 yards, and slipped out of play action for a TD from three yards out as safety Damarius Travis chased.
The 6-foot-3, 200-pound wideout was also targeted by Redskins quarterback Colt McCoy that evening on a fade-stop to the back shoulder and a deep curl down the seam. In coverage for those incompletions were a pair of rookie Patriots corners in J.C. Jackson and Keion Crossen.
‘A QUARTERBACK-FRIENDLY GUY’
Harris has logged 40 receptions for 432 yards through his three NFL regular seasons. Ten of those receptions and 124 of those yards arrived in a November matchup with the Atlanta Falcons this past campaign.
Washington lost by a score of 38-14. But Harris was the intended recipient of a dozen of QB Alex Smith’s passes.
“Mo has always been a consistent player for us,” Redskins head coach Jay Gruden told reporters of Harris in his day-after press conference. “Not the fastest guy in the world, but he runs excellent routes. He’s a quarterback-friendly guy, knows how to work in zone, does have the quickness to separate in man-to-man. He’s a great option for us right now.”