Charles Harris doesn’t think the game is slowing down for him.
He said he is speeding up to it.
And it’s hard to argue over the past two weeks.
Last week in London, Harris exploded off the line of scrimmage as he rushed Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees.
Harris came up a split second short of a possible strip-sack that may have made a significant impact that day.
A week later, a similar burst allowed Harris to reach Matt Cassel and record a long-awaited first career sack.
The play made a definite difference as it ended the Titans’ last real scoring chance with three minutes left and helped the Dolphins hang on to a much-needed 16-10 victory.
"It was a big deal," Harris said. "It’s what you train for. The Lord has been working me throughout all this training camp, all this summer, beginning of the season, preseason. I just had to stay faithful and stick to the game plan."
The results have not been flashy thus far for Harris, the Dolphins’ first round pick (22nd overall) out of the University of Missouri.
But the rookie, who many believe has the potential to one day leave his mark among the franchise’s great pass rushers such as Jason Taylor and Cameron Wake, has been putting in the work and is slowly seeing it pay dividends.
After a preseason in which he played 99 snaps and had only one solo and one assisted tackle, Harris entered Sunday’s game with only three tackles (two solo).
Harris had two hurries and a quarterback hit last week against the Saints as he began to show signs of his potential.
In addition to his first sack, Harris also had two quarterback hurries and a tackle for loss on Sunday as he again backed up starting defensive end Andre Branch.
He also made a critical play when he deflected a pass by Cassel in the second quarter that ended another drive deep in Titans’ territory.
"It’s just a hunger,” Harris said. “It’s a hunger to get your first sack and then get multiple sacks. There’s more to come."
Branch and Wake have both been mentors for Harris since joining the Dolphins and were happy to see him finally notch his first sack.
"My rookie is on the board," Branch said with a smile after the game. "He’s real athletic and he’s a hell of a player. We all know who he is and now the world is starting to know who he is."
Harris burst around the corner and sacked Cassel, who was in shotgun on third-and-9 at Tennessee’s 39 with 3:00 left forcing a punt. The Titans wouldn’t get the ball back until there were 19 seconds left and, out of timeouts, they ran out of time.
"All game they were shifting me, using different formations to try and confuse me," Harris said. "I just listened to [defensive line] coach T [Terrell Williams] and just stick to the game plan."
Harris wasn’t the only Dolphins’ rookie that played well against the Titans.
Davon Godchaux, Cordrea Tankersley and Vincent Taylor each recorded two tackles. Tankersley also came up with a key pass breakup.
"All the rookies in that room are outstanding and they all want to learn," Branch said. "They don’t feel like they’re better than anyone else. They just feel like they want to be the best they can be."