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Could Orien Harris be a steal?

After the weekend, the Bengals roster is set. The roster you see today, is the roster that the Bengals figure will give them the best chance to win in 2008. Moves went down that we didn't agree with. In the poll attached to the related piece, 84% of 339 votes agreed that cutting Anderson does not help this football team. It's not that our old right tackle projected as the Willie Anderson of early 2000. However, most of us figured that Willie would contribute into the team's depth chart. You could apply the same with Deltha O'Neal, or a linebacker or two.

Either way, none of that matters. This is your 2008 Bengals. Are you happy? I like that the Bengals kept Jordan Palmer over Jeff Rowe -- and that's purely a sympathetic, good-story type of reason; nothing to do with the field. And if you don't like it, ask yourself this. If the Bengals have to go to their third quarterback, does it really matter who it is? Sure, there's a fantasy that could be applied that some third-string quarterback rises above impossible odds and takes the team to the Super Bowl. But let's be honest, there's a reason why they're third-string quarterbacks.

I'm not sure what the difference is between Orien Harris and Michael Myers, other than Myers being a 32-year old senior citizen, while Harris is a 25-year old pup from Miami that recorded 11 sacks, and 159 tackles in his Hurricane career. Oh, and Myers was scheduled to make $830,000 while Harris looks to make below $400,000.

Here's Harris' Miami Hurricanes biography page.

CAREER: One of the premier defensive tackles in college football and potentially one of the most dominating players in the country...Has been a stalwart in the middle for Miami the last two seasons...Tough, durable and athletic...Annually among the team's leaders in tackles...Has shown versatility as a pass rusher or a run stopper...In three seasons, has started 22 of 36 games played, recording 130 tackles, 21 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks and one fumble recovery...Moved into the playing rotation as a redshirt freshman in 2002 following a seasonending injury to Santonio Thomas, then took over as a starter in 2003...Criminology major.

2004 (JUNIOR): Started all 12 games at defensive tackle...Voted the team's Defensive Lineman of the Year as a junior...Ranked second among the defensive linemen with 55 tackles (16 solo), adding 12 tackles for loss, 14 QB pressures and 1.5 sacks...Voted honorable mention All-ACC and selected firstteam All-ACC by 2 tackles and 3 QB pressures in the season opener vs. Florida State...Registered 1 tackle and 2 QB pressures vs. Louisiana Tech...Made 5 tackles, 1 tackle for loss and 3 QB pressures at Houston...Notched 4 tackles and 2 QB pressures at Georgia Tech...Made season-high 9 tackles and 1 tackle for loss vs. Louisville...Tallied 3 tackles and 1 tackle for loss at NC State...Recorded 7 tackles, including 3 tackles for loss at North Carolina...Against Clemson, made 5 tackles, including 1 tackle for loss. Got his first sack of the season...Recorded 4 tackles at Virginia...Made 2 tackles and 1 tackle for loss vs. Wake Forest...Posted 8 tackles, 1 tackle for loss and 2 QB pressures vs. Virginia Tech...In the Peach Bowl vs. Florida, made 5 tackles (3 solo), including 3 tackles for loss and 1 QB pressure.

2003 (SOPHOMORE): Started 10 of 11 games in which he played...recorded 39 tackles (14 solo), eight tackles for loss (34 yards), four sacks (23 yards) and 18 quarterback hurries, ranking second on team...made four tackles in the season opener at Louisiana Tech...registered a career-high eight tackles (three solo), one tackle for a loss, and one sack against Florida...had seven tackles (one solo) and 1.5 tackles for a loss versus East Carolina...six assists versus East Carolina set a career-high...third in tackles against ECU with 1.5 TFLs (five yards) and one quarterback hurry...recorded four tackles and two quarterback hurries at Boston College...had three tackles and one sack (seven yards) against West Virginia...made five tackles, including two tackles for loss (10 yards) and one sack (eight yards) in UM's 22-14 win at Florida State...two tackles and one TFL against Temple...registered one tackle before leaving the game with an injured knee after being rolled up from behind at Virginia Tech...had arthroscopic surgery on the knee the following week and missed the next two games (Tennessee, Syracuse)...returned against Rutgers to record two quarterback hurries...made three tackles (one solo), 1.5 tackles for loss (eight yards) and one sack (six yards) at Pittsburgh...made one assist in the FedEx Orange Bowl Classic victory over Florida State...left the game with an elbow injury.

2002 (FRESHMAN): Became one of the team's most productive defensive linemen as the season progressed...made 36 tackles (14 solos), one sack, one tackle for a loss, 14 quarterback hurries and a fumble recovery...made two tackles against Virginia Tech...had two stops in the win at Syracuse...had four tackles, including a season-high three solo stops, and a sack at Tennessee...had two tackles at Rutgers...had seven tackles, including two solos, and recovered a fumble against West Virginia...recorded two tackles (one solo) in the game against Boston College...played in Miami's win at Florida, but did not register a tackle...saw his first game action as a Hurricane in the season opener against Florida A&M and made one tackle.

2001 (REDSHIRT): Sat out the 2001 season with a redshirt and played on the Hurricanes' scout team.

Harris came into the league after the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted him in the fourth round, then moving to Cleveland, back to Pittsburgh, then New Orleans. The word that best characterizes Harris is "potential" -- which is an upgrade over what we knew of Myers. While a decent contributor, his ceiling passed him long ago.

Before waiving him, Saints head coach Sean Payton said of Harris, "He's been one of those guys that's been durable. He's been steady. He's a try-hard guy that gives a lot of effort on each play. So he's caught the attention of a lot of us, the guys on defense and myself included. He comes to work every day, and he showed that last week in the game."

This very much could be a David Jones type of acquisition; claimed off the waiver wire, eventually making the 53-man squad. Ironically, Jones (2007 fifth-round pick) was claimed from New Orleans also. David liked Harris when the defensive tackle came out in 2006, and thinks highly of his abilities translating well with the Bengals.