Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Internship with Vikings helps fuel former lineman Mike Harris’ ‘passion’ for coaching

This past week was like old time for Mike Harris and Phil Rauscher.

Harris, a former Vikings guard, spent the week as an intern from the NFL’s non-woven Scouting fellowship program. He spent time with the scouting department and also evaluating the offensive line with line coach Rauscher, Minnesota, who helped recruit Harris from Duarte (California) High School to play for UCLA from 2007–11.

“I’m loving what Phil is doing with this offensive line group, and it was great to be able to get close to him,” Harris said on Sunday. “He’s the kind of guy I want to subdue.”

The 32-year-old Harris played in the NFL from 2012–15, including 2014–15 with the Vikings. He started all 16 games for the NFC North champions in 2015, but never played again in 2016 due to a congenital brain condition.

In late 2019, Harris was considering an NFL return. However, he went to the Mayo Clinic in early 2020 and was advised against it.

“I was trying to see if I was able to pass the tests and get my neurologist’s approval, but they all felt it wouldn’t be right for me to go back on the field to take those hits. ” Harris, who said he was in good health now. “But I’m in a good place. I have a career path.”

Harris was a part-time coach at Macalester College in 2019, leading the offensive line. When McAllister had no season in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, Harris served as offensive coordinator at Delasle High School in Minneapolis. He is now back at McAllister as a restricted earnings coach.

“I am not only the offensive line coach, I am also the practice coordinator and assistant recruitment coordinator,” he said. “It’s a good experience.”

Although Harris’s internship included working with the Scouting department, coaching is what he enjoys doing over the long term.

“It was a rewarding experience to get to know the Scouting department and the business of the sport,” he said. “But to be honest, coaching is my passion.”

Harris is also set to enter his third season as a equine inspector at the Vikings home games. That’s why he’ll have more opportunities to participate in Rauscher, who was at UCLA from 2006-09 and first joined the Vikings last year as an assistant offensive line coach.

“Mike has been awesome,” Rauscher said of his internship. “He’s coaching himself now, so he’s asking for suggestions. It’s been really cool.”

Nation World News Desk
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